Watch: Thousands gather for 44th annual March for Life

Posted at 7:53 AM, Jan 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-27 15:52:21-05

Vice President Mike Pence will address Friday’s March for Life in person, a first for a sitting vice president in the event’s 43-year history.

“Honored to meet with Pro-Life leaders in my office tonight. Just told them I look forward to addressing National @March_for_Life on Friday,” Pence said in a tweet Thursday night.

Marc Lotter, a spokesman for the vice president, said Pence would appear in person.

“We are very pleased to welcome Vice President Mike Pence to speak at this year’s March for Life. 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,” Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, said in a statement.

The White House said Friday that President Donald Trump planned to call in remarks to the rally but would not attend in person.

Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush also addressed the event via telephone but did not attend.

Pence is an ardent opponent of abortion and signed some of the most restrictive abortion legislation into law while serving as governor of Indiana.

“Vice President 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,” Mancini said.

The anti-abortion march is held in Washington and has taken place every year since 1974. Since the Supreme Court ruled abortion legal in the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, marchers have descended upon Washington to protest the ruling.