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. Ben Brown Jr.

    We have already heard the GOP abortion platform, thanks to Akin.

    August 21, 2012 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  2. Truism

    Todd Akin is clearly a fall guy. The Koch Brothers and various GOP factions probably gave him a pile of cash or promises of campaign support to make his statement, testing the matters of one of the central tenets of the Republican party platform. Now they now they'll need to remove the "legitimate" wording and all the non-sense about pregnancy prevention.

    If you're a woman or know a woman, you'd have to be a complete idiot to vote Republican as the party now stands. A party of absurdists.

    August 21, 2012 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  3. LNB

    Keep it coming GOP~ Get it all out on your Dark Age platform. Burn yourself up in your own sulphuric fumes, the same fumes that Bachmann, Palin, Ryan, Atkins, al et. blew in on. Please, keep it coming.... BHO 2012 Elizabeth Warren 2016 ~ 2024

    August 21, 2012 03:01 am at 3:01 am |
  4. Epidi

    So what else is new? Forever trying to control women & their reproductive body parts. A bunch of VJJ's trying to control mine.

    August 21, 2012 03:17 am at 3:17 am |
  5. for real?

    On the one hand they are so moral and against abortion, on the other they are war mongers and death penalty advocates.

    August 21, 2012 03:19 am at 3:19 am |
  6. barbarianofgor

    This is just "Moral baiting" people...

    They won't do anything if they get / keep power.
    Except for bleeding more money for the rich elite that is.

    They just want the "moral" people to come out in droves and vote for garbage even their supreme court will turn down, just keep the money flowing to the elites as bridges collapse from non-maintenance...

    August 21, 2012 03:20 am at 3:20 am |
  7. Sassafras

    Tiny Perkins is a joke.

    August 21, 2012 03:42 am at 3:42 am |
  8. AK Benjamin

    So if a 12 year old girl is raped and impregnated, under this platform, she would have to bring her attackers baby to term. There are no exceptions for rape, or incest in these positions. What if it was your daughter, wife , or mother? The republican party just clearly defined themselves as anti-woman. Will you vote for people that want to strip away the rights of women you love, respect and raised?
    "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."

    August 21, 2012 03:51 am at 3:51 am |
  9. jeremy

    I think this is wrong! I know one thing, if you are a woman, don't vote GOP!

    August 21, 2012 03:57 am at 3:57 am |
  10. Educated

    Religion no longer has a place in this world. We have outgrown it as humans. It will be our demise if we do not amend the current situation. It is the barer of conflict, the bringer of death... all under a facade of love, peace and eternity. Pushing moral code derived from an invisible man from above seems a little childish, don't we think?

    August 21, 2012 04:04 am at 4:04 am |
  11. Mike

    When I read articles like this it never ceases to amaze me how out of touch politicians are. Speaing for myself here are some things that WON'T affect how I vote:

    – Abortion. I am not a fan of abortion however the chances of the GOP making it illega are slim and none therfore it will not play into my decision.
    – Religion. Freedom of what religion a person follows or if they follow it all will not play into my decision.
    – Gay Marriage. Whether or not someone is gay or straight is not my business. The only thing I will say is that it is the business of each state t determine if they want to recognize gy marriage and that decision should be respected by the courts.

    Here is what WILL play into my decision:

    – The economy. Neither party has outlined a realistic plan to turn the economy around.
    – Taxes and the debt. I or anyone who can read and operate a calculator could fix that problem yet neither party seems willing to d what should be done for fear of losing the poor or minority vote or fear of losing all the money that the rich and big business pump into their campaigns.

    Personally I am at the point where I have written off this election. My goal is to try and suvive until 2016 when hopefully somebody will run for office who cares enough about this country to do what is right and will listen to the voice of the people instead of the voice of special interests groups and the wealthy.

    August 21, 2012 04:08 am at 4:08 am |
  12. zooni

    Yes because jobs and a growing debt are just no as important as the rights of a zygote. I am not sure why the GOP is still around.

    August 21, 2012 04:12 am at 4:12 am |
  13. James Baker

    Is this the same America I grew up in??? Middle eastern theocracies and the Republican party of today have so much in common now. They both talk directly to God and with his holy blessing they will gleefully force all the rest of us to live and die exactly as they permit.

    August 21, 2012 04:16 am at 4:16 am |
  14. justiceinamerica

    Republicans said life stats in contraception but joe the plumber wants to shoot on grown adults , so which one is the real Republican flip flaps. Are you for life or against life? Are you for the children of God or against them? But make your stand for real and not just for votes.

