President Trump hasn’t always identified as anti-abortion, but participants of the annual March for Life are giving him a chance to take action.

Trump spoke in favor of choice in 1999, and since then, he has changed his stance to anti-abortion. During his campaign, he clarified in a Washington Examiner op-ed that he opposes abortion with some exceptions.

A few days into the new administration, he solidified this stance. Trump’s first executive order on abortion, banning United States funding for international abortion-providing organizations, has pleased pro-lifers.

Kathy Wood of Versailles, Ohio has “no complaints” so far about Trump’s actions on abortion so far. “He wasn’t my choice for president, but I always want to give him a chance. So far, I’m okay,” she said Friday during the March for Life.

“I think it’s part of all this country’s rebuilding, and part of rebuilding this country is rebuilding morality,” added Mike Re of Cincinnati, Ohio.

But supporters have different views of what anti-abortion means.

Julie Smith of Brandon, Fla., sees the anti-abortion cause as anything related to the dignity of life. That includes caring for refugees and opposing the death penalty. She did not comment on Trump’s stance on anti-abortion issues. “He’s only been president for a week. I don’t think that would be a fair assessment,” she said.

Participants said Trump’s selection of Mike Pence as vice president has helped his credibility. Pence, a long-time March for Life participant, gave a speech at this year’s march. Kellyanne Conway, a counselor to Trump, also spoke on behalf of the administration.

“I was very pleased. Before that, I was really gun-shy of voting for [Trump]. Pence was the one that made me determined to go that way,” said Wood.

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Pence became the first vice president and highest-ranking official to address the March for Life.

Pro-lifers agree the ultimate goal is overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, but they have further ideas for action.

Mike Re hopes the administration will sign into law a permanent Hyde Amendment, a bill the House passed Tuesday. The 1976 law restricts use of federal funds to pay for abortion through Medicaid. “If they’re claiming they’re going to help the women and provide healthcare for them, they should be made to do it,” he said.

Wood said, “I just think they should be treated the same as the pro-life clinics, that their supporters support them, and the government stays out of it.”

Supporters are confident that Trump’s selection for the Supreme Court would help to overturn Roe v. Wade, although it would likely take two conservative appointments to do so. Pence told participants at the March for Life that Trump’s nominee would be anti-abortion.

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The annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., is the nation’s largest demonstration against abortion.

Emily Leayman (@EmilyLeayman) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner’s Beltway Confidential blog. Previously, she was an intern at the Washington Examiner.If you would like to write an op-ed for the Washington Examiner, please read our guidelines on submissions here.

Trump signs national security orders, critics cry 'Holocaust!'

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President Trump on Friday signed two national security-related executive actions on Friday, while attending the swearing-in ceremony for Defense Secretary James Mattis, one relatively uncontroversial and another that has opponents bringing up the Holocaust.

One action is an executive memorandum focused on rebuilding the military, something Trump has frequently promised to do.

The other is an executive order aimed at stepping up screening measures for people entering the country from areas besieged by terrorism. Trump has repeatedly called on the government to implement “extreme vetting” with individuals entering the U.S. from terror-filled insecure regions.

By Sarah Westwood

01/27/17 4:41 PM

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