U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and senior aide to President Trump, Kellyanne Conway, address the anti-abortion 'March for Life' rally in Washington, DC. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Anti-abortion activists gathered in Washington on Friday ahead of the 44th March for Life, buoyed by President Donald Trump's pledge to restrict the procedure and Vice President Mike Pence's plan to address the marchers. Organizers expect tens of thousands of supporters to converge on the National Mall for the march, which is held each year close to the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion in 1973. Vice President Mike Pence, a Republican and longtime hero of the anti-abortion movement, is due to be the most senior government official ever to speak in person at the rally, organizers said. As governor of Indiana, Pence signed what were seen as some of the nation's strictest abortion laws. Senior Trump aide Kellyanne Conway also spoke at the rally. Rally participants will march from the Mall about 1.5 miles (2 km) to the Supreme Court. The March for Life comes six days after Washington was flooded by hundreds of thousands of anti-Trump protesters, many of them backers of abortion rights. That protest came a day after Trump was sworn in as president. Trump has said Roe v. Wade should be overturned and has vowed to appoint an anti-abortion justice to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last year. He also has pledged to defund Planned Parenthood, which draws the ire of many Republicans because it provides abortions, along with other services. In a speech to Republican lawmakers at a retreat in Philadelphia on Thursday, Trump noted that on Monday he reinstated a national policy banning U.S. aid to non-governmental organizations abroad that provide or "promote" abortion. before Pence.