WASHINGTON — Pro-life activists participated in the 45th annual March for Life on Friday, processing from the National Mall to the Supreme Court in protest of Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.
President Donald Trump addressed the rally via satellite from the White House, telling activists that they are “special, special people,” and applauding their cause.
House Speaker Paul Ryan later addressed the rally in person, saying he is thankful to have “a pro-life president back in the White House” and telling the crowd, “your energy is so infectious.”
“You know, I’ve been participating in the March for Life for years,” Ryan said. “One thing that has always struck me — and there’s one thing that strikes me again right now— is the vigor and the enthusiasm of the pro-life movement.”
Ryan praised the March for Life participants for demonstrating the compassion of the pro-life movement, pointing to efforts to help single mothers, women who have undergone abortions, and abortion clinic workers looking to leave their jobs.
“This is true compassion,” he said. “This is real love. That’s what this movement is about — and it’s why the March for Life is such a joyful march. Anyone who is out here today can feel how much joy there is in this crowd. Anyone watching on TV can see it. People come from all over the country. You march with your churches, your friends, your neighbors. You march with joy and hope, not with anger or hate. You don’t see that on the other side, do you?”
Ryan was joined by some of his colleagues in Congress who he said represent the pro-life movement in the legislature.
“We strive to make our time in Congress a March for Life in itself,” he said. “We strive to fight for the unborn, to pass important pro-life legislation through Congress, to work with the Trump administration to pass pro-life policies and laws.”
He thanked attendees for coming and told them to “come back next year and bring three friends.”
March for Life President Jeanne Mancini told attendees the event takes place each year because "45 years ago — on January 22, 1973 — seven men on the United States Supreme Court handed a decision to our country that would forever change history.”
“The following year, fearing that the next January 22nd would come and go without public acknowledgment, a courageous woman named Nellie Gray and a group of others who were appalled by the human rights abuse of abortion, organized a march in Washington, D.C, uniting, educating, and mobilizing some 2,000 pro-life citizens in the public square,” she said.
“Over these past 45 years, abortion has claimed the lives of over 60 million Americans,” Mancini continued.
“But over these 45 years, the March for Life has persevered in our mission — growing to become the largest annual human rights demonstration in the world. Throughout these 45 years, the March for Life has worked to unite, educate, equip, and mobilize millions of pro-life citizens in the public square. Their love — your love — is truly saving lives.”
Below are some images from the 2018 event: