'Life is winning in America,' vice president tells March for Life rally


President Mike Pence told pro-life advocates from across the U.S. Jan. 27 that “life is winning in America, and today is
a celebration of that progress.”

Pence addressed the March for
Life on the National Mall in Washington, making him the highest government
official to address the annual event in person. As a member of Congress, he had
addressed the March for Life in previous years, including in 2002, 2003 and

“More than 240 years ago our
founders declared these truths to be self-evident — that we are, all of us,
endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights and that among these are
life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” he said. “Forty-four years ago our
Supreme Court turned away from the first of these timeless ideals, but today, generations
hence — because of all of you and the many thousands who stand with us in
rallies across this country — life is winning again in America.”

Pence said President Donald Trump had asked him to address the March for Life rally. “He asked me to thank
you for your support, for your stand for life and your compassion for the women
and children of America.”

“Our president is a man with
broad shoulders, a big heart,” Pence said. “His vision, his energy, his
optimism are boundless, and I know he will make America great again. From his
first day in office, he has been keeping his promises to the American people. Over
at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, we’re in the promise-keeping business.”

He pointed to Trump’s Jan. 23
executive action reinstating what’s called the Mexico City Policy, which bans
tax dollars from funding groups that promote or perform abortion in other countries. He
said the administration would work with Congress to stop taxpayer funding of
abortion “and devote those resources to health care services for women across

On Jan. 24 the House passed the
No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, making the 41-year-old Hyde Amendment
permanent. The amendment, which has had to be approved each year as part of the
budget for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, prohibits tax dollars
from paying for abortion except in cases of rape, incest or threat to the
woman’s life. The Senate has yet to act on a companion bill, but Trump has said
he will sign it into law when the measure reaches his desk.

“I urge you to press on,” Pence
told the March for Life rally-goers. “Let your gentleness be evident to all.
Let this movement be known for love, not anger. Let this movement be known for
compassion, not confrontation. When it comes to matters of the heart, there is
nothing stronger than gentleness. I believe we will continue to win the minds
and hearts of the rising generation if our hearts first break for mothers and
their unborn children and meet them where they are with generosity, not
judgment. To heal our land and restore a culture of life, we must continue to
be a movement that embraces all and shows the dignity and worth of every

Pence’s wife, Karen, introduced
her husband. She noted this March for Life was not the first for the Pence
family; they have attended the event for the past 16 years, “but it is the warmest,” she joked. By midday the temperature in Washington was in
the low 40s. Previous marches have taken place in frigid temperatures. Last
year’s turnout was affected by a blizzard.

Karen Pence said of her husband that she
had never met anyone “anyone who has more compassion for women, for children
and for the American people. He’s one of the kindest people that I know.”

Before Pence spoke, Kellyanne
Conway, special adviser to Trump, took the podium.

“I am a wife, a mother, a
Catholic, counselor to the president of the United States of America, and yes,
I am pro-life,” Conway said. “It is such an honor to stand with the vice
president of the United States and so many leaders, families and students from
places near and far (today).

“Your courage, your conviction
and your faith are impressive and consequential,” she told the crowd. “This is
a new day, a new dawn for life. Why are we here? What does it mean to stand
together to be part of this incredible movement, to face criticism, ridicule,
and laws and lawmakers (against life)? It means to protect and promote the most
previous gift in the world — the gift of life. It means to stand up stand tall
and stand together against the indifference and the indefensible and on behalf
of babies in the womb.

“This is a time of incredible
promise for the pro-life and pro-adoption movement,” she continued. “Women who
face troubled pregnancies should know they are not alone, that they are not
judged, they are protected and cared for and celebrated.”

Conway told pro-life supporters:
“Allow me to make it very clear — we hear you, we see you, we respect you, and
we look forward to working with you, and yes, we march, we walk, we run and
endeavor forward with you.”

At midday there was no official
crowd count from the March for Life organization. A CNN reporter said there
were attendees “as far as the eye could see.”

After a lineup of speakers,
rally participants planned to march from the National Mall to Constitution Avenue,
then up the avenue to the Supreme Court.

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