Thousands Gather for 44th Annual March for Life to Protest Legalization of Abortion

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WASHINGTON D.C.  --  On Friday, thousands of people protest the legalization of abortion rights at the 44th annual March for Life.

Vice President Mike Pence made history at the march as the first sitting vice president to speak at the event.

NBC's Edward Lawrence reported on this year's march.

"This administration will work with Congress to end taxpayer funding of abortion and abortion providers," said Vice President Pence.

Thousands of people walked from the Washington Monument to the Supreme Court Building in an effort to voice their opinions against abortion.

"Mostly because my mom had me when she was 17 and in a bad situation. So I'm here for that," said Michelle Fields, who participated in the march.

Advocates are encouraged that President Donald Trump expressed support for the anti-abortion cause. The president tweeted," The #MarchForLife is so important. To all of you marching --- you have my full support!"

"We are just trying to stand up for the orphans, and we are trying to stand up for the unborn, and we're trying to stand up for life. And we're going to do it in a positive way," said Sarah Wilkinson.

Wilkinson brought her adopted daughter Destiny to add their voices.

Dave Allard traveled by bus 11 hours from Pontiac, Michigan, with 47 students from his school.

He thinks any of the judges on the president's short list for the Supreme Court will help their cause.

"We have people who could be open to a message that everyone is a person, and that unborn children deserve rights and respect and protection," said Allard.

While these marchers are passionate about their cause, a new Pew Research Center study shows a sharp divide. The study says 59% of Americans believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 37% say it should be illegal.

President Trump says he will make his Supreme Court choice next Thursday.

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst also took the stage at Friday's rally. She is preparing legislation to defund Planned Parenthood.

"We must keep fighting for those who are unable to protect themselves," she said. "So, I am thrilled to announced today that this coming Monday, I will re-introduce that critical legislation to re-direct Planned Parenthood funding--we will re-direct Planned Parenthood funding to other eligible women's health care providers."

The March for Life began in 1974, one year after the Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion.