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Trump Called for a ‘Late-Term’ Abortion Ban in the State of the Union. Abortion Rights Advocates Are Pushing Back

Feb 6, 2019

By Katie Reilly

President Donald Trump called for a federal ban on “the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb” during the State of the Union address on Tuesday, doubling down on his criticism of a new law expanding abortion rights in New York.

“To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb,” Trump said Tuesday. “Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God.”

His remarks further amplified the national debate over later abortion, an issue that Trump has suggested he plans to focus on in the 2020 election.

New York’s new law, the Reproductive Health Act, expanded abortion rights to allow a woman to get an abortion after 24 weeks if her health, not just her life, is threatened and if the fetus would be unable to survive outside the womb. Advocates have said the law is a necessary protection for women who otherwise have limited options in the face of health risks or serious fetal problems. Proponents have also framed it as a safeguard against a newly conservative Supreme Court that could overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that effectively legalized abortion nationwide.

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