Trump sends support to anti-abortion activists at March for Life
By Katharine Jackson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump spoke in a pre-recorded video to thousands of anti-abortion activists in Washington on Friday for the 46th March for Life, vowing to veto any legislation that 'weakens the protection of human life.' The event is the largest annual gathering in the United States of opponents of the Supreme Court's 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade.
By Katharine Jackson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump spoke in a pre-recorded video to thousands of anti-abortion activists in Washington on Friday for the 46th March for Life, vowing to veto any legislation that "weakens the protection of human life."
The event is the largest annual gathering in the United States of opponents of the Supreme Court's 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade. That ruling found that certain state laws outlawing abortion were an unconstitutional violation of a woman's right to privacy, effectively legalizing abortion nationwide.
"As president, I will always defend the first right in our Declaration of Independence, the right to life," Trump said in remarks recorded in the Oval Office, a right he said extended to "unborn children."
Vice President Mike Pence appeared onstage at the rally to introduce the video, calling Trump, who before entering politics said he supported abortion access, "the most pro-life president in American history."
During his 2016 campaign, Trump vowed to appoint Supreme Court justices he believed would overturn Roe. He has since appointed two justices to the court, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, cementing the court's 6-3 conservative-leaning majority.
Since the heated Senate confirmation hearings for Kavanaugh, the court has steered clear of some cases on volatile social issues involving abortion.
Marchers held signs saying "Pray to End Abortion" and calling for the defunding Planned Parenthood, a national healthcare provider that provides abortions. "My unexpected pregnancy is now 30!" read another sign.
One marcher said she had an abortion when she was 15 but had been opposed to abortion ever since the birth of her first daughter.
"Every child is human even in utero and they deserve the right to life," Sheila, a 56-year-old Maryland resident, said in an interview, declining to give her last name because of the political divisiveness of the subject.
Speakers at this year's rally include Congressman Dan Lipinski, a Democrat, and Congressman Chris Smith, a Republican.
Supporters of abortion access say bans infringe on women's rights and health, and lead to greater rates of injury and death among pregnant women.
About half of U.S. adults say abortion should be legal, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll last year, with about 68 percent of Democrats supporting abortion access compared to about 31 percent of Republicans.
(Additional reporting and writing by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Scott Malone, Bill Berkrot and Tom Brown)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.