VP Pence Makes History as First VP to Speak at March for Life
BEN NUCKOLS, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence told a crowd gathered Friday for the annual March for Life that ending taxpayer-funded abortion and choosing a Supreme Court justice who will uphold "God-given" liberties are among the administration's top priorities.
Pence was the first sitting vice president to address the march. Speaking to demonstrators near the Washington Monument, he also accused the Supreme Court, in the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion, of turning "away from these timeless ideals."
One of President Donald Trump's first acts after taking office a week ago was to sign an executive order banning U.S. aid to foreign groups that provide abortions. Pence said more such action would follow.
Trump will "work with the Congress to end taxpayer funding of abortion and abortion providers, and we will devote those resources to health care services for women across America," he said.
A budget provision known as the Hyde Amendment already bans federal funding for Medicaid coverage of most abortions. Conservatives would like to see the rule made into a permanent law.
Trump will nominate a Supreme Court justice next week who "will uphold the God-given liberties enshrined in our Constitution," Pence said.
The March for Life is usually held on the anniversary of the Jan. 22, 1973, Supreme Court decision, but it was pushed back this year because of Trump's inauguration.
Kellyanne Conway, one of Trump's top advisers, also spoke, telling marchers that Pence and Trump "stand here with you. ... their decisive actions as president and vice president will further this cause."
Republican majorities in both chambers of Congress vow to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which provided more than a third of the nation's abortions in 2014. They also hope to ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Trump has pledged to sign both measures if they reach his desk.
Top Photo: Vice President Mike Pence pauses while speaking at the March for Life on the National Mall in Washington, Friday, Jan. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)