    August 21, 2012 04:21 am at 4:21 am |
  15. tramaine

    crazy people. Taliban is here

    August 21, 2012 04:28 am at 4:28 am |
  16. Dem

    Ah Republicans, their old timey prejudices and biases remind me why my racist grandmother still votes for them. Of course, unlike her prejudices which are harmless and kind of adorable, the Republicans' prejudices are frightening and wildly out of touch with reality. This is why I laugh when I hear the Republicans have trouble getting female support. When you treat a woman as less important than the handful of cells growing inside of her, and tell her it would be better to die carrying a rapist's baby than allow an abortion, well, you have to realize that some people are going to feel that's a terrible thing to believe. Not everyone, of course, just people in touch with reality.

    August 21, 2012 04:40 am at 4:40 am |
  17. craig

    In other words, Akin speaks for the party. If nothing else, the GOP will go down fighting the good fight to ensure that women get back in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant, even if it take a legitimate rape to accomplish the task.

    August 21, 2012 04:54 am at 4:54 am |
  18. Wayne

    Haven't the decent people of America just about had enough of the republican party and its Sharia type laws and hopeful amendments? This republican party is as twisted as any country with Sharia religion. Most of America has considered those countries backward and un-civilized. That is exactly where republicans are going. If we let them it could get much worse. Every bit as bad as the witch hunts of old and that is NOT an exaggeration. They'll have us back in time to the dark ages. republicans have to be shown the door so the adults can run the country before it is too late. They need to be completely disbanded as a party. Being in the minority is not enough, they have lost their small minds. There is no doubt they will enact laws for different classes of people and that would only be the beginning. If anyone thinks that is too far out just look and think about what they are doing right now. Rid ourselves of the republican scourge.

    August 21, 2012 04:56 am at 4:56 am |
  19. Caspar Mulders

    That's the GOP for you. Elderly rich men who will tell you what is good for women. I maintain that any of these wingnut Republicans, had they been Muslims in the Middle East, holding the exact same political views they do now, would be regarded as enemies of the west, extremists and potential terrorists.

    It's no wonder that in Europe, hardly anyone (less than 20% of those questioned in nearly all opinion polls) believes a Republican president could be a good thing.

    August 21, 2012 05:01 am at 5:01 am |
  20. gary

    Anti-abortion is an issue just to get stupid bible thumpers to vote GOP ... GOP uses gay, abortion, and war to get the stupid to vote for them. Too bad those voters don't know science, history, geography, etc.

    August 21, 2012 05:09 am at 5:09 am |
  21. gary

    Think how the issue would differ if men got pregnant

    August 21, 2012 05:10 am at 5:10 am |
  22. Facepalm28

    Thank you Republicans, for making your eternal ignorance clear once again. Thank you, also, for the women vote, the independent vote, the common sense vote, the White House, and the rest of the government.

    August 21, 2012 05:11 am at 5:11 am |
  23. butch

    This type of religious zealotry is what will keep Obama in the White House for another 4 years. When are we going to get people we can vote for whose politics aren't dominated by religion and who are also not communists? GOP needs to adapt to the times. America has a rapidly expanding percentage of non religious citizens whose primary reason for not voting republican is that they recognize the insanity of religious zealotry when they see it.

    August 21, 2012 05:23 am at 5:23 am |
  24. HemiHead66

    Isn't it amazing how the GOP constantly tweak their position to pander for votes? Yeah, we're only going to screw the people under 55 outta their Medicare benefits, so the rest of you can still vote for us. And you don't have to worry about carrying a rapists child because Romney, the biggest flip-flopper on the planet is gonna go against the whole Tea-Bag party to save the day. He'll also save you from carrying a perverted family members child. And you don't have to worry about hospitals hands being tied when your unborn child is threatening your life... Yeah, right! I can't believe there are people out there who still vote for these shills.

    August 21, 2012 05:27 am at 5:27 am |
  25. 1nd3p3nd3nt

    i wish they'd stop the posturing and baiting and simply start having a serious discussion about abortion. they seem to be appealing to the emotional side of things, with very little thought to the consequences of such legislation.

    for example, in a world where abortion is illegal, would a miscarriage result in a manslaughter charge? can a woman be arrested for drinking while pregnant? how about if the woman is doing something too active while pregnant, does that qualify as child abuse or manslaughter?

    will miscarriages be investigated by police? will the womb become a crime scene? will pregnancy be used to change women from private citizens to possessions of the community? all serious questions, none of which are addressed in the 'pro-life' platform.

    i empathize with the pro life movement, i can understand where they're coming from. i just don't think they've thought it through.

    August 21, 2012 05:41 am at 5:41 am |
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