Washington, D.C. | Mike Pence became the first U.S. vice president to ever appear at the annual March for Life when he addressed thousands assembled for the event Jan. 27. Pence, a self-described “evangelical Catholic,” told pro-life activists assembled in Washington that “life is winning again in America.”
“We have come to an historic moment in the cause for life, and we must meet this moment with respect and compassion for every American,” said Pence, a former governor of Indiana, at a pre-march rally at the Washington Monument. No U.S. president has ever appeared in person at the march in its 44-year history.
“[A]s it is written, ‘Let your gentleness be evident to all,’” he said, quoting Philippians 4:5. “Let this movement be known for love, not anger. Let this movement be known for compassion, not confrontation….I believe that we will continue to win the hearts and minds of the rising generation if our hearts first break for young mothers and their unborn children, and if we, each of us, do all we can to meet them where they are with generosity, not judgment.”
Pence’s presence at the march was significant to many pro-life leaders because it seemed to symbolize the new administration’s commitment to pro-life issues.
President Trump signed an executive order Jan. 23 to reinstate a ban on federal funds for organizations that provide and promote abortions overseas. The next day, the House of Representatives passed a measure that, if approved by the Senate, would enact a permanent, government-wide ban on federal funding for abortions.
Pence said Trump asked him to speak at the March for Life, The Washington Post reported. He also said the President “stands for the right to life.”
The march coincided with the second-annual Evangelicals for Life conference, co-sponsored by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. The conference included an opportunity for attenders to join the March for Life. ERLC President Russell Moore urged more evangelical Christians to participate in the event.
“We should march to show that every life has dignity and also that Jesus offers forgiveness for every sin, freely offered to everyone, no matter what he or she has done.”
– Reporting by Baptist Press