Brown calls for change in GOP language on abortion
August 21st, 2012
08:27 PM ET
6 years ago

Brown calls for change in GOP language on abortion

(CNN) – U.S. Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts rejected his party's draft language on abortion in a letter to the Republican National Committee chairman Tuesday.

In the letter, Brown expressed apprehension over "language opposing a woman's right to choose and supporting a constitutional amendment banning abortion."

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Brown's concerns come after CNN reported the Republican Party's Platform Committee had affirmed its opposition to abortion and support for a "human life amendment" in a meeting in Tampa, Florida, prior to the Republican National Convention next week.

The platform committee is charged with defining the Republican Party's stance on issues before the start of Monday's convention, where presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan will officially be entered into nomination.

In a meeting Tuesday the group defined the Republican plank on abortion as this:

"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 platform language said. "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."

The stance will be finalized by the committee prior to the convention.

In the letter sent to RNC chairman Reince Priebus and also released to reporters, Brown urged Priebus to reconsider the draft language on the issue of abortion to reflect a broader portion of the party.

"If we are to grow and succeed in all parts of this great nation, we must be a 'big-tent' party," Brown wrote. "There are people of goodwill on both sides of the abortion issue, and we need to send a message to voters that there is room in the Republican Party for differing perspectives."

Brown concluded by writing, "I hope you and the platform committee will recognize this reality as you finalize this year's Platform document."

Brown, who is pro-abortion rights, argued the party should grant the same concessions to Republicans like himself as it does to those who oppose abortion, also noting that the GOP platform does not serve as a guide to every Republican in the party.

Brown is locked in a high-profile race to defend his Senate seat from rival Democrat Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts - a state with a deeply liberal voting track on social issues.

Warren, a rising star in the Democratic Party, is slated to speak in a headlining role at the Democratic National Convention beginning September 4 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

In a tough week for Republicans on social issues, Rep. Todd Akin from Missouri made controversial comments on abortion, claiming that in cases that he referred to as "legitimate rape" the female body has ways to reject the pregnancy.

Brown was among the first in a host of Republicans, including Romney, to condemn Akin's remarks and call for the Senate candidate to step down from his position as the state's Republican nominee.

Akin has repeatedly refused to step aside despite a growing Republican voice claiming he would harm the party if he remains Missouri's GOP candidate facing rival Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in the general election.

Republicans are vying to gain control of the Democratic-controlled Senate come November. Akin's newly-found vulnerability puts these chances at stake in an U.S. Senate election previously thought to be a likely take-back for the Republican Party.

–CNN Political Reporter Peter Hamby contributed to this report.

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soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Peter

    Come on Scott, you know you're really a Democrat. Come into the light. Your party is forever lost. We'll welcome you into the party with open arms and you can watch as the Hindenburg of the GOP goes up in flames.

    August 21, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  2. American People

    Hey GOP! Get your science guy, Akin, to work on the wording. That ought to do it.

    August 21, 2012 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  3. Barbara; IL

    Unfrortunately, Brown as a moderate Republican will probably be forced out of the party for this point of view. The Republican party has become hostage to extreme right wing white men. As a lifelong moderate Republican woman, I cannot support the direction the Republican Party has taken.

    August 21, 2012 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  4. ajw

    1.He has more guts than Romney and 2. He is in the wrong party.

    August 21, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  5. IVOTE

    Let's get real on the "Birth Control" issues. The GOP politicians pushing to stop funding for women's health care issues are full of it and hypocritical UNLESS they have really large families to care for (8 or more kids) who were born to their wives. Any fertile couple will prove this. Marital sex produces children as long as the woman is of child bearing age and is not infertile. Small families = birth control in use.

    August 21, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  6. Darryl

    Well, well, Browns freakin-out ? I guess Elizabeth Warren is putting some fear in his Pants On Fire uh ? How funny, look at all these Washington Senators & Representives scrambeling now with the Abortion thing. I don't know why their running scared, they believe a woman should NOT have any right to do what she wants with her body anyhow. They should just be honest and go for it. But no they will lie, cheat, steal, manipulate and anything else to climb the Washington Ladder to success. Stuff their pockets with Special Interest Corporations Money and perks. The Republicans are a discrace to the country.

    August 21, 2012 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  7. Michael

    The language and the "hypocrisy" needs to change! As a Republican leader in the house Mr. Ryan worked with Mr. Akin to try and pass laws that would ban ALL abortions in cases of rape. In one of the Republican planks being put forward in the upcoming convention they are proposing the same thing. My question is how any woman in America outside of those so totally indoctrinated by the Tea Party could vote for these bigoted repuglican men? Do you really want them dictating to you what you or can't do with your own body?

    August 21, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |

    To late now ,Gop hot dog bus service in Nov ,good ridences !!!!!!

    August 21, 2012 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  9. Debbie from Arizona

    If there were more Republicans like Mr. Brown, things would be a lot better for our country. As it is, there is so much division that absolutely nothing gets done.

