An Alabama law signed recently that would effectively ban almost all abortions, with no exemptions for victims of rape or incest, has put the issue of women’s reproductive rights front and center in the 2020 presidential campaign. Female democrats have strongly reacted to the state abortion ban, slamming the Donald Trump administration and the Republican Party.
President Trump made it clear that he was an opponent of abortion on Tuesday, but offered three exceptions. “As most people know, and for those who would like to know, I am strongly Pro-Life, with the three exceptions – Rape, Incest and protecting the Life of the mother – the same position taken by Ronald Reagan,” Trump revealed his stance on the matter in a tweet Saturday.
In 1967, former California governor Reagan signed a bill that would allow abortion for exceptional cases, including sexual assault and incest. President Trump's statement made clear that he is not opposed to abortion and that he is getting the support of conservative voters, while at the same time intent on avoiding irritating women voters by drawing good on Alabama's strong abortion laws.
Local media outlets have assessed that Trump’s statements fueled controversies. “By injecting himself into the debate over a new crop of strict antiabortion statutes, the president heightened the divisions emerging with the Republican Party over how far abortion opponents should go,” The Washington Post said. According to a 2018 Gallup poll, 60 percent of Americans think that first trimester abortions should be generally legal, and 64 percent said they do not support overturning Roe vs. Wade, a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 that upheld a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose whether to have an abortion.
At least six progressive civic groups are planning to hold a nationwide protest against the Alabama law in this week alone. They will also launch an ad to highlight the issue and target female voters in Republican strongholds.
The Democratic presidential candidates also opened the door. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (New York) appeared on CBS this day and said, "The president has started a war against US women. He is the war he wants, but he will eventually become president. " Bernie Sanders Senator (Vermont, Independent) also said, "Women should be free to decide on abortion according to the results of consultations with doctors. Medical problems became a political issue. "
In the meantime, Republican lawmakers have maintained a vague attitude in the face of strong opposition. Senator Cory Gardner (Colorado) told Politico, “I’m pro-life, but that’s up to the states.”