WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump addressed the 45th annual March for Life via satellite from the White House on Friday, telling activists that they are “special, special people.”
Trump’s address marked the first time a president has addressed the gathering by satellite, although previous Republican presidents have addressed it by phone. Last year, Mike Pence became the first sitting vice president to address the March rally in person.
What did Trump say?
Prior to his presidential campaign, Trump described himself as pro-choice and he made a series of conflicting statements on abortion during his campaign. The president, who now describes himself as pro-life, took a very different tone Friday, telling attendees at the rally Friday that he was proud to speak to “a truly remarkable group.”
Trump said that tens of thousands of families, students, and patriots “come for one beautiful cause: To build a society where life is celebrated, protected, and cherished.”
Trump said March for Life “is a movement born out of love” and called marchers the embodiment of their theme: “love saves lives.”
“You love every child — born and unborn — because you believe that every life is sacred, that every child is a precious gift from God,” he said.
During his remarks, he urged Congress to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act — which would ban elective abortions after 20 weeks gestation — and “send it to my desk for signing.”
Trump also pointed to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide, saying the ruling “has resulted in some of the most permissive abortion laws anywhere in the world.”
“It is wrong,” he said. “It has to change.”
The March for Life — described by organizers as the largest pro-life gathering in the world — takes place annually on or near Jan. 22, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Marchers first held a rally on the National Mall and then proceeded to the Supreme Court in protest of the ruling.