August 21st, 2012
11:51 AM ET
2 years ago

GOP platform committee approves tough anti-abortion stance

Tampa, Florida (CNN) – Republicans drafting their party's official policy platform on Tuesday ratified a call for a Constitutional ban on abortion that makes no exceptions for rape or incest.

The vote to endorse the party's long-standing opposition to abortion and support for a "human life amendment" took place at a meeting of the GOP's official platform committee in Tampa, the site of next week's Republican National Convention.

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The party's official stance on abortion was approved after just a few minutes of discussion. The language in the platform must be voted on before the full Republican Convention next week, though Republicans say it is all but certain to pass.

"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 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."

Platform committee chairman Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia thanked the 110-member committee for "affirming our respect for human life" and quickly moved on to other topics as top advisers to Mitt Romney's Republican presidential campaign looked on from the back of the room.

Because the language about a Constitutional abortion ban is similar to language in past Republican platforms, the vote might normally have escaped notice.

But the debate over abortion - and exceptions for rape victims - was thrust into the national political spotlight on Sunday in the wake of Missouri Rep. Todd Akin's comments about "legitimate rape."

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.

Republican officials said the language in the platform was "100% pro-life" but stressed that the document has to remain vague and avoid specific language about abortion exceptions because different states have varying abortion regulations.

In the abortion and "sanctity of life" platform, Republicans also outlined its opposition to federally-funded embryonic stem cell research and demanded that the government "not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage."

Additionally, the party 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."

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Filed under: 2012 • Abortion • Florida • Mitt Romney • RNC
soundoff (341 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    GOP is like Akin. Akin just accidentally said what he honestly feels.

    August 21, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  2. RAWoD

    Just when you think the GOP has hit bottom they lurch downwards. This party does not deserve any votes this year.

    August 21, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  3. Tari Torch Sweeney - Shaker Heights, OH

    Well...I'm glad the GOP will do that. That should help Obama immensely. Obama should stick to the issues, stop the negative campaigns, and let Romney shoot himself...by himself. He surely doesn't need any help from Obama to do this! So funny. The backlash on on Akin isn't enough to show the GOP that might be a bad idea on the anti-abortion platform? Hahahahaha!

    August 21, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  4. Hank

    Alexithymic Mitt's "crowd" goes BACKWARDS to the "coat hanger" days.

    August 21, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  5. Randall Dem

    No exception for rape, incest, of health of the mother. Against contraceptives in health plans, Against planned parenthood, For creationism science, Against women's reproductive freedom. Yes Republican's really know how to sweat talk the ladies.

    August 21, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  6. pct1999

    Oh yeah, the timing could't be better Hear there's a hurricane on the way too! Call it an omen

    August 21, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  7. Crazy Joe

    GOP only care about you until you're born. After that, unless you're rich, you're on your own.

    August 21, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  8. Monicafaye12

    Why would any woman vote GOP. Wake up women-they are trying to send us back to the dark ages! Even if you are against abortion and can sit on your high horse and confidently say you would never get one-what if your daughter, niece, grandaugter were "legitimately raped"-would you at least not like the option for her?
    Why are republicans on one hand uniting under "less government" and then on the other hand making personal decisions for women (most of them are men and the women have probably higher than normal testosterone counts)? Does that not sound hypocritical?

    August 21, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  9. GI Joe

    They're only made because Ryan/Akin bill in 2009 is brought to the forefront BEFORE THE VOTE.

    August 21, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  10. Karm99

    Romney – Ryan – Akin 2012

    August 21, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  11. GI Joe

    MAD (not made) - oops

    August 21, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  12. TomInRochNY

    GOP: Get government out of our lives! Unless it's us telling you what you can and cannot do based on our beliefs, not yours.

    August 21, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  13. gailb59

    The party who blames regulation for chaining business has no problem with regulating people. I think this country has far bigger issues to deal with then taking a hard core stand on an issue that most of these people will never deal with. Like war, it is easy to support war when your not the person walking the goat trail.

    August 21, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  14. hippie power 69

    how about the life of the woman who is already here? no respect for her life? just a big government to tell all of these women what to do or not do with their bodies? these old white men, for the most part, just have no idea how many people they have turned off. most women and the men who love and respect them, give women enough credit to know and to do what is best for them and their families. shame on you men. if men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrement.

    August 21, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  15. JustAO

    That's one way to completely scare off the independent voters in 2012. The GOP brand is broken. It needs to return to it's fiscal conservative, but socially liberal roots. Lincoln anyone?

    August 21, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  16. J Russ

    don't really follow the GOP's latest mantra but if you believe that abortion is the killing of an innocent life it doesn't matter how that life began.

    August 21, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  17. 1twinswin

    Are these "leaders" not watching the news right now?

    August 21, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  18. Grand Oil Party 2012

    Unless you're a rich white male the GOP has no place for you.

    August 21, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  19. Expat American

    I can see it now...

    Akin/Bachmann 2016.
    One who hates women, and one who doesn’t mind being hated.

    August 21, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  20. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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."

    Nor will it ever, not on a Romney/Ryan ticket anyway.

    August 21, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  21. bearced

    I find it quite hypocritical that these republicans say they value human life but are so quick to go to war and stand firmly behind the death penalty.

    August 21, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    Nest up: ban all clocks and calendars and insist that it's still the 18th century!!!!

    August 21, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  23. Suzanne

    Why is it that abortion rights only become the BIG discussion during election cycles? When the Republican'ts have been in total control, they did nothing to change the law.....?? Only during election cycles does it seem to be an issue! Akin is on the "hot seat" only because he goofed and said out loud what Romney and Ryan believe is true and are working toward. Women, we'd best band together or we're in a heap of trouble! Vote Democratic in November for the rights of ALL women!

    August 21, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  24. Bill C

    God help all the women the GOP males will hurt with their policies. Women are to them only slaves to be victimized. I stand with the ladies opposing this sad attempt to deprive them of their freedom to practice their own beliefs. These religious right types want to impose their beliefs on the rest of us. Time to stand up and fight against them;.

    August 21, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    "The party who blames regulation for chaining business has no problem with regulating people."

    Didn't you get the memo? Corporations are people. People are chattel.

    August 21, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
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