TRENTON, New Jersey, January 25, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie headlined the state‚Äôs march for life on Monday, where he assured attendees that the pro-life movement has an ally in the governor’s office.

“You will know that you have someone sitting in that office who understands this issue, who appreciates it. You have today and you have for the rest of my life an ally,” Gov. Christie told the crowd that braved the frigid temperatures.

Running on a pro-life, pro-family platform, Republican Chris Christie defeated Democrat Gov. Jon Corzine in the 2009 election.

At the march, Gov. Christie recalled how hearing the heartbeat of the second of his four children, a daughter now almost fifteen, profoundly affected his view on the pro-life movement.

“It was at that moment that it became clear to me that being on the sidelines on this issue was not something that I could live with and that I needed to speak out in favor of the very simple idea that that child is a life which deserves protection,” he told the participants.

“Our founders said we should stand for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” he added. “Without life, there cannot be liberty nor the pursuit of happiness.”

“What we need to do each and every day is to live our lives in a way that encourages everyone to understand why this cause is so important,” he said. “To show that we respect the life of every human being, and that every human being is one of God’s creatures and deserves the love and respect that God gives to all us.”

Gov. Christie urged pro-life advocacy groups to “speak calmly and clearly and forthrightly for the idea that this is an issue whose time has come.”

Marie Tasy, executive director of New Jersey Right to Life, said that Gov. Christie’s support of the New Jersey March for Life was “historic.”

“It energizes the movement to know that the highest official in New Jersey is with us,” Tasy said.