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. david esmay

    The Insane Clown Party, reaffirming their belief that, as Barney Frank said,' life begins at conception an ends at birth".

    August 21, 2012 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  2. bigtbone

    How does having more unwanted children help fix the economy?

    It appears as though the gop has chosen the crazy train and it is hitting 100mph with no brakes.

    This could very well be the final desperate act.

    August 21, 2012 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  3. ardale

    Would be Senator Akin is all in on this amendment.

    August 21, 2012 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  4. AnneofVA

    When will this stop? I just don't understand the GOP being so strident on "keeping government out of our lives", then trying to make laws on medical procedures based on religious beliefs. The majority of women will not support this. We do not need "Daddies" in the government getting involved in our personal decisions. I'm so afraid this country is going backwards on so many social issues, it's an embarrassment. I don't see how the GOP thinks this is going to increase their chances of winning the election.

    August 21, 2012 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  5. Dann

    So the party that cries Obamacare would result in the government deciding your health care is pushing a platform in favor of the government requiring ultrasounds (which are not medically necessary) and waiting periods (which are not medically necessary). Apparently this is what happens when you are driven by ideology rather than principles.

    August 21, 2012 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  6. Don

    Wow... which pretty much spells out that the G0P has nothing else to run on...

    August 21, 2012 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  7. GonzoinHouston

    This is to assuage the evangelicals who are unhappy they didn't get Santorum for the VP slot. By not even allowing a clause for rape & incest (is there such a thing as legitimate incest Mr. Akin?), and the anti-contraception efforts during the primaries, the GOP has just given the dems the material for a nice campaign ad.

    August 21, 2012 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  8. Dave

    Yup... The GOP cares about children until the second they're born. Then they're on their own...

    August 21, 2012 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  9. MP in VA

    Promoting government-controlled medical advice will certainly show how committed the Republicans are to smaller, less intrusive government in our personal lives.

    August 21, 2012 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  10. mark

    Get out your popcorn.....this is gonna be good.....

    August 21, 2012 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  11. Grady

    The more hardline and draconian they get about this issue the more likely they will lose.

    August 21, 2012 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  12. Jim

    These people are nuts

    August 21, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  13. I am Legion

    You know, this is the conundrum for the anti-abortion crowd. If taking (in their view) a child's life via abortion is abominable and should be outlawed and criminalized, then what makes a child concieved by rape (or incest, or with children (12-14 for example) less valuable and subject to death?

    Akins' would have been better off if he had stuck to his principles (although I disageee with him and them) and said something like "all life is precious, and we need to have better counseling and services for women who must bear this terible burden".

    He still would have been wrong (IMHO), but at least he would have been consistent. But most of the anti-abortionists have the same blind spot (see Rommey's position) and the same conundrum.

    We shall see.

    August 21, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  14. Claire

    The repub party runs on stupid.

    August 21, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  15. Tom Legare

    How come these sick wackos can't leave Women alone. How about some job language in that platform!

    August 21, 2012 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  16. Sarah

    In short, Akin didn't "misspeak." He just got in trouble for revealing the party line ahead of schedule.

    August 21, 2012 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  17. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    So once again the Republican party shoots itself in the foot to satisfy Ralph Reed, Tony Perkins, Pat Robertson and other vocal members of the Religious Right. What would they do if the Republicans did not put the anti-abortion plank in? Threaten to take their votes to the Democrats? That is highly unlikely given the current political/social climate. If they wish to not isolate themselves from the majority of America they really need to get rid of their social/cultural agenda and approach a economic and social justice platform.

    August 21, 2012 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  18. Real Conservative

    Once again the GOP is trying to use big government to force their beliefs on others.

    August 21, 2012 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  19. Richard

    Everything I've read about the unborn is that they are DEAD. So the republicans want to give a dead body more rights than a woman. Talk about a ghoulish religion. I'm not sure where they ever got this concept, but I know they did not get it from the Bible, unless its The Book of Mormon. I never finished the whole book, it just was a pile of tripe. I really don't believe God was a man,Jesus yes, he took our form, but not the Father. I also don't believe someone can baptize a relative of mine into the Mormon religion. It's just a big con started by a con artist and still being perpetuated by con artists.

    August 21, 2012 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  20. Ed1

    "The fact that we are here today to debate raising America 's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure.

    It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills.

    It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's

    reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America 's debt weakens us domestically and internationally.

    Leadership means that 'the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today

    onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.

    Americans deserve better."

    ~ Senator Barack H. Obama, March 2006

    August 21, 2012 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  21. karen

    Just another example of the right wing engaging in religious persecution. If they don't want an abortion, don't have one

    August 21, 2012 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  22. Adevilson

    Yes, please do so. PLEASE!

    August 21, 2012 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  23. garc

    Brilliant! Thank you. Obama/Biden 2012!!

    August 21, 2012 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  24. Mama for Obama

    The GOP is just lying because they want to get Mitt Romney and themselves elected. There REALLY is a war going on against women by the Repubs. How can anyone trust them? Mitt the twit won't even show anyone his tax returns. He is the "etch-a-sketch man." The ultimate liar. All Republicans are. They want to send us all back to the stone age, including themselves. All good Americans need to band together and vote out ALL of the Republicans. We need to teach them a lesson. Put them down so hard they won't be able to raise their heads again. Put them out of business, forever!

    August 21, 2012 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  25. Paul SC

    II have listened to numerous speeches and campaign events. This actually is NOT what the campaign is focused on. I know some of you over here at CNN are trying ever so hard to turn off those independents to conservatives by creating a narrative of Religious Right, assault on gay marriage and equality, war women etc but I am sorry to say you are failing and the desperation is starting to show. The Romney Team has campaigned on the economy. I will be looking for this platform at the convention, and if this is not part of the speech or platform, I would like an apology and an outing of your source, who is probably someone next door in your office cubical.

    August 21, 2012 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
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