At today’s March for Life, anti-choice activists gathered at the National Mall were treated to short speeches from Vice President Pence and President Trump, which were livestreamed from just down the street in the Rose Garden. Trump told the marchers that he was “really proud to be the first president to stand with you here at the White House” and anti-choice activists hailed the speech as an historic first. It was a subtle distinction—Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush had addressed marches via telephone—but the White House and its allies took the opportunity to insist that Trump has already become “the most pro-life president” in American history.
Trump boasted to the marchers of his accomplishments on behalf of their movement, including reinstating and expanding the Mexico City policy, issuing a fairly meaningless executive order on “religious liberty” protections and, just this week, proposing a new Health and Human Services rule allowing expanded religious exemptions for health care providers and another making it easier for states to pull Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood. Trump also urged the Senate to pass a House-passed 20-week abortion ban, which he promised anti-choice groups during his campaign that he would sign. And, of course, he couldn’t resist taking some time to talk about how under his presidency “our economy is perhaps the best it’s ever been.”
Pence, introducing Trump, said that the anti-choice movement was responsible for electing Trump, who is “the most pro-life president in American history.” House Speaker Paul Ryan, who showed up in person at the march to speak asked the activists to “thank God for giving us a pro-life president back in the White House.”
Speaking on “Fox & Friends” this morning, top Trump evangelical advisor Robert Jeffress praised Trump for speaking at the march, along with “packing the federal courts with pro-life judges” and “fighting to defund Planned Parenthood,” concluding, “It is not hyperbole to say President Trump has become the most pro-life president in U.S. history.”
During Trump’s speech, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also tweeted out the claim:
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) January 19, 2018
Other anti-choice activists including Penny Nance have previously claimed that Trump is the “most pro-life president” in history.
UPDATE: This post has been updated to clarify that previous presidents had addressed the March for Life via telephone.