On Friday afternoon, as his impeachment trial continues just blocks away, Donald Trump will become the first president in U.S. history to address the March for Life anti-choice rally in Washington:
CBS News reports: Mr. Trump has in the past called himself “very pro-choice,” but since becoming president has identified as “pro-life” and pushed policies that support efforts to limit abortion. … On the campaign trail in March 2016, Mr. Trump even said that “there has to be some form of punishment” for women who receive abortions if the procedure were to become illegal, an idea he hasn’t revisited since winning the election, after the idea was criticized even by conservatives.
More from Reuters: Thousands of protesters from around the country were expected to converge in the nation’s capital for the event, which began in 1973 after the U.S. Supreme Court, in its Roe v. Wade decision, established a woman’s constitutional right to get an abortion. … Even though he had declared support for abortion rights years earlier, Trump vowed during his 2016 campaign to appoint Supreme Court justices he believed would overturn Roe. Since his election, he has appointed two justices to the court, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, cementing the court’s 5-4 conservative majority.
Real Clear Politics reports: The address will be historic but also slightly ironic: A thrice-married politician from New York is now widely considered by many on the religious right to be the most pro-life executive in history. What’s more, according to Family Research Council head Tony Perkins, Trump “has forever changed the standard by which Republican presidents will be evaluated.” … What was greeted with praise on the right was largely condemned on the left. Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, publicly panned the president’s scheduled March for Life speech, calling it “a desperate attempt to divert attention from his criminal presidency and fire up his radical base.”
Back in 2017, Trump became the first sitting president to address the Value Voters Summit, the annual conference of the Family Research Council, an anti-LGBTQ hate group.
In related news, the Trump administration on Friday warned California that the state will lose federal funding if it continues to require health insurance plans to provide abortion coverage.
The March for Life beings at 12:15 p.m. Eastern, and you can watch Trump’s remarks below.