Speaking on Friday at the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., Vice President Mike Pence reaffirmed President Donald Trump‘s commitment to restricting access to abortion. Pence was the first-ever vice president to ever speak at the march in its 44-year history.
Pence, who passed anti-abortion legislation during his time as governor of Indiana, opened to the crowd by quoting the Founding Fathers—more specifically, the Declaration of Independence—and their pledge of, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” March attendees cheered at his mention of “life” throughout the few minutes he spoke.
Discussing Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the U.S., Pence said the court “turned away from these timeless ideals” of anti-abortion. But now, three decades later, “life is winning in America,” he said, a rallying phrase he repeated.
Pence solidified Trump’s anti-abortion stance by saying the administration will commit to ending taxpayer funding of abortion and abortion providers. He also repeated Trump’s plan to announce his Supreme Court pick—who “will uphold the God-given liberties enshrined in our Constitution”—next week.
Trump himself, however, has already made his commitment to anti-abortion policies clear. On Monday, just one day after Roe v. Wade‘s 44th anniversary, he reissued the global gag rule, which blocks government funding to international NGOs that provide abortion as an option for reproductive health.
Presidential advisor KellyAnne Conway also spoke to March for Life attendees, saying that the anti-abortion movement embraces women with unplanned pregnancies. Despite this, experts say that policies that restrict abortion access lead to unsafe, illegal abortions, with 68,000 women dying from unsafe abortions every year.