President Donald Trump is reportedly planning to put the abortion debate front and center during his State of the Union address Tuesday night.
While the fight over border wall funding — a must-have for Republicans and a must-not-have for Democrats — will certainly be the elephant in the room, Trump plans to capitalize on the backlash over New York’s new law protecting late-term abortion.
In January, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed into law a bill legalizing abortion up to 24 weeks into pregnancy “or at any time when necessary to protect a woman’s life or health.”
According to a report from Politico, Trump is planning to focus some of his hour-long address to Congress and the nation on the Democrats’ push to radically expand access to abortion.
“The president wants to reaffirm his commitment to pro-life things,” said an unnamed Republican source close to the White House, arguing Trump doesn’t want his entire speech to be “all fire and brimstone.”
Embattled Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) defended a since-failed bill sponsored by Del. Kathy Tran (D). The legislation would have legalized abortion up until the point of birth.
Northam, describing how the law would work during an interview last week with WTOP-FM, said a newborn baby would be “kept comfortable” and “resuscitated, if that’s what the mother and the family desired” while the mother and her doctors would discuss the infant’s future.
Trump weighed in on the Virginia law and Northam’s comments last week, telling The Daily Caller he was surprised to hear the governor’s statements to WTOP.
“I thought it was terrible,” Trump said of Tran’s defense of the proposed law. “Do you remember when I said Hillary Clinton was willing to rip the baby out of the womb? That’s what it is, that’s what they’re doing, it’s terrible.”
The president went on to say he believes the debate over abortion rights in Virginia and elsewhere will “lift up the whole pro-life movement like maybe it’s never been lifted up before.”