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Republicans are launching a multi-pronged strategy to try to keep “late-term abortions” in the spotlight, a thorny political issue that they hope will put vulnerable Democrats in a tough spot and excite their conservative base. It’s a move that House Republicans are pushing in part to capitalize on comments President Donald Trump made during Tuesday’s State of the Union address, when he used the high-profile platform to call for legislation banning abortions later in a pregnancy. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) unveiled a resolution on Wednesday that would require babies who survive attempted abortions to receive medical care. The pair will then file a discharge petition in 30 legislative days to circumvent leadership and force floor action on the issue if it gets 218 signatures. But the discharge petition is an uphill climb, since Republicans would need 19 Democrats and every single Republican to sign the petition for the maneuver to succeed. In the meantime, Republican leaders also plan to repeatedly ask for a voice vote from Democrats to bring up the resolution on the House floor, a request they will be swiftly denied. “And you know what? If the Democrats object, we’ll ask again, and again, and again,” Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said at a press conference Wednesday. Abortions very late in pregnancy are rare and often performed due to an underlying medical complication of the pregnant woman or fetus. Under Roe v. Wade, states regulate and limit abortions post viability. The GOP effort comes in response to Trump’s address and recent controversial remarks made by embattled Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va.), who was defending a bill in his state that makes it easier to get a third-trimester abortion when the health of the mother is at risk. The day after Tuesday’s State of the Union address, Republicans in a closed-door conference meeting discussed ways that they could reinforce the president’s message on abortion, according to members who attended the meeting. “We should move something on that while it’s fresh on people’s mind,” said Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.). “It’s something we’re talking about.” The GOP’s decision to use a discharge petition — a tool once criticized by Republican leaders when their rank-and-file members tried to force immigration votes last year — underscores the limited options that members of the minority have in their tool box. Still, the thinking among Republicans is that some Democrats who are seen as unsupportive of the effort could face a backlash back home with their constituents — and the House GOP’s campaign arm is ready to pounce. “I hope that this [petition] grows … as we continue to promote this nationally,” said Scalise. GOP leaders are hoping to peel off some support for the discharge petition from the six Democrats who backed a similar anti-abortion bill in the previous Congress. They will also target moderate freshmen in swing districts, particularly in states like Virginia and New York that have laws to make it easier to get a third-trimester abortion in certain cases. The newly-elected Democrats likely to be on their target list include Reps. Abigail Spanberger (Va.), Jennifer Wexton (Va.), Elaine Luria (Va.) Anthony Brindisi (N.Y.) Max Rose (N.Y.) and Jeff Van Drew (N.J.). “There’s a whole new group of Democrat freshmen that I think will be anxious to be on this,” added Wagner. But Democrats dismissed the effort as nothing more than a political maneuver designed to curry favor with the base, and doubted that many Democrats, if any, would sign the petition. “They’re not a relevant political party these days,” said Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. "Donald Trump has turned off so many people, including in their base, that they’ve got to find something to try to start solidifying them behind, so they’re throwing this out there.” Meanwhile, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who has held a tight grip on her caucus, rejected Trump’s calls to end late-term abortions. “It’s really quite a sad thing when you know that what we’re talking about is something that applies to the health – life health and ability to have other children – of women,” Pelosi said. “I hope that in his family he never has to face that crisis and apply his attitude to it.” Heather Caygle contributed to this story. Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine