WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump, seeking to court evangelical voters, addressed thousands of activists gathered Friday on the National Mall for the nation's largest annual anti-abortion rally.
Trump, who this week revealed his "Pro-Life Voices for Trump" coalition for his 2020 reelection campaign, has strong ties to the anti-abortion community and is the first president to speak onstage at the event. Activists see him as a key ally in delivering policy priorities aimed at limiting abortion that he promised in 2016.
"On behalf of our marchers, I'd like to thank you for your stance and your record," said Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life, as she introduced the president.
The crowd began assembling hours before the event, and a wave of red and blue winter hats boasting the "Make America Great Again" and March for Life logos could be seen on all sides. Near the stage, a supporter danced with a Trump teddy bear, and signs slamming Planned Parenthood and touting "the pro-life generation" were ubiquitous.
"Today as president of the United States, I am truly proud to stand with you," Trump said, while also touting the "tremendous turnout" of the crowd.
Trump ticked off a laundry list of actions he's taken to support abortion opponents since taking office, including restrictions to eligibility for the family planning funding program known as Title X and funding restrictions on nonprofits that support abortion abroad, known as the Mexico City policy.
He also called on Congress to take action to limit abortion late in pregnancy and referenced legislation that Republicans say would protect infants born after attempted abortions.
"The unborn have never had a stronger defender in the White House," he said. "Young people are the heart of the March for Life and it's your generation that is making America the pro-family, pro-life nation."
Guests onstage with Trump included GOP Sens. James Lankford of Oklahoma and Mike Lee of Utah; and Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List.
"Let's go for the win and hear your pro-life voices heard in November," said Dannenfelser, who also co-chairs Trump's new anti-abortion campaign coalition.