First on CNN: GOP prepares tough anti-abortion platform
August 20th, 2012
10:41 PM ET
2 years ago

First on CNN: GOP prepares tough anti-abortion platform

Tampa, Florida (CNN) - The Republican Party is once again set to enshrine into its official platform support for "a human life amendment" to the Constitution that would outlaw abortion without making explicit exemptions for rape or incest, according to draft language of the platform obtained exclusively by CNN late Monday.

"Faithful to the 'self-evident' truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed," the draft platform declares. "We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment's protections apply to unborn children."

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The party will reaffirm its opposition to federally-funded embryonic stem cell research and demand that the government "not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage."

Republicans have also inserted a "salute" to states pushing "informed consent" laws - an apparent reference to ultrasound bills that have moved through some state legislatures - "mandatory waiting periods prior to an abortion, and health-protective clinic regulation."

The document, crafted Monday in a subcommittee meeting of the Republican Party's official platform committee in Tampa, is being closely guarded by party officials but was provided to CNN by a Republican source here.

The source cautioned that the statement of principle is still in draft form and must be approved by the full platform committee on Tuesday and by delegates to the Republican National Convention next week.

The GOP's abortion plank faces scrutiny every four years, and this year's document contains language similar to the platforms that were adopted by the party at their conventions in 2000, 2004 and 2008.

But the abortion issue has been thrust into the center of the presidential campaign as this year's convention approaches, thanks to comments from Missouri Rep. Todd Akin, a U.S. Senate candidate, about abortion and "legitimate rape."

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan sharply condemned Akin's remarks and pledged that under a Romney administration, abortion would be allowed in the case of rape.

An exemption for rape, though, is not included in the platform set to be adopted by the party Romney will officially lead when he accepts the Republican nomination next week.

And Ryan, his vice presidential pick, has opposed exceptions for rape and voted alongside Akin in the House, though Ryan now says he defers to Romney's position on the matter.

Debate over the abortion plank flared four years ago when John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee at the time, said he wanted to add language to the platform to recognize exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother.

That prompted angry finger-wagging from top social conservatives.

Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, chided McCain and said it would be "political suicide" for him to add language about exceptions for rape or incest in the abortion platform.


Filed under: 2012 • Abortion • Republican National Convention • Republicans
soundoff (401 Responses)
  1. Michael

    As a Republican leader in the house Mr. Ryan worked with Mr. Akin to try and pass laws that would ban ALL abortions in cases of rape. In one of the Republican planks being put forward in the upcoming convention they are proposing the same thing. My question is how any woman in America outside of those so totally indoctrinated by the Tea Party could vote for these bigoted repuglican men? Do you really want them dictating to you what you or can't do with your own body?

    August 20, 2012 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  2. American People

    I guess Akin really meant what he said. And he said what the GOP really think.

    August 20, 2012 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  3. Larry L

    Why not just teach women to follow Rep. Akins guidance and just "turn off the juices" to prevent pregnancy – like he says they can do in rape cases. He didn't even use the old quote from another Republican suggesting women should Lay back and enjoy it". The radical right-wing must be thrown out of our government before they destroy America.

    August 20, 2012 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  4. American People

    However, the GOP doesn't even care about the "Promote the general welfare" of the people. Health care to the GOP should only be for the rich people.

    August 20, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  5. SafeJourney

    There you have it folks, even in the case of rape and incest. Can these Repubs be anymore heartless? NO , the repubs have become the party of the extreme right wing nut jobs

    August 20, 2012 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  6. Anon

    The party of Todd Akin.

    August 20, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  7. Silent Majority

    "GOP tightens noose around its own neck."

    Roe vs. Wade is law. Most people support it, especially women. The GOP needs women to vote for them if they expect to take the highest office in the land. The majority of women will not vote for a return to pre-choice days. Therefore, it's a losing proposition. But please, go right ahead and stand on your ancient principles. Maybe the GOP can try to prevent women from voting like they're trying to prevent minorities from voting. Why not go back in time as far as you can go...

    August 20, 2012 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  8. jahi

    The Ryan/Romney is flip flopping again . Every an an issue come to light about bills ryran voted for now he running for vice president he say change his mind on the issue. they have no plan for the country so they will do and say anything to win the election.

    August 20, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  9. JS

    The GOP is imploding: Akin "misspoke" (which means he said what he truly believes, but doesn't want anyone to know); the teabaggers asked him to step down, not because what he said is reprehensible, but because he gives the GOP a bad image; the FRC is defending him; and the GOP platform on abortion does not include exceptions for rape. They should all go swimming naked in shark infested waters.

