US vice president Mike Pence told tens of thousands of people gathered at the March for Life rally last weekend that “Life is winning in America, and today is a celebration of that progress”.

Mr Pence is the highest-ranking government official ever to address the rally in person – Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush and George W Bush had spoken to the crowd by phone. Previously he has joined the march as a participant and addressed it as a congressman.

“More than 240 years ago, our founders declared these truths to be self-evident – that we are, all of us, endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights and that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” he said.

“Forty-four years ago, our Supreme Court turned away from the first of these timeless ideals, but today, generations hence – because of all of you and the many thousands who stand with us in rallies across this country – life is winning again in America.”

Mr Pence said that President Donald Trump had asked him to address the rally. “He asked me to thank you for your support, for your stand for life and your compassion for the women and children of America,” he said.

“Our president is a man with broad shoulders, a big heart,” Mr Pence added, to loud cheers, before saying: “His vision, his energy, his optimism are boundless, and I know he will make America great again.”

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