#MarchForLife emboldened by Pence, Conway, global gag order — and Trump's tweets
Anti-abortion protesters congregated in Washington, D.C., for the #MarchForLife rally on Friday, promoted as "the world’s largest annual pro-life demonstration."
The list of speakers addressing and supporting the protesters include two key figures in President Donald Trump's retinue: White House adviser Kellyanne Conway and Vice President Mike Pence, sending a clear message to advocates on both sides of the hotly contested issue of abortion rights.
The message was made loud and clear Friday morning, when Trump said via Twitter that he championed the protesters.
"The #MarchForLife is so important," he wrote. "To all of you marching — you have my full support."
March for Life's official Facebook and Instagram accounts published videos of the gathering, which appeared to include large numbers of people.
The theme and tone of the rally is very much at odds with the global Women's March, which took place less than a week earlier, when millions of people protested on Saturday to defend women's reproductive rights, among other civil rights, under the new administration.
Meanwhile, March for Life protesters are saying they feel heard like never before.
In his first few days in office, Trump showed support for the organization's agenda by signing the highly controversial Mexico City policy executive order, reinstating a global gag order denying federal funds to any organization which offers information about and provides abortions.
"With the administration that has promised pro-life policies being enacted, there’s just a lot of hope and a lot of enthusiasm," March for Life president Jeanne Mancini told USA Today.
"We've seen one executive order after the other really not protecting the inherent dignity of the human person from conception to natural death," she added. "It's a breath of relief, a breath fresh air, for us to now have people who are wanting to forward pro-life policies."
After being elected, Trump also reiterated his campaign commitment to nominate an anti-abortion Supreme Court justice, as part of a larger effort to overturn the landmark decision Roe v. Wade, which protects a woman's right to abortion.
March for Life Education and Defense Fund, which organized the march, did not respond to a request for comment by the time of this article's publication.