Trump focuses on women and mothers at anti-abortion rally

Caroline Linton

 President Trump told a crowd of anti-abortion activists that he was "proud" to stand with them at the annual March for Life rally on the National Mall in Washington D.C. on Friday. Mr. Trump is the first president to ever appear in person at the annual rally since it started in 1974.

"They are coming after me because I am fighting for you, and we are fighting for those who have no voice, and we will win because we know how to win," Mr. Trump told the crowd.

Mr. Trump, whose support from evangelical Christians has been crucial, focused on themes often promoted by abortion opponents, mentioning the sanctity of life and that "every human life – born and unborn – is made in the holy image of Almighty God." 

"Every one of us here today understands the eternal truth. Every child is a sacred and precious gift from God," Mr. Trump said.

He praised mothers as "heroes" and told them "your strength, devotion and drive is what drives our nation."

"This year March for Life is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, which forever enshrined women's right to vote in the United States and given by the United States Constitution," Mr. Trump said. "Today, millions of extraordinary women across America are using the power of their votes to fight for the first right in the Declaration of Independence – the Right to Life." 

Anti-Abortion Activists Demonstrate In D.C. During Annual March For Life

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the 47th March For Life rally on the National Mall, January 24, 2019 in Washington, DC. The Right to Life Campaign held its annual March For Life rally and march to the U.S. Supreme Court protesting the high court's 1973 Roe V. Wade decision making abortion legal. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Mr. Trump did not mention the Senate impeachment trial or the 2020 election, but the two warring sides in the abortion fight intend to spend heavily in the coming months. Planned Parenthood's political arm has announced plans to spend a record $45 million to elect politicians who support abortion access, while the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion advocacy group, plans to spend $52 million, the most it has ever spent in an election year. 

Mr. Trump did call out Virginia's Democratic governor, Ralph Northam, who created a firestorm last year in his description of "third-trimester abortions." In a departure from his comments that touched on Christian themes, Mr. Trump on Friday summed up Northam's comments by saying he'd "execute a baby after birth." 

Mr. Trump also highlighted his appointments of 187 federal judges and two Supreme Court justices, which evangelical Christians consider major victories.

Planned Parenthood's acting president Alexis McGill Johnson tweeted Wednesday that Mr. Trump's attendance at March for Life is "further confirmation that the sitting President of the United States is determined to end the American people's ability to access abortion."

US-politics-abortion-RALLY

Pro-life demonstrators hold signs during the 47th annual "March for Life" in Washington, DC, on January 24, 2020.  NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

The Kaiser Family Foundation released a poll Wednesday which found that the majority of Americans supported abortion access. According to the report, 79% of those surveyed said they do not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned, and 63% said they personally knew someone who had an abortion. 

In the past, Mr. Trump has called himself "very pro-choice," but since becoming president has identified as "pro-life" and pushed policies that promote abortion limits.

There were also a number of Republican elected officials at Friday's event, including Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Representative Chris Smith of New Jersey. 

Kate Smith contributed reporting. 

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