- The Washington Times - Friday, January 27, 2017

Mike Pence, the first sitting vice president to speak at the annual March for Life, told a crowd of hundreds of thousands on Friday that “life is winning again in America.”

Mr. Pence said the pro-life movement has had an uphill battle since the U.S. Supreme Court created a constitutional right to abortion in 1973 — but the election of President Trump is a sign that the tide has turned.

“Today, three generations hence, because of all of you, and the many thousands who stand with us in marches like this all across the nation, life is winning again in America,” the vice president said. “That is evident in the election of pro-life majorities in the Congress of the United States of America. But it is no more evident in any way than in the historic election of a president who stands for a stronger America, a more prosperous America and a president I proudly say stands for life, President Donald Trump.”

Speaking in the shadow of the Washington Monument, Mr. Pence said the president “actually asked me to be here with you today.”

“He asked me to thank you for your support, for your stand for life and for your compassion for the women and children of America,” the vice president said.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway kicked off the march by reassuring the crowd of Mr. Trump’s commitment to the pro-life movement.

She said the president’s earliest actions in office already show his willingness to “further this conversation and this cause.”

“So at the March for Life, allow me to make it very clear: We hear you, we see you, we respect you, and we look forward to working with you,” Ms. Conway said. “And yes, we march, we walk, we run, and we endeavor forward with you.

“This is a time of incredible promise for the pro-life, pro-adoption movement,” she said.

On his first day in office, Mr. Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy, which prohibits federal funds from going to international organizations that promote and perform abortions overseas.

Ms. Conway said public opinion is shifting decisively against permissive abortion policies.

She said the human nature of the unborn has been illuminated by scientific progress — but was always evident in the experience of everyday American families.

“Look at a sonogram. Meet a thriving toddler who was born at 24 weeks, and who, with proper medical intervention, goes on to have a long and healthy life,” she said. “Speak to the many women who have faced challenges becoming and remaining pregnant and then welcomed a miracle. Talk to the couples who are now parents because adoption, not abortion, was the best choice.”

The March for Life gathers in Washington, D.C., every year on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Continuing his “life is winning” theme, Mr. Pence said the pro-life cause is gaining traction due to scientific advancements revealing the human nature of the unborn, the generosity of families who adopt unwanted children and the sacrifices of those who volunteer at crisis pregnancy centers.

“In a word, life is winning in America because of all of you,” he said.

The vice president encouraged the pro-life movement to press on, but to do so with gentleness, compassion and acceptance. His words provided a stark contrast with the confrontational rhetoric of last week’s Women’s March on Washington, which kicked out several feminist groups that had partnered with the march after realizing they were pro-life.

“So I urge you to press on,” Mr. Pence said. “But as it is written, let your gentleness be evident to all. Let this movement be known for love, not anger. Let this movement be known for compassion, not confrontation.”

Mr. Pence said the pro-life movement will continue to succeed only “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.”

“To heal our land and restore a culture of life, we must continue to be a movement that embraces all, cares for all and shows respect for the dignity and worth of every person,” he said.

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

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