Donald Trump became the first president to appear at the March for Life Friday, telling the tens of thousands gathered in Washington, D.C., to defend the unborn, “We will win.”
“We are fighting for those who have no voice,” Trump said to cheers and applause. “... Together we are the voice for the voiceless.”
Although past pro-life presidents such as Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush had spoken to the rally via telephone, Trump was the first president to appear at and address the march live. Many in the audience hoisted red signs declaring, “Most Pro-Life President Ever.”
Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, introduced Trump. The march is held each January around the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
“We're here for a very simple reason – to defend the right of every child, born and unborn, to fulfill their God-given potential,” Trump said. “For 47 years, Americans of all backgrounds have traveled from across the country to stand for life. And today, as president of the United States, I am truly proud to stand with you.”
Every child, Trump said, is a “precious and sacred gift from God.”
“Together, we must protect, cherish and defend the dignity and the sanctity of every human life. When we see the image of a baby in the womb, we glimpse the majesty of God's creation. When we hold a newborn in our arms, we know the endless love that each child brings to a family. When we watch a child grow, we see the splendor that radiates from each human soul.”
Trump praised the work of the March for Life volunteers, many of whom are women.
“You stand for life each and every day,” he said. “You provide housing, education, jobs and medical care to the women that you serve. You find loving families for children in need of a forever home. You host baby showers for expecting moms. You just make it your life's mission to help spread God's grace. And to all of the moms here today, we celebrate you. And we declare that mothers are heroes.”
Young people, he said, are the “heart” of the March for Life.
“And it's your generation that is making America the pro-family, pro-life nation,” Trump said. “The life movement is led by strong women, amazing faith leaders and brave students who carry on the legacy of pioneers before us, to raise the conscience of our nation and uphold the rights of our citizens. You embrace mothers with care and compassion. You are powered by prayer and motivated by pure unselfish love.”
Trump recounted his administration’s accomplishments for the pro-life movement, including restoring the Mexico City Policy to block federal funds for organizations that perform or promote abortions overseas, issuing new Title X rules that prevent family-planning clinics from referring or promoting abortion – a rule that has resulted in Planned Parenthood losing much of its government funding, and nominating more than 180 federal judges who “apply the Constitution as written.”
Trump also blasted Democratic politicians on the issue of abortion.
“Democrats have embraced the most radical and extreme positions [ever] taken and seen in this country for years and decades,” he said. “Nearly every top Democrat in Congress now supports taxpayer-funded abortion all the way up until the moment of birth.”
He also told the crowd: “They're coming after me because I am fighting for you.”
“Every life brings love into this world,” he said during his concluding remarks. “Every child brings joy to a family. Every person is worth protecting. … Every human life, born and unborn, is made in the holy image of Almighty God. Together we will defend this truth all across our magnificent land. We will set free the dreams of our people, and with determined hope we look forward to all of the blessings that will come from the beauty, talent, purpose, nobility and grace of every American child.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Mark Wilson/Staff
Video courtesy: The White House
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.