Hillsdale College stu­dents gather at the March for Life.

More than 150 Hillsdale College stu­dents attended the March for Life in Wash­ington, D.C., last weekend, breaking pre­vious records according to Hillsdale College for Life Pres­ident Olivia Manocchio.

The attendees filled three coach busses and left on Thursday night to attend the March on Friday, returning to Hillsdale early Sat­urday morning.

While Pres­ident Donald Trump addressed the rally last year via a video statement, he became the first pres­ident to ever attend the March for Life in person and delivered an address at a pre-march rally.

Despite once being “very pro-choice” by his own admission, Trump told the crowd that “unborn children have never had a stronger defender in the White House.”

Manocchio said pro-life gains in state leg­is­la­tures and federal courts, as well as Trump’s presence at the rally, speak for his new­found com­mitment to the pro-life movement.

“Pres­ident Trump’s decision to speak at the rally elec­trified the crowd,” Manocchio said. “His address demon­strated his total support for the pro-life movement, which is quite encour­aging.”

Manocchio also men­tioned that Trump’s presence forced media outlets, who have pre­vi­ously ignored the March, to cover the event this year, prompting viewers who may not know about the pro-life movement to con­sider and discuss it.

Junior Tony DeLapp has attended the March for Life in pre­vious years and attended again this year with the Hillsdale group.

“We showed up an hour early to get into the rally, and we didn’t even get close to it because of the amount of people,” DeLapp said. “This year felt like it had the highest atten­dance in my three years of going.”

DeLapp also said he was encouraged by the friend­liness of strangers at the march from all corners of the country.

“The March for Life is always an amazing expe­rience because every single person there is so friendly,” he said. “Many people come up to you and tell you how incredibly lucky you are that you attend such a great school. I’m happy that every year Hillsdale has given me the oppor­tunity to march for the unborn.”

While mul­tiple states have passed “heartbeat bills” that pro­hibit abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, Manocchio said the pro-life movement should focus not on over­turning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which would give states the option of legal­izing abortion, but Doe v. Bolton, which would create statewide leg­is­lation out­lawing abortion.

For either of those court cases to be over­turned, it would take a pro-life majority in federal courts, a trend that Trump’s pres­i­dency has pro­moted. Trump’s appoint­ments of Supreme Court jus­tices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh have also rallied the pro-life movement and given it a sense of momentum in the last three years.

Manocchio also said that pro-life advo­cates should “con­tinue trying to change the hearts of abortion sup­porters” and “con­tinue to support mothers in crisis preg­nancy sit­u­a­tions and promote absti­nence edu­cation.”

Junior Logan Pen­tecost, who attended the March with Hillsdale for the first time, said it was a good expe­rience.

“It was great to march with so many other young people in defense of the helpless and against the great evil of our gen­er­ation,” he said.

A defining char­ac­ter­istic of the March for Life each year is the number of student groups like Hillsdale’s that bus to D.C. That wasn’t lost on Trump.

“Young people are the heart of the March for Life,” Trump said to the crowd. “It’s your gen­er­ation that is making America the pro-family, pro-life nation.”