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. Mike Texoma

    The Repblican party seems intent on constructing a wall between itself and ordinary people.

    August 21, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  2. paul

    If Romney and Ryan do the typical Republican "end around" on this topic it will be: Talk in public how there should be exceptions to abortion for rape, incest, mother's health, etc. and then approve every behind the scenes bill that outlaws abortion for any reason. And, they wonder why the women vote has been hard to get.

    August 21, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  3. kevin

    So, their presumptive nomonee disagrees with their platform? Not likely mate!

    August 21, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  4. hankers

    the taliban are social conservatives

    August 21, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  5. T J

    Where are the job bills Repubs? Thats what we really care about.

    August 21, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  6. Ponter B

    Another attempt by the Establishment to distract us from real issues. Nothing but Bread and Circuses. Will this "a human life amendment" also prohibit capital punishment? Will it make going to war impossible? Will it stop the torture of another human by our Government or its Allies? Will it provide food, a secure shelter and clothing for every citizen in this nation? A living wage? A job for any human who wants one? Nope. It's used to keep you in the party line. To distract you from asking tough questions about the economy, corporate abuse and election buying, and the lack of any real workable solutions to our problems by anyone in Washington.

    Go ahead, buy into this nonsense. This is exactly what they are counting on. Then they can continue to collect fat paychecks and benefits for life, while you and your family go without.

    August 21, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  7. MollyBee

    Another nail in their coffin.

    August 21, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  8. Suzanne

    R = Reverse, especially for women!

    August 21, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  9. Get over it

    Well, the Dems are set to adopt a loose pro-abortion platform.

    August 21, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  10. DJL

    Republican Convention Theme Song:

    "Tonight we're gonna party like it's 1699!"

    August 21, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  11. wm Scot

    While no woman wants or desires an abortion in their heart or hearts it is not up to a bunch of men to decide what they can or do with their bodies when they have no other options that will work.

    August 21, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  12. Clint

    Any man that supports the Republicans really hate women. No way in Hades does a man have the right to tell a lady what they should, and should not do with their bodies. Enduring being put through a birth after being the victim of rape, incest or for any other reason is barbaric.

    August 21, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  13. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    They are true to their Taliban roots. Republican and Mormon women have no self will, or the right to govern their own bodies. Romney and Ryan follow Taliban Islamic law, and now want to force it on America.

    August 21, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  14. Cogito

    What a relief!!
    I was worried they might waste time on some dumb unfulfilled promise from 2010 they made....something about making the economy & jobs their number one priority...

    August 21, 2012 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  15. John

    You know If one of these Republican Kids got rape or Incest and got Pregnant ,they be the first one that wanting there kids to have Abortion. Republican are nothing but a bunch of Hypocrite and If you don't see this you are a fool.

    August 21, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  16. Anonymous

    GOP: party of hypocrites.
    they want small government and then they want government to tell you what to do and what not to do and whom you can marry or not.
    If they are so much for pro-life, why don't they stop killing innocent cows, pigs, chickens to eat????? there are plenty of vegetables.

    August 21, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  17. streetdude66

    If the GOP had just left well alone before they decided to spin. lie & wet the bed about Joe Bidens latest gaffe the Dems might have let Akins admission about how the GOP have felt about rape-abortion issue which they first brought up when Congressman Freund brought it up pn the House floor in 1988.See whackjobs when you go up against the VICE PRES OF THE USA youre playing big league ball so you better not have issues that are against the majority. Now youre forced to go against the Jesus Crispies on the rape-abortion issue, a demographic which is one of their biggest lobbyists & as well as its base. Cant wait to see how Mitt Etch-A-Sketch & Ryan who co sponsered the abortion-raoe loegislation with Akin are going to try to lie their way out of this one, Psssst.....you cant. Amusing.

    August 21, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  18. canuck

    American politics is crazy

    August 21, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  19. Mike

    OK, they deny science, why not deny reality? Women's votes apparently aren't needed. Losers.

    August 21, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  20. Skeeve

    Perfect. Let's face it: GOP is not a party of fiscal conservatives, individual or business freedoms. GOP is a hard-line religious party which, at this point, function as a political branch of evangelicals. So the debate is pure is simple – do you want to live in a theocracy or not? Any attempt of republicans to divert discussion to any other direction is just that – a smokescreen.

    August 21, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  21. kathy/Minnesota

    Well,well,well,....right on time. How will paul and mitt wiggle their way out of this?

    August 21, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  22. sayer

    All the single ladies say KMA.

    August 21, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  23. jacobsart

    Hehehehe! Now a man can make any woman he wants have a baby!

    August 21, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  24. American People

    Hey GOP! Better get your science boy, Akin, to work on the wording.

    August 21, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  25. Florida Joe

    Of course it will be in the platform..............Aiken said what all Repubs truly believe, he was just dumb enough to say it out loud............that's why they are upset with him.............notice no reguard for how the women suffers during a rape
    these guys need to take their ideas back to the 50's

    August 21, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
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