Donald Trump has revived this week’s battle over abortion by taking an angle, the late interruptions of pregnancy, which could allow him to rally support beyond its most conservative base before the elections of 2020.
In his speech Tuesday night on “the state of the Union”, yet placed under the sign of compromise, the president attacked without nuance a law recently adopted by the state of New York, in the hands of the Democrats.
It will “allow a baby to be snatched from his mother’s womb just before birth,” he said, adding, “to defend the dignity of every person, I ask Congress to pass a law banning last trimester abortions “.
This text desired by the Republican President has no chance to succeed given the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives. This did not stop the billionaire to drive the nail Thursday during a meeting with religious. Speaking of children “born or not born” created “in the image of God”, he had the parents of a very big premature applaud.
The law passed in New York decriminalizes abortions in the third trimester when the pregnancy threatens the health of the mother or when the child is not viable, and a fairly close initiative championed by the Democrats of Virginia.
For their promoters, these texts do not go beyond what the Supreme Court allows, but their critics see a green light for abortions until the ninth month of pregnancy, which they sometimes call “infanticide”.
“Mr. Trump and the religious right are spreading lies about the New York law to mobilize their base, “reacted New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who said he voted for the text for fear that the Supreme Court will reconsider its historic decision” Roe V. Wade “from 1973.
In that case, the American law temple had stated that women can abort as long as the fetus is not viable. Beyond this, each state may restrict or prohibit abortions unless the life or health of the mother is in danger.
But the arrival of two judges appointed by Donald Trump to the Supreme Court has tipped the institution into the conservative camp, feeding speculation on a possible evolution of this case law.
Meanwhile, the devices are variable from one state to another, some prohibiting abortions as early as 20 weeks of pregnancy, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a think tank on reproductive health.
In practice, late abortions are very rare. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 90% of the abortions performed in 2015 took place before 13 weeks of pregnancy, and only 1.3% after 21 weeks.
According to Dr. Daniel Grossman, parents then have “many reasons that overlap often”.
“Medical complications” are part of that, but some parents were sometimes prevented from having an early abortion due to restricted rules in their state, he says in a column on the activists’ rights website. abortion Rewire.News.
“America from the inside”
In spite of their rarity, late interruptions of pregnancy give rise to strong reprobation.
According to a Gallup poll, 60% of Americans believe that abortion must be legal in the first trimester of pregnancy, but the proportion drops to 28% in the second quarter and 13% in the third.
“Donald Trump already enjoys immense support among evangelicals and significant support among Catholics, but this subject speaks to America from the inside,” far from the shores dominated by progressives, says AFP Jo-Renee Formicola, professor of political science at Seton Hall Catholic University in New Jersey.
According to her, the president’s statements mark “the beginning of a republican narrative on the dignity, the value of individuals … with a view to 2020”.
And the strategy is not new. In the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump had already accused his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton of “wanting to tear babies out of their mother’s womb.” And had mobilized his troops.
“This is a topic that excites the base” Republicans, says political scientist Larry Sabato. “Nothing makes them more angry and nothing makes them more militant.”