GOP sees 'opportunity' to outlaw abortion under Trump, says political editor

Political editor Sophia Tesfaye on Wednesday told Hill.TV that Republicans see an opportunity to move on the issue of abortion under President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness school deans call for lifting country-specific visa caps Bolton told ex-Trump aide to call White House lawyers about Ukraine pressure campaign: report Federal prosecutors in New York examining Giuliani business dealings with Ukraine: report MORE.

"For years they've been told that Republicans won't actually follow through on their campaign promises to attack Roe v. Wade all the way up to the Supreme Court, and Donald Trump promised that," Tesfaye, deputy politics editor at Salon.com, told host Jamal Simmons on "What America's Thinking."

"He campaigned on that, he got the evangelical votes on that and he continues to hold their support on that basis," she added. "I think they see that this is their opportunity and they have to strike when the iron's hot."

Tesfaye's comments came a day after the Alabama state Senate passed a bill that would ban almost all abortions, including cases of rape and incest. The bill now heads to Gov. Kay Ivey's (R) desk and is expected to be signed into law.

Sixteen states have passed or are considering bills that would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which happens around six weeks into a pregnancy.

Trump has campaigned on the issue of abortion, and fulfilled a major campaign promise in appointing two conservatives -- Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughThe impeachment controversy drags Supreme Court into the politics of the Trump era Supreme Court can prove its independence — or its partisan capture Overnight Health Care — Presented by Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing — Planned Parenthood plans M campaign for 2020 | Dem candidates embrace aggressive step on drug prices | Officials propose changes to encourage 'value-based' care MORE -- to the Supreme Court.

The abortion bills and the conservative-leaning Supreme Court have prompted fears among liberals that Roe v. Wade, the court decision that legalized abortion nationwide, could be overturned in the near future.

— Julia Manchester