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. MNAnonymous!

    What is the difference between the Republicans and any other religious fundamentalists? The GOP has become slave of a radical hyperconservative religious faction!

    August 21, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  2. Tom, Tom The Piper's Son

    The GOP is beyond obvious. They claim there is a war on religion (but it only matters if it’s Christianity) while at the same time pushing their religion on others by trying to create repressive laws. Each and everyone one of you should be ashamed for supporting this party.

    August 21, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  3. dizzylucy

    What happened to the focus on the economy and jobs?

    August 21, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  4. DC

    Ah, the poverty rate is at an (almost) all-time high. Unemployment is horrific. Our infrastructures are in disrepair. But, yeah, let's continue on this divisive NON-ISSUE!!!! To my fellow Republicans, when will you guy wake up and realize the abortion debate IS A PLOY???? Do you think these politicians care? NO! They are manipulation your emotions for your vote so they can continue to rob us blind in Washington.

    August 21, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  5. A Revelation

    Well there certainly is a way to avoid abortion but it is not by the female body shutting down it is by the closing of her legs!

    August 21, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  6. Jersey George

    If the democratic platform contained a provision to ban gun ownership, republicans, the NRA, and die-hard gun owners’ heads would explode. No doubt, they would throw the 2nd amendment in our faces. Well, abortion is the law of the land and a woman's right to choose is protected by the 14th amendment, yet republicans nationwide are chipping away at women's abortion rights. Unfortunately, our federal government is dominated by old, white men who are stuck in the past and governor with 1950's ideologies.

    August 21, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  7. otheym

    Party platforms are worthless scraps of paper designed only to get votes from the base.
    Once they become president, candidates never follow through with its promises.

    August 21, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    Face it America. This isn't your father's Republican Party anymore. Mr. Todd Akin is just one of many - including the two candidates heading the ticket - who in all likelihood DO support each others viewpoints on abortion, rape, and birth control. Ryan is co sponsor with Todd Akin on a great many anti-abortion/personhood bills now sitting in Congress. Mitt Romney has been all over the place in his views, much the same way Mitt Romney has been all over the place in all his views. Akin may have voiced his opinion badly ... however, it is the same opinion held by the Party and it's platform.

    August 21, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  9. Governor 47th In Job Creation (Excluding Off-shored to China and India)

    The party of smaller govt...well except for voting restrictions, women's health, women's choice, and legislating people's bedrooms. But boardrooms are free to do as they please, since corporations are people when it's convenient. Sickening.

    August 21, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  10. nico

    Why should they care? All they have to do is to beat women sensless during incest/rape to make it "legitimate" so "the woman's system shuts down" and the problem is solved: No pregnancy, no abortion!

    August 21, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  11. An Independent

    Jobs, Jobs, J-abortion!

    Why are these people doubling down?

    August 21, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  12. UDidntBuildThat

    this is stunning. Everyone that actually pay attention knows the GOP is running on the economy. CNN is dishonest in its portrayal of the Romney platform. I guess CNN got their marching orders fr the WH.

    August 21, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  13. fastrack1

    Yeah, let's have Akin take the point for this one. He's obviously far more knowledgeable than any of the rest of us. How long do you think it will take before the Repugs move to increase the size of our government because they need to moderate what goes on in our bedrooms?

    August 21, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  14. DIANA

    In other words, they support what Atkins said. They must be suicidal politally, bringing this up after what he said. Instead of working for jobs all they're doing is trying to limit women's rights and try to repeal Obama's Health Care Package. Is this what this country wants? Seriously!

    August 21, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  15. Jersey George

    Republicans nationwide have declared war against women with Paul Ryan and Todd Akin leading the charge. A woman's best defense is to vote for democrats in November to keep their freedoms and liberties.

    August 21, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  16. fastrack1

    Hey Ryan! Will the Tea Party/Taliban Burqa be available in color choices, or will you control that as well?

    August 21, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  17. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Now that the bathroom wide stancers and the leg humpers of the GOP have taken over the party, women will have no rights .

    August 21, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  18. Rudy NYC

    How many times since Mitt Romney became the apparent Republican nominee have heard a Romney ad that you believed to be truthful?

    August 21, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  19. Expat American

    Republicans have every right to take away a woman’s Right over her own body….that is a Republican woman’s Right over her own body. Small price to pay for a GOP voter card.

    August 21, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  20. Sniffit

    This would allow for no exceptions. Even Akin allowed for exceptions in the case of "legitimate rape"...as disgusting as that distinction is.

    They just made Akin look moderate.

    August 21, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  21. glorydays

    Dear GOP control freaks, Stay out of my private life.

    August 21, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  22. TheMagusNYC

    For the GOP, life begins at conception, and ends at birth.
    Bring zygotes to term by government force, then abandon them by denying their parents supportive services, and deport or execute them if not white Christians.

    August 21, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  23. Aaron

    This isn't a matter of religion it's a matter of murder. If you left the process untouched in 8-9 months you have a life, that's it; simple as that, debate over. Americans need to focus more on discipline and choice, and understand the consequences of their actions/choices. The government shouldn't be our mother/father, it starts with YOU.

    August 21, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  24. Logic N LA

    I hope those voting on the economy realize what else they are endorsing when voting Republican. To change an old saying – It's not just about the money stupid!
    the restrictions of personal choice bt the GOP are astounding and getting worse. They want less government in business but more in your personal life.

    August 21, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  25. Tony

    It is not just Todd Akin.

    Akin and Paul Ryan cosponsored a 2011 bill, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act, that would redefine rape as "forcible rape." Akin claimed that when he said victims of "legitimate rape" have unnamed biological defenses that prevent pregnancy he meant "forcible rape" instead. Akin and Ryan also cosponsored a personhood bill and the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act of 2004, which would require abortion providers to tell woman that Congress has determined that the process will cause the unborn child pain.

    Neither Akin nor Ryan went to medical school.

    August 21, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
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