President Donald Trump will make the Democrat Party's defense of late-term abortion a centerpiece of his reelection campaign.
Trump called out the 2020 field of Democratic contenders for their support of taxpayer-funded abortion and late-term abortion at a Tuesday campaign kickoff in Florida.
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"Virtually every top Democrat also now supports taxpayer-funded abortion right up to the moment of birth—ripping babies straight from the mothers' womb," Trump told rallygoers in Orlando. "Leading Democrats have even opposed measures to prevent the execution of children after birth. You saw that in Virginia."
Virginia Democrat governor Ralph Northam defended infanticide earlier this year in response to questions about legislation that would have repealed limits on third-trimester abortions.
"[I]n this particular example if a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen, the infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if ‘that's what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother," Northam said.
While the Virginia bill was rejected by the Republican-controlled legislature, other blue states have seen radical expansions in abortion bills. New York passed an expansive abortion bill in January that simplified the process of obtaining late-term abortions. Illinois enacted a law that repealed the state's Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act—though the federal ban remains in place—and established a "fundamental right" to abortion up until birth.
"Republicans believe that every life is a sacred gift from God," Trump said Tuesday night. "That is why I have asked Congress to prohibit extreme late-term abortions."
Sen. Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) introduced the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act in February, which would have required doctors to provide medical care to babies born alive as a result of a botched abortion. Every Democratic senator seeking the presidential nomination voted against the measure, helping to block its passage.
Additionally, a growing number of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have called for the Hyde Amendment to be repealed, which would allow federal taxpayer dollars to fund abortions directly. Former vice president Joe Biden supported the Hyde Amendment throughout his career, but recently flipped his position, calling for its repeal.
Trump's direct challenge to Democrats on the issues of taxpayer-funding and late-term abortion earned him praise from the nation's largest pro-life election group. Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser praised Trump for his opposition to Democrats' unapologetic support for abortion.
"The stakes of this election could not be higher as Democratic contenders line up to pander to the radical abortion lobby and declare war on even the most popular, modest pro-life policies, like the Hyde Amendment," she said. "Our team will be working hard through Election Day to educate millions of voters, expose the extremism of Trump's opponents, elect pro-life leaders to Congress and in the states, and win a second term for the most pro-life president in history."
She said her organization expects to spend $41 million in the 2020 election to promote the pro-life cause—roughly even with what its pro-abortion counterpart EMILY'S List spent in 2016, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.