Democratic Groups Gear Up To Use Abortion Rights As Attack On GOP In 2020

Democrats are gearing up to use abortion rights as an attack against Republicans in 2020, seeking to paint the party as too extreme after the passage of sweeping laws restricting the procedure by GOP legislatures across the country.

Presidential contenders, including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), are already taking the issue head-on, most recently joining the Democrats’ condemnation of a comprehensive abortion ban signed into law in Alabama that bans the procedure in almost all circumstances, including rape and incest.

Democratic groups are mobilizing as well, hoping to put the abortion debate front and center in state and local races in 2020 as they look to put Republicans on the defensive at a time when the GOP lost the House last year, in large part by losing suburban female voters.

Abortion was already expected to be a key issue in 2020 as anti-abortion rights advocates grow hopeful of overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision in the Supreme Court after the appointment of two new conservative justices by President Trump.

Republican strategist Ford O’Connell said Trump will likely to focus on the issue of restricting late-term abortions, which are generally unpopular with the public.

“Trump’s been talking about this since the last year-and-a-half. He’s been saying late-term abortion is a travesty,” O’Connell told The Hill. “He’s going to stick to the late-term abortion and the federal judges.”

The president is also likely to continue to campaign on his promise of appointing more conservative judges and justices after the appointments of Kavanaugh and Gorsuch gave conservatives a 5-4 majority in the Supreme Court. 

The abortion issue has proved to ignite evangelicals, a voting bloc that has remained loyal to Trump throughout his political career.

O'Connell said that if presented properly by Trump, the abortion issue could help Trump win vital swing states such as Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan — but also acknowledged the rise in enthusiasm from the left.

“If this is framed properly by the White House, it can be a very powerful issue,” he said. “When it comes to this issue, you’re watching both parties try to shake the bushes to make sure that they have full turn out on every possible issue that’s important to their coalition.”

Read more from Julia Manchester at The Hill

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