WASHINGTON — Vice President Mike Pence will speak on Friday to a gathering of activists on the National Mall, a sign of the movement’s new and growing authority in a government now dominated by Republicans. The organizers for the event, the March for Life, had extended invitations to President Trump and Mr. Pence.
A senior White House official confirmed that Mr. Pence would address the marchers. Mr.
Pence’s appearance will come just a few days before Mr. Trump is expected to reveal his nominee for the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last year. Mr.
Trump has said his pick, like Mr. Scalia, would oppose abortion rights, one of several promises he has made to roll back legal protections for the procedure. Other Republican presidents, including Ronald Reagan and George W.
Bush, have spoken to the march, but remotely. leaders see the Trump administration’s commitment to their cause and the looming Supreme Court nomination battle as a tipping point after eight years of a Democratic administration. The symbolism of hearing from Mr.
Pence and another senior Trump administration official, Kellyanne Conway, at the march is hard to overlook. Mr. Trump eventually won over many reluctant leaders who had chafed at his past support for abortion rights and his history of being a role model for religious conservatives.
Mr. Trump’s pledges to them, which he made in writing before the election, have gone a long way to rebuilding trust. activists say they are among the most detailed and serious pledges a president has made to their cause.
They include a vow to sign a nationwide ban on abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy and a commitment to ensuring that his Supreme Court appointments are against the procedure..