Trump wades deeper into abortion politics as midterms loom


WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has long been an unlikely sweetheart for conservative and evangelical voters.

Now, in the lead-up to the midterm elections, the thrice-married former Democrat who used to describe himself as "very pro-choice" is offering catnip to conservative voters with a new administration push to strip funding from Planned Parenthood and other family planning clinics.

The initiative, announced last week, has arrived just in time for Trump to highlight it tonight when he speaks at the Susan B. Anthony List's annual "Campaign for Life Gala."

It is aimed at resurrecting parts of a Reagan-era mandate banning federally funded family planning clinics from referring women for abortions, or sharing space with abortion providers.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List, says the move "will help tremendously" in the midterm elections.

It's also the latest evidence that as he frets over the Russia investigation and prepares for a planned summit with North Korea, Trump has also been focused on fulfilling campaign promises and tending to issues that galvanize his base: holding a series of events to rail against the dangers of illegal immigration, pulling out of the Iran-nuclear deal and wading anew into the fight over abortion rights.

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