Mike Pence says 'life is winning again in America' at anti-abortion march in Washington DC

The annual rally was given a serious boost this year with support from the nation's highest office

Friday 27 January 2017 20:58
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Mr Pence has long been a supporter of the annual rally
Mr Pence has long been a supporter of the annual rally

Thousands of people from across America arrived at the Washington Memorial to take part in the annual anti-abortion March For Life.

This year, they arrived with support from the country’s highest public office.

Spread across the monument’s shadow, people gathered to watch Vice President Mike Pence speak to the crowds, the first time a Vice President has ever spoken at the rally, and one of Mr Pence’s first public addresses since taking office. It was not the first time that Mr Pence had been present at the rally, however.

Before the rally had started, President Donald Trump tweeted his support, saying: "The #MarchForLife is so important. To all of you marching —- you have my full support!"

​In his first week as President, Mr Trump has already reintroduced the Mexico City policy, an order that stops any US aid going to NGOs that promote abortions.

Near the monument, Mr Pence’s speech was near inaudible, but crowds still cheered as he ascended to the stage.

In his speech before the crowd, Mr Pence said "life is winning again in America".

"This administration will work with Congress to end taxpayer funding of abortion and abortion providers", he announced to cheers.

Mr Pence also suggested that Mr Trump’s nomination for the empty seat on the supreme court would be an anti-abortion candidate.

In the crowd, Lauren Daigle, not to be confused with the Christian singer, had taken an eight hour drive from Boston to be at Friday’s march. Ms Daigle said she considered herself a "pro-life feminist" and she wanted to "stand up for women who believe in women’s rights as well as the rights of the unborn."

Ms Daigle said people like her did not feel welcome when it came to last week’s Women’s March.

"For me, being a feminist is about supporting the rights of women in the United States but also supporting women in what truly makes them feminine… the ability to create life."

She was also happy to have Mr Pence there: his presence was proof that the administration was on their side.

"Mike Pence has been a big supporter of the pro-life movement for years… it’s really amazing to see that we have an administration now that supports the pro-life movement.

"To be honest, I’m pleasantly surprised… I had concerns about Donald Trump’s position on the pro-life issue, I know he’s wavered in the past."

But, she went on to say, "his [Trump's] past actions in the last week have proven to us that he’s going to stand with us."

Two elderly men, who did not give their names, said they had come from Delaware and they could already see a difference in this administration "within the last week and a half" and that "there’s a real chance that they’ll defeat Roe V Wade".

Buoyed by the early actions of this administration, anti-abortion marchers carried Trump flags and hawkers sold Trump slogan hats.

Mr Trump has previously said in interviews that he was pro-choice but he came out staunchly anti-abortion during the presidential campaign, at one point suggesting that women who have abortions should undergo "some sort of punishment". He later clarified that professionals should instead be the ones held responsible if abortions were no longer allowed.

Across the aisle, Democrats have not taken kindly to the President’s position. On the announcement that the Mexico City Policy was to be reinstated, Senator Elizabeth Warren called the decision "insanity".

"Perhaps @POTUS @realDonaldTrump & the @GOP didn’t get the message Saturday: We’re not taking women’s rights back – not now, & not ever," the Massachusetts Senator said in a tweet.

At the rally, the crowd, including young people, cheered as speakers told of plans to defund the reproductive health organisation, Planned Parenthood, through Congress.

"I believe that we will continue to win the hearts and minds of the rising generation," Mr Pence said, ending his speech by thanking those gathered "on behalf of the President of the United States".

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