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. CT voter

    This should be interesting. How can the leader of the GOP – Romney – stake out a position that contradicts his own party? Will the right-wing allow that?

    August 21, 2012 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  2. Dadster

    Oh, but of course! Let's tell everyone, especially we Christians, about how strong we are against abortion! Just like we did during the Bush years! Remember all the Republican party did against abortion when we had a Republican president, Republican controlled house and Republican controlled senate?(2001 thru 2006) 6 STRAIGHT YEARS! Even Billy Graham told the Republicans that they better remember who got them elected. Yet here we are today and abortions are still legal. I have a better idea. Instead of presenting an anti abortion platform, why don't you hold a platform where you can tell us exactly what you'd like to say to the MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of unborn chlidren who were ripped from their mothers wombs and murdered during your 6 STRAIGHT YEARS OF TOTAL CONTROL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 21, 2012 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  3. R H

    Yep I believe this, now I believe that. We find it disgraceful, but it's part of our platform. We say one thing and do the opposite. Repubs believe the rest of us just don't get it. So their plan is just lie to the people and then if they win push their agenda thru and say you would not understand, cause we are smarter than you cause you were dumb enough to vote us in. Then they are going to get drunk and go swimming nude. Just the opposite of what you would expect. Repubs are looking down their nose at us. Just vote them out. Good riddance to all the hypocrisy and arrogance.

    August 21, 2012 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  4. chill

    But the GOp hasn't declared war on women, right? Forcing a rape victim to bear her rapist's child, criminalizing abortion within a few days of the attack. I applaud Romney for backing away from that position slightly, but lets see what his platform says and if he runs on it.

    August 21, 2012 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  5. yolanda

    Akin is living proof that abortiuons should be allowed.

    August 21, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  6. dreucalypt

    So Akin was not out of the Republican mainstream. They do want women to bear their rapists' babies.

    August 21, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  7. zivo24

    Hmm...so the GOP believes that the 14th Amendment applies to unborn children...unless, of course, they turn out to be gay...then it doesn't.

    August 21, 2012 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  8. Catherine

    Whatever happened to the Republican Party's belief in less government interference? The far-right has hijacked a party that I used to respect and occassionally vote for. Now we found out the put Senators that don't understand basic human reproduction on the Science and Technology committee.

    August 21, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  9. zivo24

    The GOP believes that the 14th Amendment applies to unborn children....unless they turn out to be gay...then it doesn't anymore.

    The republican party...self-serving hypocrisy at it's finest.

    August 21, 2012 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  10. Randy, San Francisco

    Are they going to sneak in Ryan's plan to outlaw abortion in the case of rape? Ryan and Rep Akin are good buddies and hold the same views.

    August 21, 2012 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  11. rebound

    Once again, a platform designed to send women back to the middle
    ages. I can't have children, but vehemently defend a woman's right
    to choose. I am genuinely frightened for women these days.
    "The unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life
    which cannot be infringed" is a proclamation that has far-reaching implications. With no exceptions being made for rape or incest-
    it's incomprehensible what that could mean for a woman forced to
    live in that "Talibanesque" society. We all should be very afraid.

    August 21, 2012 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  12. Stopthemadness

    The Republican Party is once again set to enshrine into its official platform support for "a human life amendment"

    If they really defended human life they would not be repealing the affordable care act.

    August 21, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  13. Lar 5

    The GOP platform will include calling for a ban on ALL abortions including those for rape, incest and the life of the mother. Let's just see how Romney and Ryan react to that abomination.

    August 21, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    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
    -------------------------------------------------
    Well who needs THAT exemption, except for us women of course.
    Ann-antoinette is past her child-bearing years isn't she?

    August 21, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  15. demogoat

    All persons born, the first three words of the Fourteenth Amendment. In 1868 when this amendment was passed, it was designed to protect the life, liberty and equal protection for all persons born in a state that was part of this union called the United States of America. The unborn, are not afforded protection under this amendment.

    August 21, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  16. PJ

    It's not rape if you had the option of carrying a gun in your State and chose not to. Or went outside when you had the option of staying home and covering yourself in a sheet. Maybe you should stop flirting with men who aren't Family members or your Husband. You need don't need that education. Taliban or GOP? As if there's a difference?

    August 21, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  17. Malory Archer

    You'd think they would at least give the appearance of putting the matter on the back burner until after November considering how terrified they are that akins' ignorant, hateful comments are costing them votes. Wait a minute.... that would imply that they actually have the capacity to THINK BEYOND the next three syllables to roll out of their lying mouths! LOL!!!

    August 21, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  18. Dave

    The Republicans don’t want to see any abortions and they don’t want to finance social programs either, because it’s considered ‘big government’. I can see many problems with that. Do they think that all of these unexpected pregnancies come from the rich of this country?

    August 21, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  19. Bill

    The republican party needs to go. It's fractions are intensely negative and dividing. The christian coalition runs the party and that defies separation of church and state. This party is committing felonies daily and nothing is done. Is their honestly no lawyer in this land willing to go after this party?

    August 21, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  20. sgurdog

    Only the GOP would call them unborn American citizens yet deny that children of illegal immigrants born here are. They talk about deficits and economic prosperity to get elected then turn hard right and concentrate on banning gay marriage and abortion. But they are the protectors of life and liberty, they wouldn't just be talking out their behinds would they.

    August 21, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  21. ST

    I would like to know why these so-called religious followers want to impose their beliefs to others and not vice-versa.
    They want every egg in women body be created as a human being, while they are against feeding them(food stamps), and healthcare(Obamacare). Does it make any sense to bring kids to earth and watch them dying?????

    August 21, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  22. S-Hug

    Reproductive Rights for Rapists — That's how the GOP's stance translates for women.

    August 21, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  23. JA

    That's right Republicans. Let's go back to back room abortions, killing thousands of mothers each year. By trying to defund Planned Parenthood, you want to deprive millions of young women birth control availability, increasing the number of unwanted pregnancies. Logic would dictate that by INCREASING birth control availability, unwanted pregnancies would decrease, decreasing the need for abortions.

    August 21, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  24. The GOP need to pack up and leave

    More proof that the GOP are no longer a viable political party. They're only out to suppress Americans while they claw their way to power.

    August 21, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  25. Dwayne

    Does this mean that Todd Akin will be in right up there with Romney and Ryan at the convention ?

    August 21, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
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