A University of Mary student has been invited to a reception with Vice President Mike Pence prior to the nation's largest anti-abortion march on Friday.
Katrina Gallic, a marketing senior at the university, was invited to the reception before the March for Life last year, but she was unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict. Instead, last year, Gallic gave a speech about the movement on behalf of the school, which had been selected to lead the march, near the Supreme Court and the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
The annual March for Life is held to commemorate the Roe vs. Wade decision of 1973, which legalized abortion. Each year, thousands of people from high schools, colleges and churches nationwide drive and fly in for the event.
Abortion opponents have reveled in President Trump's appointment, and many thousands turned out for the march last year after he was sworn in. Some anti-abortion leaders have called Trump, who has previously vowed to overturn Roe vs. Wade, a "hero" of the pro-life movement.
Trump is expected to give a speech remotely via satellite at Friday's rally, according to media reports.
"To have the support of the White House is sort of new for the pro-life movement," Gallic said by phone Wednesday, after getting off a plane in Washington, D.C.
Gallic was raised in a large, pro-life family in New Jersey. She attended one March for Life when she was younger, and she and her family have gone to an abortion clinic to pray. This will be the fourth march she has attended.
Gallic said she's excited and honored to be invited to the pre-March for Life reception again this year.
"The goal of it is show what a culture that loves life looks like, to bring together some of the most powerful and the most influential pro-life leaders for the march and to really show the world what this looks like," Gallic said, adding that marchers also "show support to people who’ve had personal experiences with abortion."
More than 600 people from North Dakota — 200 from the University of Mary, including university president Monsignor James Shea — piled into charter buses early Wednesday morning for the nearly 30-hour trip.
The March for Life will begin 11:30 a.m. Friday at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.