.- The March for Life again gathered myriad pro-life advocates to mark the anniversary of legalized abortion in America, and in a surprise appearance Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence introduced a pre-recorded message from President Donald Trump.
“This is a movement founded on love and grounded in the nobility and dignity of every human life,” President Trump said in a pre-recorded message to the massive Jan. 18 rally, before the crowd began its march through the streets of Washington, D.C.
“When we look into the eyes of a newborn child we see the beauty of the human soul and the majesty of God’s creation, we know that every life has meaning and every life is worth protecting.”
“I will always protect the first right in the Declaration of Independence, the right to life,” he said.
Trump touted his administration’s new expansion of the Mexico City Policy, which restricts funds for international organizations that promote or perform abortions. He promoted his administration’s actions to protect religious freedom for medical professionals and religious charities, as well as support for adoption and foster care. Among new proposals are limits barring Title X funds for clinics that perform abortions; and making permanent the Hyde Amendment budget restrictions on abortion funding.
Trump is something of an unlikely ally for the pro-life movement. Before he launched his successful 2016 presidential campaign, Trump had a record of pro-abortion rights statements. That record, his personal character and other actions have drawn criticism and concern from some pro-life leaders. His presidency continues to be one of the most controversial in recent history, with his anti-immigrant crackdowns and rhetoric becoming major concerns for Catholic bishops.
For the 2018 March for Life, Trump had given a special live address to the March for Life rally from the White House Rose Garden.
This year, following the Republicans’ loss of control of the House of Representatives in the 2018 elections, Trump pledged to veto any legislation that would undermine “protection for human life.”
“Every child is a sacred gift from God,” he said. “Each person is unique from day one. That’s a very important phrase. Unique from day one. And so true… Together we will work to save the lives of unborn children.”
Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence appeared in person to introduce the president and to give their own remarks.
“We gather here because we stand for life,” the vice president said. “We gather here because we stand for compassion. We gather here because we believe as our founders did because we believe all of us, born and unborn, are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights and first among these rights is the right to life.”
Pence said that the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision “turned its back on that right,” but that decision gave birth to “a movement born by compassion and love a movement animated by faith and truth, a movement that’s been winning hearts and minds every day since.”
Because of those gathered here, he said, “we know in our hearts that life is winning once again.”
Pence praised and thanked pregnancy center volunteers, adoptive families, and “courageous men and women who step forward to serve in public office” in the U.S. capitol and state legislatures. He urged pro-life advocates to “stand strong” and give reasons for their hope “with gentleness and respect.”
“They will attack you, they will question your hearts to silence others but don’t listen to them. Listen to the truth,” he said. He told marchers that God will not forsake them and they do not stand alone.
“Know that you have an unwavering ally in this vice president and this family. And you have a champion in the President of the United States, President Donald Trump.”
Pence similarly touted Trump administrative actions, saying Trump “kept his promise” on judicial nominees and signed legislation allowing states to defund abortion provider Planned Parenthood.
Presidential Proclamation on the National Sanctity of Human Life Day, 2019
Today marks the 46th year since the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade. On this day, National Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, we mourn the lives cut short, and the tremendous promise lost, as a result of abortion. As a Nation, we must resolve to protect innocent human life at every stage.
As President, I am committed to defending the Right to Life. During my first week in office, I reinstated the Mexico City Policy, which prevents foreign aid from being used to fund or support the global abortion industry. We are also working to end the abhorrent practice of elective late-term abortion, a practice allowed in only seven countries around the world.
At home, we have issued a proposed regulation to implement the Title X prohibition on funding programs that include abortion as a method of family planning. I am supporting the effort in the United States Senate to make permanent the Hyde Amendment, which has been added year after year to spending bills and prevents taxpayer funding for abortion. And I have explicitly informed the Congress that I will veto any legislation that weakens existing Federal protections for human life.
My Administration has repeatedly demonstrated its respect for human life and conscience at all stages. We have finalized conscience exemptions from the contraceptive mandate to protect employers like Little Sisters of the Poor from being forced to choose between violating their religious beliefs and shutting their doors. We also increased the child tax credit, making it financially easier for mothers to care for their children after birth, while supporting the loving choices of adoption and foster care.
As the opioid crisis severely affects our country, especially women and babies, we are redoubling our efforts to help children born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. And we must do everything within our power to protect the sanctity of life for the most vulnerable and defenseless among us, including people with disabilities. Americans with disabilities like Down syndrome are an inspiration, and their example of joy and perseverance enriches our lives.
Our Constitution and our laws contain many protections for innocent life, and I have worked hard for the confirmation and appointment of judges — including two outstanding Supreme Court justices — committed to the rule of law.
We commend the pro-life movement for the tremendous efforts it has made to prevent the deaths of innocent unborn children, including through the annual March for Life. For more than 46 years, courageous and faithful citizens, many from college campuses and high schools across our country, have extended big hearts and hands of compassion to young women experiencing unexpected pregnancies. For decades, they have prayed passionately and stood tirelessly for the sanctity of life, speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves. We honor, too, the many men and women who share the precious gifts of life and family by adopting babies and children, welcoming them into their homes and hearts.
Today, we recommit ourselves to protecting innocent life every day and at every stage. We must continue to be a country that shows respect for the dignity and worth of every person at every stage of life.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 20, 2019, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. Today I call on the Congress to join me in protecting and defending the dignity of every human life, including those not yet born. I call on the American people to continue to care for women in unexpected pregnancies and to support adoption and foster care in a more meaningful way, so every child can have a loving home. And finally, I ask every citizen of this great Nation to listen to the sound of silence caused by a generation lost to us, and then to raise their voices for all those affected by abortion, both seen and unseen.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand nineteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-third.
DONALD J. TRUMP