WATCH: Donald Trump Speaks at March for Life Rally
Donald Trump made headlines this week for being the first president to speak at the annual March for Life.
The march draws a crowd of thousands today at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Pro-life activists gather to confront the popular notion that abortion empowers women with the march's theme this year, "Pro-Life Is Pro-Woman."
Deputy White House Press Secretary Hogan Gidley addressed Trump's decision to speak at March for Life 2020.
"You've heard a lot of religious leaders, a lot of Republicans say that this president is the biggest champion for life, the biggest advocate for the pro-life movement in history, and that remains to be true to this day," he told reporters. "This is another instance in which for the first time ever, the president will address the hundreds of thousands that show up for this march every single year in the protection of life.
"[He's] a president who continues to be the first in a lot of things, to make a lot of historic moves and this is just another one in a long line of things he's done. He's a friend to those who stand up for life at all stages, and this is just another instance in which he can do that."
Several prominent conservative Christians applauded Trump for showing such support for the pro-life event. Dr. James Dobson of the James Dobson Family Institute highlighted Trump's accomplishments for the pro-life movement with the following statement:
"During President Trump's first three years in office, his administration has taken unprecedented action to protect the unborn. These steps include allowing states to defund Planned Parenthood; ensuring that our tax dollars no longer fund abortions overseas; appointing pro-life judges; and protecting freedom of conscience for health care workers who object to participating in abortion, as well as employers and institutions who object to providing contraceptives or abortifacient drugs. This is just a small sample—the list goes on.
"Tomorrow, the president will again do something unprecedented. He will become the first sitting president to attend and address participants at the annual March for Life. Why is the president making this a priority?
"We can look to his words for the answer. Yesterday, we celebrated the National Sanctity of Human Life Day. In his proclamation announcing this commemoration of life, the president offered these words:
Every person—the born and unborn, the poor, the downcast, the disabled, the infirm and the elderly—has inherent value. Although each journey is different, no life is without worth or is inconsequential; the rights of all people must be defended. ...
As a nation, we must remain steadfastly dedicated to the profound truth that all life is a gift from God, who endows every person with immeasurable worth and potential. Countless Americans are tireless defenders of life and champions for the vulnerable among us. We are grateful for those who support women experiencing unexpected pregnancies, those who provide healing to women who have had abortions and those who welcome children into their homes through foster care and adoption. On National Sanctity of Human Life Day, we celebrate the wonderful gift of life and renew our resolve to build a culture where life is always revered.
"I applaud President Donald Trump for his willingness to do what no president in the last 47 years has done—attend the March for Life and strongly reaffirm his administration's commitment to protect the sanctity of life from conception to natural death. And I call on my fellow Americans to join together and demand an end to the horror of abortion. Every life matters. By our words and deeds, may we show this to be true."
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, founder of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, also praised Trump's pro-life efforts. He said:
"Today, President Trump will make history, again. While all the Republicans before him were decidedly pro-life, the president's decision to appear today at the March for Life represents a uniquely clarion call embodying the administration's absolutely unwavering and unashamed position on the right to human life. There is no political calculus in the president's pro-life position; it clearly comes from moral conviction at the heart of the administration.
"President Trump does so at a time when the pro-life tent is as wide as it's ever been before; after two generations of bigoted accusations against pro-life and religious Americans that their position was anti-science, we have now come to a time when that debate is no longer about science at all. The chips of science have fallen securely on the side of life; now, it's a debate about ethics and—I believe—human rights.
"It is, in fact, the single greatest human rights question in America, in our time, and it's fitting that hundreds of thousands of Americans have made this pilgrimage to the nation's capital every year to raise the cause. This is a debate that led more than 20 states to pass bills limiting abortion over the last year, and it's a debate now led by women and an increasingly pro-life and diverse Millennial generation.
"It is a uniquely bipartisan issue where all the data is trending in the direction of life. The abortion debate should no longer be about politics at all; it should become about the facts. President Trump has assumed the role of pro-life champion-in-chief."
Watch live in this article as Trump addresses the March for Life crowd at 12:15 p.m. EST.