• Trump is first sitting president to participate in the March for Life
  • The president said he has taken "historic action" to limit abortion rights, including denying federal funds to Planned Parenthood and NGOs that support or provide abortion services
  • Trump's reelection committee announced the formation of Pro-Life Voices for Trump

Donald Trump on Friday became the first sitting U.S. president to participate attend the annual an anti-abortion March for Life, telling those participating they never have had a stronger advocate in the White House.

“From the first day in office I've taken historic action to support America's families and to protect the unborn,” Trump told thousands of demonstrators at the annual march on the National Mall, which kicks off a three-day event.

In a 10-minute address, Trump said it was a “profound honor” for him to be the first president to attend such a rally and bragged about the anti-abortion judges he has installed. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush addressed the marchers either by phone or video, or sent others to represent them.

The crowd responded to his address, which came as Democrats were wrapping up their impeachment case before the Senate, with chants of “four more years.”

“We are fighting for women and babies,” Frances Floresca, 23, a recent graduate of the University of Utah, told USA Today. “We’re standing for the women who need to be strong so they don’t get an abortion.”

Trump’s appearance was seen as an effort to keep his conservative evangelical Christian base strongly behind him. He ticked off a list of things he has done to advance efforts to eliminate abortion rights and criticized Democrats for their stance on the issue.

“Democrats have embraced the most radical and extreme positions taken and seen in this country for years and decades or you could even say for centuries,” he said.

Trump noted he has implemented many of the changes sought by anti-abortion forces, including denial of federal funds to Planned Parenthood and a ban on U.S. foreign aide to nongovernmental organizations that support abortion services.

“We’ve taken decisive action to protect religious liberty,” Trump said.

“Religious liberty has been under attack all over the world, and frankly very strongly attacked in our nation. … But we are stopping it.”

The U.S. Supreme Court, which legalized abortion in the 1973 in the Roe v. Wade decision, is scheduled to take up abortion again this year, with cases involving an administration rule allowing employers with religious objections to deny health insurance coverage for contraception and a Texas ruling that makes it harder to get an abortion.

After the rally, Trump’s reelection committee announced the formation of Pro-Life Voices for Trump, dedicated to recruiting anti-abortion Americans to work for the president’s campaign.