Abortion To Be Major Election Issue In 2020 U.S. Presidential Race

Abortion has vaulted to the forefront of issues in the lead up to the 2020 U.S. presidential elections, and experts said the issue may well become the Gordian knot in the race, dragging out the imminent fight between Democrats and Republicans.

Earlier this month, Kay Ivey, governor of the U.S. state of Alabama, signed a new law that would ban all abortions, except in cases in which the mother's life is in danger, in the latest challenge to the 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade case that ruled that women have a right to have an abortion.

The Alabama law would make it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion, with the possibility of 99 years of imprisonment. Even victims of rape and incest would not be permitted to terminate their pregnancies.

The ban is the latest in a trend toward more restrictive abortion policies, with the U.S. states of Kentucky, Ohio, Georgia and Mississippi recently creating similar bans. Experts say all this is part of a GOP concerted effort to push the issue up to the U.S. Supreme Court, where anti-abortion supporters hope the court will strike down Roe v. Wade.

For their part, conservatives say the trend toward restricting abortions is a reaction to recent moves in states such as New York and Virginia to relax restrictions on late-term abortions.

TV news personality and Republican strategist Ford O'Connell told Xinhua that the new law in Alabama, as well as similar laws in other states, are a test-case, signed into law so they'll get pushed up to the Supreme Court in hopes that Roe v. Wade will be overturned.

O'Connell added that the spate of anti-abortion laws being passed in several states is a reaction to what many conservatives view as radical and immoral laws being pushed in states such as New York and Virginia. Such legislation seeks to make abortion legal even in the third trimester. Social conservatives, particularly evangelicals, which represent a large chunk of Trump's base, have strong views against such laws.

Read more from Matthew Rusling at Xinhua

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Analysis & Political Strategy