First on CNN: GOP prepares tough anti-abortion platform
August 20th, 2012
10:41 PM ET
9 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. Mr 1% the "VULTURE CAPITALIST BUSINESSMAN" will outsource all the poor, disabled, unemployed and elderly, to China and sell America to the highest bidder!

    Under a GOP administration, women will be reduced to incubators.

    What is next, trials for murder if she has a miscarriage?

    August 21, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  2. Lyla M

    And someone please explain why they are so fixed on protecting embryos yet could care less about the fate of viable children born to people who cannot afford them and rely on welfare? This seems very schizophrenic to me. The GOP has clearly lost its way forward.

    August 21, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  3. 2T

    This is a direct attack on poor women, since the rich ones will just fly to any country with legal abortion and get it done safely over the weekend.

    August 21, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  4. Erika2

    The Republicans will run on the promise of an anti-abortion ruling – but they just use it to get votes. Once they're elected, you'll hear nothing more about it. Sad.

    August 21, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  5. us_1776

    There they go again, getting all mushy over a blob of cells.


    August 21, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  6. kaparrishinatl

    So, if the Romney/Paul platform believes abortion is allowed in the case of rape, incest, and to save the mother's life than does that make them semi-PRO CHOICE? I also want to know what the Catholic Church and the devote Evangelical's feel about this new stance with the Romney/Paul platform. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the Catholic Church and Evangelicals opposes abortion, there are NO exceptions. Has something changed within both of these church's doctrine?

    August 21, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  7. kaparrishinatl

    If Mrs. Ryan supports her husband will she be allowed to receive communion on Sunday?

    August 21, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  8. drake mallard

    both Romney and Ryan backed proposals to outlaw abortion ... even in cases of rape and incest
    American Taliban: The GOP risks becoming Sharia Party

    the GOP new "Moral America" laws banning tobacco, alcoholic beverages, red meat, firearms, profanity, non-Christian religions, no women – unless you're married – no foul language,

    August 21, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  9. High Way

    You guys don't get it. The highest abortion rates are among white women because they could afford to do it if needed. Get the picture! Republicans sees the white race dwindling.

    August 21, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  10. rs

    These laws show the blatent and mis-guided value that the GOP places on zygotes and rapists over grown American female citiziens. It is IN FACT no different than the nonsense spouted by Akin just a couple of days ago. Worse, this is PRECISELY the position held by Mr. Romney's new running mate Mr. Ryan. Getting rid of Akin won't fix this barbaric war on women that the GOP is indeed conducting.

    GOP: the party of "life" from the bedroom door to birth. After that, not so much.

    August 21, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  11. I Ronny

    While the GOP screams about the "socialism" inherent in the health care legislation, they utterly fail to grasp the exact same Big Brother mentality when it comes to imposing their moral views on the entire nation.

    August 21, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  12. Fair is Fair

    "Next, someone will notice that sperms wiggle and are therefore alive, meaning that all those adolescent boys fiddling with themselves are baby killers and should be immediately executed. And if a woman has a period, she's guilty too!"
    Do you know how absurdly ridiculous you sound when you write this stuff?

    August 21, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  13. us_1776

    If you want to see what outlawing abortion does to a country then look at the Phillipines.

    70 years ago the Phillipines was a prosperous nation of 30 million people.

    Then religious extremists got into the Phillipine govt and outlawed abortion.

    Today the Phillipines is an economically depressed third-world country of 130 million.

    Massive over-population has resulted in women and their children struggling to survive in the streets.

    That's what abortion does to a country.


    August 21, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  14. Sniffit

    17th century religious nutjobs: "Well, you didn't drown, so you must be a witch."

    21st century religious nutjobs: "Well, you got pregnant, so you must not have been raped."


    August 21, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  15. Ivan Bial

    It must be a great world for the rabid right whose only concerns are social issues. Abortion, gays and guns all wrapped up in the church. Social issues that fit their religious dogma never enter into the conversation, the poor, hungry and homeless are left out. I guess being simplistic fits their background of undying obedience to the whims of the church leaders and a book with many versions.
    The religious right played like a harp by the powers that run the republican agenda. They have learned how to get just the right reaction by pushing there hot buttons(Abortion, gays and Guns).
    They are so easily lead they continually vote against their own best interest.

    August 21, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  16. John

    Perhaps the GOP can have Akin as their main speaker for the evening.

    August 21, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  17. sifto

    shame on you, your desperation to re-elect BO, you are scraping the bottom of the barrel–we all know this election is about the American people getting their jobs back–and not something that has already been decided by the US supreme court–nice try–hpefully, it won't deceive people...

    August 21, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  18. saraph

    C'mon GOP – take it one step further. let's arm every fetus with a teeny tiny machine gun.

    August 21, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  19. Foreverwar

    It's their war on women platform, I hope they lose big in November for this.

    August 21, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  20. Al

    This shows total disregard for a woman who is raped and would have to carry an unwanted child through a full pregmanacy. The Repubs have now made it perfectly clear that they have no respect for the rights of a woman in such a predicament. Anyone that votes Repub needs their head examined.....and without the benefit medical insurance coverage.

    August 21, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  21. open400

    The GOP is pro-birth, not pro-life. The GOP could care less what happens to the child after it is born – especially if the child is poor or member of a minority.

    August 21, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  22. Jon

    I can not believe it is 2012 and women's reproductive rights issues are a hot-button topic. Utterly astounding.

    August 21, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  23. albie

    This type of insanity alone is enough to shut down the republicans - down with religion!

    August 21, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  24. Peace

    This burning and sensitive issue hasn't been handled properly by Romney and his fellow GOPs.
    They could have immediately dealt with the issue privately and not openly since Sunday when the news broke.
    There is a possibility of losing a huge number of women supporters; Akin insisting of not bowing out as he has a lot of religious supporters who can create a huge divide between republicans themselves.

    August 21, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  25. rs

    The wonderful thing about these super-radical laws the GOP bandies about is that it shows them for the immoral hypocrits they are. They say they are for "freedom" and "less government", yet they want to run regular partols through women's reproductive systems; they want the government firmly standing between a woman and her doctor(when they can get one), and: failing that, they are seeking to end all public health initiatives for women, and kill the ACA, which has given women much improved health care access.
    Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan stand shoulder to shoulder with Akin, with Ryan signing off on every signle abortion limiting bill that has hit the House of Representatives in the last 15 years.
    The GOP is mentally ill. Akin proved it and Ryan supports it.

    August 21, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
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