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President Trump to take stage at annual March for Life event

WASHINGTON (AP) – Donald Trump will become the first sitting president to address the March for Life when he takes the stage Friday at the annual anti-abortion gathering in the nation’s capital.

As he heads into the 2020 election, the move is Trump’s latest nod to the white evangelical voters who have proven to be among his most loyal backers. And it makes clear that Trump is counting on the support of his base of conservative activists to help bring him across the finish line.

Past presidents who opposed abortion, including Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, steered clear of personally attending the march to avoid being too closely associated with demonstrators eager to outlaw the procedure.

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith released a statement on the March for Life event.

@SenHydeSmith: THANK YOU to all of my fellow Mississippians and Americans who are passionately celebrating life during the 47th National #MarchForLife today. And thank you @realdonaldtrump for being the first POTUS to speak at the rally! #ProLifeIsProWomen https://twitter.com/i/status/1220724290062114823