The text of the telegram was included in a letter from Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States, sent to Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia.
The message quoted a passage from Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia: "so great is the value of a human life, and so inalienable the right to life of an innocent child growing in the mother's womb, that no alleged right…can justify a decision to terminate that life."
Pope Francis, the message continued, "trusts that this event, in which so many American citizens speak out on behalf of the most defenseless of our brothers and sisters, will contribute to a mobilization of consciences in defense of the right to life and effective measures to ensure its adequate legal protection."
The 44th annual March for Life was held Jan. 27 in Washington, D.C. The march – which routinely draws hundreds of thousands of participants from around the country – is generally held close to the Jan. 22 anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that mandated legal abortion nationwide.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the March for Life this year, marking the first time that a current vice president has attended the event. Pence told the crowds that the pro-life movement is winning, urging them to fight for life with compassion and love.
Other speakers at this year's rally and march include Kellyanne Conway, senior counselor to President Donald Trump; Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York; Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson; and former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson.