The stakes remain high heading into the 2020 presidential election, with some two dozen and counting Democrats jockeying to take on President Donald Trump. Candidate and U.S. Senator from New York Kirsten Gillibrand spoke out against Trump this weekend on CBS over one of the lately defining issues of the race and national political conversation — abortion rights. Lately, a number of Republican-led states have passed laws essentially completely outlawing abortion that are set to go into effect soon; in many cases, they’ve even included harsh penalties for those who seek to get around the law.
Gillibrand told host Margaret Brennan:
‘This is nothing short of an all-out assault on women’s reproductive freedom — an effort to take away our basic civil rights and human rights. Make no mistake, the thirty states that are trying to unwind abortion rights are trying to get rid of Roe v. Wade… I hope America’s women are paying attention because President Trump has started a war on America’s women and if it’s a fight he wants to have, it’s a fight he’s going to have, and he’s going to lose.’
.@SenGillibrand on anti-abortion legislation: “This is nothing short of an all out assault on women’s reproductive freedom… @realDonaldTrump has started a war on America’s women. And if it’s a fight he wants to have, it’s a fight he’s going to have and he’s going to lose.” pic.twitter.com/7stkDTKvUt
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) May 19, 2019
Gillibrand added that she believes that Democrats are well-poised to not just maintain control of the U.S. House and even wrest control of the White House from Trump but also flip the U.S. Senate. That unity across government would be necessary for some of the most wide-ranging action, like turning the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide into established federal law.
Although abortion is still legal across the United States for now, there’s a tough fight ahead for the coming months. For instance, Alabama’s legislation that essentially completely outlaws abortion and sets jail sentences of up to 99 years or life in prison for a doctor who performs one is set to go into effect in six months. Similar Georgia legislation that outlaws abortion after six weeks — when most women don’t even know they’re pregnant yet — is set to go into effect on January 1, 2020 — a date set, notably enough, because fetuses in the womb are named “natural persons” under the law, which has relevance for tax purposes. They’re going so far that any embryo or fetus can be claimed as a financial dependent.
Trump has spoken out in support of the broad picture of the multi-state legislative push, sharing on Twitter late Saturday:
‘I am strongly Pro-Life… The Radical Left, with late term abortion (and worse), is imploding on this issue. We must stick together and Win for Life in 2020.’
In other words, he is turning the bodily autonomy of millions of women across the United States into a political football. Notably enough, he did note that he supports abortions in cases of rape or incest, an exception the Alabama law does not provide for. However, during the 2016 presidential campaign, he said women who have abortions should be punished, which the Georgia law does open up as a possibility and makes abundantly clear that he’s not an ally of American women or women anywhere by any stretch of the imagination.
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