    August 20, 2012 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  10. jahi

    The Ryan/Romney is flip flopping again . Every an issue come to light about bills ryran voted for now he running for vice president he say change his mind on the issue. they have no plan for the country so they will do and say anything to win the election.

    August 20, 2012 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  11. Kathy

    The Lunatic Republican Fringe is no longer a Fringe at all.

    August 20, 2012 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  12. Madeline M. P.

    After the Todd Akin debacle and his one-degree of separation from Romney via Paul Ryan, the GOP anti-woman platform will be the pinnacle of the War on Women Republicans have been waging with impunity so they can give their religiously crazy conservative base a solid bone to chew. What is insane is that Republicans believe all women voters in this country are as brainwashed and domesticated as the Republican women who support this aberration. They will learn otherwise in November.

    August 20, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  13. jack johnson

    Ok The want to change the curant law let's also change it to only 50 congressmen, one from each state, and 50 house of reps. also 1 from each state, and 50 senate members. If they want to make it a year for change let's do it right!

    August 20, 2012 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  14. Orwell sees it, again & again

    Save America, outlaw the Reublican Party.

    August 20, 2012 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  15. Jay

    well of course, Democrats embrace marriage equality, so GOP has to keep the "culture wars" going! too bad for the GOP!

    August 20, 2012 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  16. rasjr1957

    Just another way that the republicans are trying to take your rights away. Abortion is legal but they want to try to make it impossible to have one mmmmmm sounds like oh maybe a group of dictators trying to force there will on americans. This is America all kinds of people with different beliefs live here. Please let us have our rights quit taking them away. In ohio the republicans are trying to make it impossible for people to vote. Funny another right we have but they are trying make sure we can't do it. More proof watch fox news even the freedom of speech is being taken away they only say what they want you to here and it's usually a lie. Or taken out of contexts. propaganda.

    August 20, 2012 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  17. Dan

    In 2007 Presidential campaign, Romney said he was opposed to abortion in all cases, including rape.

    August 20, 2012 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  18. enuff

    Wait a minute. The republicans are ready to hang one of their own from the highest tree, but now they are essentially repeating what he said, just in other words? Did he out their message too soon? Is that why they want him tarred and feathered?

    August 20, 2012 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  19. jake

    thats right republicans...just keep talking and all you do is add another nail to your own political coffins. i love it when these right wing nut bars go on a rant. it shows the true colors of thier beliefs. makes it a lot easier to vote for Obama/Biden 2012 thats for sure and im sure a whole lot of others who might not have are now leaning that way as well. common sense seems to fail the republicans and the lemmings that follow. looking forward to voting in nov.. i know Obama has my vote and i will do it with ease. Thank you President Obama for having courage and a true understanding of common sense. You will be appreciated in nov and you will be re-elected. Obama/Biden 2012.

    August 20, 2012 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  20. pjx14

    so, every life isn't sacred?

    August 20, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  21. fire0bama

    Abortion is killing a human life and is wrong. Republican and conservative leaders, thank you for standing firm and defending the traditional American values.

    Romney/Ryan 2012!

    August 20, 2012 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  22. papafritz57

    Since they have no idea what their platform should be, they'll do what they've done for the past three years. Hundreds of bills against social programs and people's behaviors. Nothing to help anyone in America except themselves. Not one decent offer of job help to anyone, just more campaign fund raising for their next campaigns. Tony Perkins is no God lover. He is a self-serving little man who is making his living by pimping Jesus for money to secure him for life. These anti-abortion nutcases don't give a damned about any child after they are out of the womb. They propose cutting or doing away with every program that will aid these unwanted children and their mothers, and instead will use that money to continue tax breaks for themselves and the billionaires and millionaires who now own America and them body and soul. If the rightwing continues with their rabid attempts to destroy the personal liberties of individual citizens, they will lose everything. They only way they win now is through fraud, deceit and the abetting by the Supreme Court.

    August 20, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  23. E

    "Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, chided McCain and said it would be 'political suicide' for him to add language about exceptions for rape or incest in the abortion platform." Seriously? Refusing to provide exemptions for rape or incest means LITERAL suicide for women who find themselves forced to carry their rapists' babies.

    August 20, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  24. john

    Aw, great. I guess GOP always resorted to "family" and "moral" values when it comes to election. I guess most Christians or self professing ones are too stupid that they buy into this crap.
    Today's GOP is more like the religious establishment in Jesus' days than a moral organization.

    August 21, 2012 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  25. Todd in DC

    Anyone who is female or gay or not white and votes for the GOP is just plain nuts.

    August 21, 2012 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
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