WASHINGTON — Weeks of speculation were confirmed on Thursday, when the White House verified that Vice President Mike Pence will speak at the national March for Life on Jan. 27.
According to The New York Times, a senior White House official confirmed the news the day before the march, which is generally held close to the Jan. 22 anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that mandated legal abortion nationwide.
The presence of a sitting vice president is a major boost for the annual pro-life march, which regularly sees hundreds of thousands of attendees from across the country, but generally receives minimal coverage in major media outlets. It is annually broadcast live on EWTN.
Other speakers at this year’s rally and march include Kellyanne Conway, senior counselor to President Donald Trump; Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York; Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson; and former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson.
Pence, who formerly served as governor of Indiana, has long been known for his pro-life stance. During the vice-presidential debate, he stressed that his Christian faith hinges upon upholding the “sanctity of life.”
“It all for me begins with cherishing the dignity, the worth, the value of every human life,” Pence said on the debate stage. “For me, the sanctity of life proceeds out of the belief of that ancient principle — where God says: ‘Before you were formed in the womb, I knew you.’”
He harshly criticized Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine for their support of abortion.
“The very idea that a child that is almost born into the world could still have their life taken from them is just anathema to me,” he said.
The first week of the new presidential administration has included two major victories for the pro-life movement. On Monday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order restoring the Mexico City Policy, which states that foreign non-governmental organizations may not receive federal funding if they perform or promote abortions as a method of family planning.
In addition, the House of Representatives passed a bill to permanently enshrine in law an annual appropriations provision that bars federal funding of abortion.
Next week, Trump is expected to announce his pick for Supreme Court justice. He has promised to pick a pro-life replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia, who died last year.