There are moments in life when you know you are witnessing history unfold. My first such recollection was 34 years ago today. I recall vividly when my elementary school principal came over the intercom and told us the Space Shuttle Challenger had exploded just after takeoff. A few years later, I watched Operation Desert Storm unfold from the T.V. in my living room. And, of course, none of us will forget watching the twin towers fall on 9-11.
It’s more difficult to recall positive history-making moments of my lifetime, but as of last Friday, there is one such event I am certain never to forget: when President Donald J. Trump addressed the national March for Life rally in Washington, D.C.
On Jan. 24, 2020, President Trump became the first sitting U.S. president ever to deliver a speech at the March for Life. And to my amazement, I stood beside him. More specifically, I was one of 19 women asked to stand with the president as he delivered his historic speech to the 47th annual March for Life.
This year’s march honored the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote in 1920. Many suffragist leaders were pro-life; they did not believe abortion to be beneficial to women. These women included Susan B. Anthony and Alice Paul, who considered abortion the “ultimate exploitation of women.” It was humbling to remember these courageous female pioneers as I stood there — women who would no doubt smile and cheer at the sight of their sisters standing on that stage.
As I stood feet from the president, overlooking tens of thousands of pro-life men, women and children (estimates are 60,000 to 70,000 attended the rally, and a total of 350,000 joined the march itself), I was overwhelmed. I couldn’t see the end of the crowd, nor could I imagine the end to what this would mean to pro-life Americans. To say the president’s speech galvanized the pro-life community would be an understatement. It electrified us, gave us a shot in the arm unlike any other pro-life address could.
President Trump encouraged us with statements including “Young people are the heart of the March for Life — and it is your generation that is making America a pro-family, pro-life nation,” and made powerful declarations like “Unborn children have never had a stronger defender in the White House.” I personally appreciated his words to women and mothers: “Today, millions of extraordinary women across America are using the power of their votes to fight for the first right in the Declaration of Independence — the Right to Life,” and “To all of the moms here today: we celebrate you and we declare that mothers are heroes.”
Undergirding his strong rhetoric were many examples of his commitment to pro-life policies. President Trump recounted his Executive Order to reinstate and expand the Mexico City Policy, his support of the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, his commitment to veto anti-life legislation, to protect faith-based adoption agencies and the rights of pro-life college students to speak freely. One of the loudest applause lines came when he recalled his appointment of 187 federal judges, including two Supreme Court justices.
The president did not simply “give a pro-life speech.” He delivered one of — if not the — strongest pro-life speeches I’ve ever heard. Moreover, his speech was God-honoring, including lines like “When we see the image of a baby in the womb, we glimpse the majesty of God’s creation,” and reminding us of Psalm 139, that “each person is wonderfully made.” Perhaps strongest of all was his concluding remark: “Every human soul is divine, and every human life — born and unborn — is made in the holy image of Almighty God.”
On the slight chance that this article makes it to the president, I would like him to know how profoundly grateful I was, and will always be, to have stood with him as he boldly and unashamedly proclaimed the unalienable right to life and the inherent dignity and value of every human life. It was an honor I will never forget, and a historic moment for which millions of Americans will forever be thankful.
About the Author
Amanda Banks serves as the Director of External Relations for the Family Policy Alliance.