Mike Pence to address 'March for Life' in person

Mike Pence to address 'March for Life' in person
Posted at 2:11 PM, Jan 26, 2017

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Vice President Mike Pence will address the March for Life event in person on Friday, said Marc Lotter, a spokesman for Pence.

Pence will be the first vice president to ever address the march in person in its 43-year history. Earlier Thursday, the organization said the scheduled appearance of top White House adviser Kellyanne Conway at the event would make her the "highest-ranking White House official to ever speak at the march."

Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush 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.

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

"The March for Life began in Washington, DC, as a small demonstration and rapidly grew to be the largest pro-life event in the world," the march's website reads.

Although the movement is decades old, the anti-abortion effort has picked up steam with the election and Trump's leadership. His first week in office, Trump signed an executive action reversing policy that allowed funding to international non-governmental organizations that perform or promote abortion.

Trump also acknowledged the march during his speech to fellow GOP leaders at the Republican retreat in Philadelphia on Thursday.

Trump's second in command, Vice President Mike Pence, is an opponent of abortion and signed some of the most restrictive abortion legislation into law while governor of Indiana.

Where is it?

The March for Life will kick off with a rally that is scheduled to take place at the Washington Monument shortly before noon on Friday, near the corner of 15th Street and Constitution Ave. Speakers will make remarks around noon and the marchers will begin walking around 1 p.m. ET, according to the website.

The website also notes there will be screening sites for attendees for security purposes. Those screenings will start at 9 a.m.

Marchers who can't be in DC also have the option of participating in local efforts as well. Information on other events can be found here.

Who is going to be there?

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Rep. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey, Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, and Cardinal Timothy Dolan are among the listed speakers. Also scheduled to speak is Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson and top Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, among others, according to the website.

Why are they marching?

The mission is to "provide all Americans with a place to testify to the beauty of life and the dignity of each human person," according to the website.

The group of political leaders and activists gather to "unite and strategize around a common message," the group's mission statement says.

In addition to their usual message, abortion activists are also now looking to Trump as he is set to nominate a new Supreme Court justice in the coming weeks.

In an interview with "60 Minutes," Trump said he would commit to appointing "pro-life" justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade, and send the issue back to the states.

"Then some women won't be able to get an abortion," CBS News' Leslie Stahl said to Trump during the interview.

"Yeah. Well, perhaps they have to go to another state," Trump responded.