Washington, US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence surprised thousands of protesters demonstrating against abortion in a march here by making unannounced speeches.
Pence and his wife, Karen Pence, strode onstage to the delighted cheers of a roaring crowd during Friday’s “March for Life” rally, carrying anti-abortion posters and banners, reports The Washington Post.
Pence gave a list of antiabortion actions, including Trump’s appointment of conservative judges to powerful appellate courts across the country, and his reinstatement of the Mexico City policy that bans US government funding for any foreign aid organisation linked to abortion.
He also spoke with religious overtones: “Listen to the truth,” he said, then cited one of the anti-abortion movement’s favourite biblical verses. “Know that He who said, ‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you’ also said, ‘I will never forsake you’.”
Following Pence’s speech, Trump’s videotaped address was aired on a giant screen installed at the National Mall.
“When we look into the eyes of a newborn child, we see the beauty and the human soul and the majesty of God’s creation. We know that every life has meaning,” Trump said in his video.
The President also listed his administration’s anti-abortion actions and vowing to reject any legislation passed by the new Democratic-controlled House that “weakens” the campaign to prevent abortion access.
He said he signed a letter to Congress on Friday announcing his intent to veto any such law.
Crowds of participants came together amid hymns and prayers, before setting off for the US Supreme Court to demand that the justices increase the legal restrictions on access to abortion.
Since the “March for Life” began in 1974, a year after the Supreme Court decision in the Roe v. Wade case legalised the interruption of pregnancy throughout the US, the crowd has been largely youthful, including Catholic school students who ride buses from all over the country to attend the rally.
With Trump’s arrival at the White House, the pro-life movement has picked up momentum in the country, and activists consider the naming of two conservative justices to the high court over the past two years makes it all the more possible that the legalisation of abortion will be reviewed and revised.