US Anti-Abortion Activists Rally in Washington DC



Organisers expected thousands of people to join the event, held each year to mark the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision legalising abortion.

Vice-President Mike Pence told them: “Life is winning again in America”.

It comes less than a week after a large protest against Mr Trump was held in the nation’s capital city.

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An estimated 500,000 people protested for women’s rights last Saturday – including many supporters of abortion rights – at the Women’s March.

The vice-president is the first president or vice-president to attend the rally.

Former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W Bush have also addressed the crowds in the past, but over the phone.

As governor of Indiana, Mr Pence signed some of the most restrictive laws designed to prohibiting the procedure. He is the first sitting vice-president to speak to the March.

Senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway also address the crowd.

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Mrs Conway became the first woman to manage a successful presidential campaign when she helped lead Donald Trump to victory in November.

‘Their moment’ – Rajini Vaidyanathan, BBC News, Washington

Exactly one week after he was sworn into office, Mike Pence spoke to cheering crowds who had gathered from across the United States.

As governor of Indiana he introduced some of the country’s strictest abortion laws. Now he and the crowd hope his run will continue in the White House.

The Pro-life movement has always had a voice in the US, but the victory of Donald Trump has emboldened them. Many of the people I met were young college students, who told me their goal was to make abortion “unthinkable” and ultimately “illegal”.

The crowds were smaller than those attending last week’s Women’s March, but the mood was perhaps more buoyant. They have an anti-abortion president, who is promising tough action on abortion. For them, this is their moment.

Anti-abortion activists have been energised by the Republicans gaining control over the White House and Senate in November’s election.

Mr Trump has in the past expressed support for a woman’s right to have an abortion, but during the campaign announced that his views on the subject “have evolved”.

He told an interviewer that he favoured “some form of punishment” for women who have abortions, but changed his position only hours later.

The rally comes days before Mr Trump announces his nominee for Supreme Court justice.

The Republican president has submitted a written vow to abortion opponents, promising to appoint a judge that is against the procedure.

He has also promised to sign a national ban on abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy, activists say.


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