More than 100,000 people participated in the Jan. 19 March for Life in Washington D.C., which for the first time in its 45-year history saw the sitting president address them.
The theme for the 2018 March was “Love saves lives.” March for Life president Jeanne Mancini told LifeSiteNews: “Choosing life is not always easy, but it is the loving, empowering, and self-sacrificial option.” The March marks the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling, which ushered in abortion-on-demand across the country. Approximately 60 million American babies have been killed by abortion since the decision.
The attendance is down slightly, but most media reports had the number at 10,000-40,000, with Fox News providing separate reports of 40,000 and 100,000.
President Donald Trump addressed the March through a live satellite feed of remarks delivered before a more intimate audience in the White House Rose Garden. Trump said, “Under my administration, we will always defend the very first right in the Declaration of Independence, and that is the right to life.”
The President decried the permissive abortion laws since the Roe decision, noting that the U.S. was “one of only seven countries to allow elective late term abortions along with China, North Korea and others. It is wrong and has to change.” He called for Roe v. Wade to be overturned.
Trump recited his administration’s and this Congress’ list of achievements: a House bill that defunds Planned Parenthood, federal rules protecting conscience rights of health care workers, the appointment of a pro-life judge to the Supreme Court. He also called upon Congress to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that would ban abortions after 20 weeks, a bill that splits the pro-life movement.
Trump praised those in attendance: “The March for Life is a movement born out of love, you love your families you love your neighbors, you love our nation. And you love every child, born and unborn, because you believe life is sacred, that every child is a precious gift from God.” He continued: “I want to thank every person here today who works with such big hearts and tireless devotion to make sure parents have the care and support they need to choose life.”
Trump announced that the following Monday, Jan. 22, would be proclaimed “National Sanctity of Human Life Day.”
Trump is the third president to address the March. Ronald Reagan (1987) and George W. Bush (2003 and 2004) talked to marchers via telephone. Last year, Vice President Mike Pence attended the March for Life and delivered greetings from the administration.
Other speakers included Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan, Congressman Chris Smith, former NFL player Matt Birk, Sister of Life Bethany Madonna and a handful of other politicians and religious leaders. Ryan talked about the congressional pro-life agenda while Smith urged people to pray and fast for an end to abortion.
The Media Research Center released a report that said the “big three” television networks – NBC, CBS, and ABC – provided a combined two minutes and six seconds of coverage to the March on their evening news. CBS didn’t cover it at all. Last year, the three networks combined for nearly 22 minutes of coverage, focusing on Pence’s attendance. The Blaze reported that this year, the networks gave extensive, coverage of the pro-abortion Women’s March two days later.
Print coverage of Trump’s historic address were limited to the likes of The Hill, which covers the political scene in Washington, and USA Today.
Campaign Life Coalition sent a bus of 30 supporters to the March in Washington. They joined CLC Youth demonstrating outside the Canadian embassy, and they were mobbed by passers-by who hugged them, high-fived them, and thanked them for joining the American March.