(CNSNews.com) – Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to speak at tomorrow’s March for Life, the first time in the march’s 44-year history that a sitting vice president will address the hundreds of thousands of marchers who have come to Washington, D.C. every year since 1974 to protest the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.
The New York Times was the first to report that Pence will be the highest-ranking White House official to speak at the march, although Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush both addressed the marchers remotely.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer hinted at Pence's appearance when he told reporters on Tuesday that “obviously we’re going to have heavy administration presence there.”
The March for Life's agenda also listed a "suprise VIP Guest TBA."
Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway is also scheduled to address the nation's largest annual civil rights demonstration.
During the vice-presidential debate with Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) last October, Pence said that "for me, the sanctity of life proceeds out of the belief... where God says 'before you were formed in the womb, I knew you'."
He also attacked the practice of partial birth abortion, saying that "the very idea that a child that is almost born into the world could still have their life taken from them is just anathema to me."
Last year as governor of Indiana, Pence signed one of the nation’s most restrictive abortion bills, which included a provision that would hold a doctor liable for aborting a baby based solely on objections to its “race, color, sex, disability, national origin, or ancestry.” It also required that miscarried or aborted fetuses be either buried or cremated.
“Throughout my public career, I have stood for the sanctity of life,” Pence said in his March 24, 2016 signing statement. “HEA 1337 is a comprehensive pro-life measure that affirms the value of all human life.”
However, a federal judge struck down the law last June, ruling that it infringed on women’s right to choose abortion.
While he served in Congress, Pence also led efforts to defund Planned Parenthood.
Other speakers scheduled to address Friday’s March for Life include New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Rep. Mia Love (R-UT), Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), and former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson,
The annual March for Life was founded in 1974 on the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision by the late Nellie Gray, a Labor Dept. lawyer turned pro-life activist who once told The Washington Post: “You establish that it is wrong to kill an innocent human being and you stick with it.”