Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Vice President Mike Pence will speak at the March for Life, an annual anti-abortion protest Friday on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., kicking off what organizers say could be a historic year for people opposed to abortion.
Pence's appearance at the March for Life is considered historic as he will be the first president or vice president to speak at the event, being held for the 44th time.
White House Senior Counselor Kellyanne Conway will also speak, in addition to Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, Utah Rep. Mia Love and New Jersey Rep. Christopher Smith, before the march progresses from the Mall to the U.S. Supreme Court.
This year's event is expected to be larger than it has been in the past, organizers say, buoyed at least partially by the exclusion of abortion opponents from last week's Women's March.
A larger event is also expected this year because opponents of abortion expect a president in the White House who has pledged to work against access to abortion, including a national ban on abortion after the 20th week of pregnancy, and to further goals such as defunding agencies in and out of the United States involved with abortion services and select an anti-abortion nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.
While the organizers invited both President Donald Trump and Vice President Pence, they did not expect either to actually show up to give a speech. Previously, President Ronald Reagan addressed the crowd on video in 1988, and in 2008 President George W. Bush delivered a greeting over the phone.