Pro abortion groups oppose Trump’s call for federal late-term abortion ban

Students from St. Mary’s High School in Phoenix rally in this 2016 file photo at the annual March for Life in Washington. Pro-life advocates were thrilled by the election of President Donald Trump that year, and further pleased last week when he called for a ban on late-term abortions. (Photo by Danika Worthington/Cronkite News)

By Alyssa Klink

WASHINGTON –  President Donald Trump’s call last week for a ban on late-term abortions got plenty of notice from pro-life groups.

“I think we were really encouraged to see the president raise the profile of this issue in one of the most public speeches of the year that a president makes,” said Jennifer Popik, the director of federal legislation at National Right to Life.

There were no details with Trump’s call on Congress “to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb.”

But a late-term, or “pain-capable,” abortion ban would likely mean a ban on the procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

That would make little difference in Arizona, which already has some of the nation’s strictest abortion laws. But Cathi Herrod of the Center for Arizona Policy worries that won’t always be the case for the state, and said she would welcome federal legislation.

“My analysis of the Arizona Senate and the Arizona House today is that is it evenly divided on pro-life versus pro-abortion, and perhaps may be tilting pro-abortion,” said Herrod, whose organization lobbies for pro-life legislation in addition to other traditional family causes.

Arizona is just a couple of legislative votes away from being the next New York or Virginia – states that made headlines recently for bills to ease abortion restrictions, according to Herrod.

Herrod worries that Arizona could start tilting toward pro-choice states like New York after the next election.

“The Arizona state legislature is very closely divided on the issue of abortion for this year and next year,” she said.

But Tayler Tucker, a spokeswoman at Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, said it will be a long time before Arizona is anywhere near a pro-choice state.

“We, unfortunately, are named one of the most pro-life states in the United States because we have quite a few abortion restrictions on the books,” Tucker said.

-Cronkite News video by Alyssa Klink

Those include requirements that women seeking an abortion have an in-person counseling session 24 hours before they can return to have the procedure, meaning they have to make at least two trips to the doctor. They are also required to get an ultrasound and be given the opportunity to look at the image, and minors must get parental consent for an abortion.

Congress has taken up the issue of late-term and “pain capable” abortions – when pro-life groups argue that a fetus can feel pain – several times in recent years. Some of those efforts, often led by former Arizona Rep. Trent Franks, a Glendale Republican, passed the House but stalled in the Senate.

Tucker thinks Trump’s proposal has little chance for passage now that the House is in Democratic hands.

“I think that there isn’t a lot of movement that can happen … at our current moment, with the House being held majority Democrat, and majority of those being pro-choice Democrats,” she said.

While Congress may not get involved, the Supreme Court likely will.

The court last week voted 5-4 to stall a Louisiana law that would require doctors who provide abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.

Chief Justice John Roberts, who normally sides with conservatives on the court, sided with the court’s liberals to keep the law on hold. But the case is likely to find its way back to the court next year, and Roberts could well side with the conservatives then.

Herrod and Tucker agree on one thing: Little change is likely in Arizona in the next few years. But Tucker said the fight is not going to go away.

“Abortion is either going to be safe or it’s not going to be safe,” she said. “It’s going to be legal or it’s not going to be legal. It’s still going to happen.”

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8 Comments

  1. What outstanding people these right to lifers are. Rip a child out of the mother and kill it up to the day of birth? What about the rights of a living human being not to be killed the last day or two in the womb at the convenience of the mother. Wow, how do they even look in the mirror and respect what they see. The simple answer to that question is that they are sick, demented individuals and with the heard mentality think that they are right when they are as far from right as humanly possible. I call BS on the whole movement.

  2. abortion always was and always will be murder. Liberals can try to sugar coat it all they want but its still murder. From day on to birth there should never be an abortion.

  3. Disgusting. If you want a first trimester abortion, not a problem. Second trimester, I’m ok with as long as 2 doctors think its appropriate. Third trimester – nope. Unless the mothers life is in immediate jeopardy.

  4. When life, at it’s most early beginning is extinguished by means of murder most foul, then what will be next? Those already existing who are as they now name it, “Intellectually disabled.”
    Then those hapless addicts of alcohol or drugs who have proven to no longer be useful for publicity stunts, you know parade them out when the govt. is showing you why they need to tax you higher. After awhile they don’t care and just tax you ever so zealously.
    Then the occupants of prisons blaming the taxpayer for it, saying “the taxpayer is tired of supporting your criminal lazy butts”. Yeah that’s it, our constituents demand it.
    Finally the elderly, with all their complaining of aches and pains, “it’s for their own good” a mercy kill shot.
    Abortion is murder! and women don’t kid yourself it’s murder and years down the road it will keep you from sleeping at night, the night things will haunt you. I know many women who have experienced these things, a few family members too.
    I on the other hand was advised and pushed to get an abortion during two of my three pregnancies and I did not, even at 18 y/o seeing it as murder.
    It didn’t matter that I was poor and wondered how I was going to get thru this, I did not. Three wonderful human beings were born two boys and a girl and they in turn have given me 9 grand children and one great grand daughter,who at 5 y/o is learning to read and quite proud of herself.
    I sleep quite well at 70 y/o, I hope you will.

  5. Democrats = murder over life, aliens over citizens, open borders over security – on & on. This certainly isn’t Harry Truman’s democratic party. How anyone but the most brainwashed robots or brain dead humans support this is beyond me.

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