As Republicans work themselves into a fake outrage frenzy over New York state’s new women’s healthcare law and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s recent comments on proposed legislation to loosen restrictions on late term abortions, President Donald Trump is reportedly telling confidantes that he plans to put the right-wing’s anti-choice agenda front and center in his upcoming State of the Union address.
According to Politico, Trump is angling to appeal to his conservative base by giving the latest bad-faith attack on legal abortion a prime spot in his address, which will reportedly “range widely and include a call for bipartisanship,” people close to the presided claim. For sure.
“The president wants to reaffirm his commitment to pro-life things,” one Republican described as being “close to the White House” told Politico. The same person paradoxically claimed that Trump nevertheless wants to avoid a “fire and brimstone” address. Two other people told Politico it was unclear whether Trump would address Northam or his comments specifically, or if his speech will simply raise the issue in a more abstract way.
Given that a decisive majority of the country believes women should have access to abortions in all or most cases, it’s hard to see Trump’s potential elevation of the conservative’s latest assault on a woman’s right to choose as anything other than an overt play to his evangelical base. Trump has previously called abortion a “very divisive, polarizing issue,” but insisted during a Nov. 2018 press conference that “I think that I have that solution. And nobody else does.” He did not explain what that solution was. Considering he’s put two right-wing judges on the Supreme Court so far in his single term in office, however, we can probably venture a guess.