    August 21, 2012 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  10. Four and The Door

    "If we are to grow and succeed in all parts of this great nation, we must be a 'big-tent' party," Brown wrote. "There are people of goodwill on both sides of the abortion issue, and we need to send a message to voters that there is room in the Republican Party for differing perspectives."
    Good for Senator Brown. I happen to mostly agree with his perspective on this. But good for the Republican Party for having this discussion. I believe that more Americans are Fiscal Conservative Social Moderates than any other combination and it is 2012. I have no idea if this is the case at all, but what a perfect situation for the Republican Party to bring this discussion out at this time in this election year. Senator Brown is a very good guy to lead that strategy.

    August 21, 2012 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  11. ron

    LOL. Nice try, but nobody's buying what you're selling. You guys up there had better vote for Liz Warren! Funny how old Scottie didn't put out his "letter" until things went south for the GOP and abortion. In other words, if it didn't hurt him, he'd be just fine with "legitimate rape" talk. Choose wisely, ladies or you may regret your choice for a long, long time.

    August 21, 2012 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  12. Name Donald Byington

    Wow a moderate republican... No chance to win the backing of the party because of it...I'm a lifelong democrat but this is someone I could vote for because he knows how to compromise for the common good

    August 21, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  13. T'sah From Virginia

    It's DISTANCE YOURSELF time and Brown knows which side his bread is buttered on!!! Or, he knows it's an election year and he's on the NORTH EAST SIDE of the spectrum!! Why is it that the far-Right is so BENT on abortion rights and birth control? Maybe it's because they are a dying RACE and it's their women that are using birth control and having abortions which is devastating to their count. Just thinking!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!

    August 21, 2012 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  14. Debbie

    Senator Brown: Your call for change in the GOP is too little too late. Your party (Once my party of 35 years) has radically moved to the right. As an Independent I cannot this year vote for any Republican as the party rules over all members. I just can't take the chance you are more moderate as your one voice is drowned out by the rest of the GOP. My plan this year on voting is to vote on issues and I will vote Obama as my stand against Ryan. Even Romney as a moderate has no voice or leadership over the GOP. The GOP should have dumped the TEA and remained conservative vs fanatical zealots. Should more moderates ever retake the GOP I would return, but until then I remain an Independent.

    August 21, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  15. nothing new here

    U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, and folks like Ron Paul are the last of the true "Barry Goldwater" conservatives left.
    It was a bad, BAD mistake to link up with religious extremists, even Goldwater tried to warn the party not to stray from it's original platform.
    All I can say is this – LIBERTARIANS, MODERATES, INDEPENDENTS, and RON PAUL supporters, listen to what this man says!!!! Do not let this great country become a theocracy. The time to act is NOW!

    August 21, 2012 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |

    These Republicans are exceptional liars. Ryan sponsored any number of bills in the House limiting abortion even if the life of the mother was sacrificed, re-defining rape along with Akins, and the federal personhood bill. These Republicans are throw-backs to the Dark Ages, and do not belong in any public office. They try to bring it all back to the economy, but what these cretins don't understand is that women's health is an economic issue for them and their families. This all out assault on women and their health choices needs to stop now

    "And both Romney and Ryan backed proposals to outlaw abortion ... even in cases of rape and incest

    August 21, 2012 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  17. ThinkAgain: Under the Ryan Plan, Romney Pays 0.87% in taxes

    Yeah, but if Mittens is any guide, just give Massachusetts Senator Brown a couple years when he runs for President, and he'll be all over that no-exceptions abortion policy ...

    August 21, 2012 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  18. SafeJourney

    Brown, being the lone voice of reason in the GOP will not help you get re-elected

    August 21, 2012 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  19. pn

    Let's have the FRC define legitimate rape....BTW....the other rapes are they illegitimate rape or fake or what are they?

    August 21, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  20. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    He'll take a hit from the conservatives who want him to be more like them. This could also be seen as a ploy to limit the pro-choice groups that are supporting his opponent.

    August 21, 2012 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  21. mcskadittle

    you cannot win with your base alone

    August 21, 2012 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  22. enuff

    Wow... it is sooooo nice to see that their are candidates out there that do not tow the party line, but actually listens to their constituents. It is refreshing to know that the republican party is not entirely lost to dictators.

    August 21, 2012 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  23. Randy, San Francisco

    Sen. Brown is dreaming. It won't happen. If Brown isn't more careful he will be purged from the GOP/Tea Party for failing the purity test.

    August 21, 2012 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  24. ValarMorghulis

    Brown better watch out or soon the Republicans will throw him out of their party. He might do better as a Democrat in such a blue state.

    August 22, 2012 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  25. Phil Thomas

    This dude really wants to keep his job, funny where was this guy when they were trying to shut down the nation, bring down the credit rating. I hope folks in MA don't fall for his act

    August 22, 2012 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
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