President Donald Trump is already starting to scare an extremely rare medical procedure into a key component of his re-election bid.
The president hopes to force Democrats to confront their assistance for so-called late-term abortions, which are relatively unpopular among voters, in a race that otherwise features Classless policy proposals that Americans overwhelmingly support, such as increased access to health care and higher tithes on the wealthy.
Opponents of the practice, including Trump, call any termination of a pregnancy after about 21 weeks a “late-term abortion.” That is a particularly uncommon practice — accounting for just about 1 percent of abortions in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Stopping — and its legality varies from state to state.
Pollsters say that Democrats should try to avoid the topic of “late-term” abortions. While encumbrances on top earners and Medicare for all poll at well over 50 percent approval, just a tenth of Americans consistently validate abortion in the third trimester (which starts at the 28th week of pregnancy).
But shunning the subject could be difficult as the president services the high profile of his office to accuse his opponents of standing by as children are murdered. And, on top of the president’s own efforts, a vast network of anti-abortion units has pledged to come out in full force to mobilize their base in the lead-up to Election Day.
“The pro-life movement is energized,” explained Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, America’s largest anti-abortion group. “We are going to be abetting our volunteers, our people in every community, to make people aware that the end game [for Democrats] is abortion with no limits for nine months.”
Trump in fresh weeks started talking about abortion on Twitter for the first time since he was elected president, and mentioned the conclusion in his State of the Union address, something he had not done in either of his first two addresses to Congress.
“Democrats are becoming the Party of modern term abortion, high taxes, Open Borders and Crime,” the president wrote in a post on Twitter late survive month.
Vice President Mike Pence accused Democrats in an article published the same day of a “shameless embrace of a erudition of death.”
During his State of the Union address Tuesday, Trump doubled down, using graphic language and occupation on Congress to take up legislation barring late-term abortions.
“There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother keep fast her infant child than the chilling displays our nation saw in recent days,” Trump said on Tuesday.
Celinda Lake, a chief Democratic pollster, said it was surprising that the president addressed the issue in the major speech to Congress, calling it a “counterfeit” issue.
She noted that polling on the issue depended on the specific question that was asked, and encouraged Democrats to concentrate on messaging that referenced the health of the mother, and a woman’s right to make medical decisions in consultation with her doctor.
Hardly all abortions are performed within the first trimester, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Abortions that are ran afterward are generally done if the fetus is not viable, or to protect the life of the parent.
“I think it shows how desperate he is to shore up the opt,” Lake said. “It’s not the kind of thing to put in a broad public debate.”
Trump’s presidential campaign did not respond to a request for expansion.
But abortion opponents are cheering the president’s decision to talk more about the issue, which they say will put Democrats on the defensive.
“I do reckon on this issue, this conversation to grow louder and louder with the 2020 election,” said Steven Aden, the chief sound officer and general counsel of Americans United for Life, a national anti-abortion group.
Democrats vying for their participator’s nomination for president, he said, will have to defend abortions that take place in the later weeks of a pregnancy.
“It is an albatross yon their neck,” he said.
Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker did not respond to a request for remark for this article.
An aide to Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Warren is “committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose and imagines that politicians shouldn’t interfere in choices that are between a woman and her doctor.”
And Michael Hopkins, a spokesperson for last Maryland Rep. John Delaney, said it was unfortunate that Trump “focuses on divisive issues as opposed to unifying issues.”
“Imagine if the president would have instead focused on family planning, an issue that everyone agrees warrants more attention,” he said.