Thousands of antiabortion protesters marched in Washington DC on Friday, and for the first time in history, a sitting vice president addressed the crowd. Speaking to the self-described March For Life demonstrators, Mike Pence shared an ominous message for the future of reproductive rights (spoiler: he's hopeful that they're about to get a whole lot more restricted).
Pence has supported the antiabortion movement throughout his career, so his position is not surprising. However, his assertion that antiabortion activists are "winning" isn't something we're used to hearing from American leaders. "Life is winning again in America," he told the crowd before assuring them that President Donald Trump shares his stance.
"I'm truly grateful for Donald Trump's strong commitment to the sanctity of life," Pence said. "He understands the moral imperative of advancing the cause of life, and we've spoken of it many times."
In contrast to his opinion of the Women's March, Trump also tweeted his support for the antiabortion march; he described the demonstration as "important" and said the protest had his "full support."
The #MarchForLife is so important. To all of you marching --- you have my full support!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2017
Trump is expected to name a Supreme Court justice next week, and Pence confirmed that the president will nominate a judge who will oppose abortion rights. Pence also reiterated that the new administration will prohibit federal funds from providing abortions.
Since the Hyde Amendment already forbids Medicaid from covering abortions, it's likely Pence means that the government will not aid Planned Parenthood, which provides abortions. Paul Ryan has already announced the Republican-held Congress's intention to defund Planned Parenthood, despite the fact that the majority of Americans support federal funding of the organization.