President Donald Trump is set to become the first sitting commander in chief to address the March for Life rally via satellite Friday.
Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, it should be noted, both addressed rallygoers by telephone in 1987 and 2008, respectively, Politico reported. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced Trump’s participation Wednesday:
.@PressSec: "On Friday, we're excited to announce, that the president will become the first sitting president to address the March for Life from the White House LIVE via satellite." pic.twitter.com/ypI7Np2SjN
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) January 17, 2018
The annual event, held in Washington, D.C., since 1974, protests the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v. Wade, which paved the way for unfettered abortion access across the United States. The decision was handed down in 1973 by then-Justice Harry Blackmun.
Trump will deliver his message to March for Life attendees from the White House, Sanders said.
Trump Has Evolved on Abortion
The president has undergone quite the transition when it comes to abortion. In 1999, Trump said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he was “very pro-choice,” though he noted he “hate[s] everything about” abortion.
“I am pro-choice in every respect, and as far as it goes, I just hate it,” he said.
But that perspective changed, The Washington Post reported, sometime between 1999 and 2011. During a presidential debate in 2015, Trump explained the catalyst for his change of heart:
“What happened is friends of mine years ago were going to have a child, and it was going to be aborted. And it wasn’t aborted. And that child today is a total superstar, a great, great child. And I saw that. And I saw other instances.”
Then during a 2016 interview with then-Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren, Trump said he is “pro-life, period.”
Trump told Van Susteren he is now pro-life, barring complications with the life of the mother, or instances of rape or incest. At the time, he likened his perspective on abortion to Reagan’s.