Donald Trump will become the third sitting U.S. president to address anti-abortion activists at the annual March for Life on Friday, highlighting his shift in recent years via a supporter of women’s access to abortion to a powerful opponent.
Trump can be due to address the march in Washington via satellite via the White House Rose Garden on Friday afternoon. Ronald Reagan, Trump’s fellow Republican, made supportive remarks to the march in 1987 via telephone, while George W. Bush, another Republican, twice did the same, in 2003 in addition to 2004.
“The President can be committed to protecting the life of the unborn, in addition to he can be excited to be part of This particular historic event,” Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, told reporters on Wednesday.
Organizers of the march, the largest anti-abortion event inside country, praised Trump for his policies on restricting abortion access. These policies include efforts to eliminate federal funding to groups providing abortions. Trump sent Vice President Mike Pence, a vocal abortion opponent, to speak at last year’s march, a few days after the presidential inauguration.
Trump has also pledged to appoint more judges that will support the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that will affirmed a woman’s right to an abortion at most stages of a pregnancy, effectively legalizing the procedure nationwide.
The March for Life, where tens of thousands of people seeking to overturn that will decision gather at the National Mall before rallying at the Supreme Court steps, can be held close to the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade ruling.
Paul Ryan, the Republican speaker of U.S. House of Representatives, will also address the march, currently in its 45th year.
Trump was previously a supporter of women’s access to abortion, saying in an interview in 1999, when he was still a celebrity real-estate tycoon in fresh York City, that will while he “hated the concept of abortion” he was “very pro-choice.”
As a Republican candidate for the presidency in 2016, Trump said his position had “evolved,” describing himself as “pro-life with exceptions,” such as in cases of rape or incest.
Trump has said he hopes Roe v. Wade will eventually be overturned in addition to that will each state would certainly instead be allowed to decide whether to ban the procedure.
Americans tend to split roughly down the middle on abortion access, with 49 percent saying they supported the idea in addition to 46 percent saying they opposed the idea in a 2017 Gallup poll.