President Donald Trump is already starting to turn an extremely rare medical procedure into a key component of his re-election bid.
The president hopes to force Democrats to confront their support for so-called late-term abortions, which are relatively unpopular among voters, in a race that otherwise features Democratic policy proposals that Americans overwhelmingly support, such as increased access to health care and higher taxes on the wealthy.
Opponents of the practice, including Trump, call any termination of a pregnancy after about 21 weeks a "late-term abortion." That is a notably uncommon practice — accounting for just about 1 percent of abortions in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — and its legality varies from state to state.
Pollsters say that Democrats should try to avoid the topic of "late-term" abortions. While taxes on top earners and Medicare for all poll at well over 50 percent approval, just a tenth of Americans consistently support abortion in the third trimester (which starts at the 28th week of pregnancy).
But shunning the subject could be difficult as the president uses the high profile of his office to accuse his opponents of standing by as children are murdered. And, on top of the president's own efforts, a vast network of anti-abortion groups has pledged to come out in full force to mobilize their base in the lead-up to Election Day.
"The pro-life movement is energized," said Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, America's largest anti-abortion group. "We are going to be encouraging our volunteers, our people in every community, to make people aware that the end game [for Democrats] is abortion with no limits for nine months."