- The Washington Times - Friday, February 1, 2019

President Trump will address recent abortion controversies in his State of the Union address next week, a senior administration official said Friday.

“The president will talk about the fundamental importance of respect for human life in his speech,” the official said in a preview of the prime-time address set for Tuesday night.

Mr. Trump’s speech, delayed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the partial government shutdown, comes as Democrats are facing widespread criticism and media coverage over new abortion policies and proposals in New York state and Virginia.

Vice President Mike Pence has called both examples “a call to action” for pro-life forces. And pro-life advocates, citing the Virginia proposal, urged Mr. Trump again this week to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

In Virginia, Democratic Del. Kathy Tran sparked a furor this week by confirming that under a bill she has proposed, a nine-months pregnant woman could terminate her pregnancy while she was already in labor. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam also has been criticized for defending the proposal.

In New York, a new law supported by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo expands abortion rights and decriminalizes the actions of physicians who perform abortions beyond the limits of the new law, which allows for termination of some pregnancies after 24 weeks.

Pro-life groups told Politico this week that Mr. Trump is considering inviting an anti-abortion figure to attend the State of the Union address.

In his speech, the senior official said, Mr. Trump also will call on Congress to “reject the politics of resistance and retribution,” an obvious reference to the new Democratic House majority.

“Together we can break decades of political stalemate,” Mr. Trump will say. “We can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions and unlock the extraordinary promise of America’s future. The decision is ours to make.”

The president will focus on five broad areas of policy initiatives: the need for a safe and legal immigration system; the fight to protect American workers from harmful trade deals; an infrastructure package to help rebuild America; lowering the cost of health care and prescription drugs, and his diplomatic and military efforts to stop “endless foreign wars.”

The official said Mr. Trump will address the shutdown that ended last week by talking about “a path forward” that emphasizes his proposals for border security.

Mr. Trump also will speak about the crisis in Venezuela and his decision to recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as the interim president.

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