- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 26, 2017

The March for Life announced on its eve that Vice President Mike Pence will speak to hundreds of thousands of pro-life activists at a pre-march rally on Friday morning.

Mr. Pence will become the first vice president or president to address the largest pro-life rally in the world in person. Former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush both delivered remarks to the march via telephone.

“We are very pleased to welcome Vice President Mike Pence to speak at this year’s March for Life,” Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, said in a statement. “His appearance marks a historic moment for the pro-life movement as Vice President Pence will be the first Vice President or President to speak at the March for Life.”

She said Mr. Pence has been a “friend and champion of the pro-life cause his entire career.”

“Pro-life leaders, activists, volunteers and marchers will be thrilled to hear from Vice President Pence and are bound to leave the March for Life even more energized than when they came,” she said.

Mr. Pence is credited with leading the recent GOP effort to defund Planned Parenthood. He sponsored the first bill to divest taxpayer dollars form the nation’s largest abortion provider in 2007 and, in 2011, his amendment doing the same was included in a bill to repeal Obamacare that passed the House.

He also amassed a sterling pro-life record while governor of Indiana, including by signing a bill prohibiting abortions targeting disabled children.

Planned Parenthood called Mr. Pence the “Most Extreme Lawmaker of the 21st Century” during the presidential campaign.

Ms. Mancini said he is emblematic of the 2017 March for Life’s theme, the “Power of One.”

“As a former Member of Congress, Governor and now Vice President, Mr. Pence has demonstrated throughout his entire career how one person can, indeed, make a difference in the ultimate human right — the right to life,” she said.

• Bradford Richardson can be reached at brichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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