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. markiejoe

    I might be able to take the GOP's platform logic a little more seriously if they would add immediately after their anti-abortion plank the following: "And for the same reasons we oppose the death penalty in all cases."

    But that ain't never gonna happen.

    August 21, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  2. Sniffit

    "Pro-life until you are born – then you are on your own"

    Pro-life until you are born – then you are owned.

    FIFY 🙂

    August 21, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  3. Seyedibar

    Human life isn't sacred. Souls and gods don't exist. We're just one more species of animal swarming this planet, and there are 7 billion of us. Nobody will miss a few humans here and there, especially tiny ones that never experienced life and haven't developed enough brain cells to enjoy it. The GOP is running on a platform of superstitious phony morality.

    August 21, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  4. Duke

    So the GOP has doubled down on stupidity once again. How have they made it this far? They have won one popular vote since 1988 and yet they are the only alternative to the democratic party. I think it's time for a third party to rise up and be the other option, push the religious yahoos down to texas and let them live there where they can not allow abortion for any reason and run their own economy into the ground.

    August 21, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  5. ShawnDH

    Nix the Food Stamp President whined: "I as most Americans in polls would rather be on the GOP side of life. Obama favored infanticide while in the Illinois legislature which is so barbaric it’s beyond comprehension."

    Most Americans support women's reproductive freedom, and are you going to vote for Romney, who while CEO at Bain invested $75,000,000 in Stericycle, a medical waste company that disposes of aborted fetuses? You will vote for a "staunchly pro-life" abortion profiteer, then? Mmmmkay then. Typical Republican hypocrisy.

    August 21, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  6. once upon a horse

    I can't seem to keep up with Romney's stand on abortion.....wasn't he in favor of no abortion even in the case of rape and incest? Now I hear he is in favor of abortion ONLY in cases of rape, incest or if the mother's life is in danger. Or is this the stance only after Akin opened his big mouth and let the right wing GOP cat out of the bag?

    August 21, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  7. SomeNameHere

    Another election cycle, another anti-abortion cycle. It's sooooo predictable. Each election cycle the GOP roll out their standard anti-abortion B.S. knowing full well they won't be able to outlaw it. Just a ploy to get the religious fundamentalists out to the polls. Phoney grandstanding for the not-so-smart sheep that believe them.

    August 21, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  8. Jill

    So if this is the GOP pro life platform without exemptions for incest, rape, or serious threat to the life of the mother, then why are they asking Aikin to step aside? How are they different?

    August 21, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota


    If Jesus were to walk the Earth today he'd be appalled at the antics of the Republican party

    Including the GOPs most memorable gathering held in the Sea of Galilee ... all done in His name of course.

    August 21, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  10. saidso

    What's really baffling is how fiscal conservatives stand back and let their party suggest this. If the social conservatives got what they wanted, About 500,000 new dependents of the state would be added to the system every year. Every year! Even counting adoption, there are only 100,000 total people looking to adopt currently and I doubt they intend to adopt 5 children every year. The other 500,000 might stay with their parents who will be more likely to drop out of the workplace and out of school and go on to welfare as they try to take care of them. And this is every year. Birth Control? Most peole seeking an abortion are doing so because their BC failed. Read the stats. BC is not 100% effective. Even after withdrawning all welfare, you're still going to end up with a population growing out of control, high unemployment, prison system overflowing and massive amounts of humanity spilling into the streets. Ann Rand was pro-choice for a reason. Fiscal and Social conservatives are polar opposites of each other and always have been. Amazing! Fiscal conservatives need to get in there, knock some heads together and reclaim their party!

    August 21, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  11. denver

    Still waiting for that GOP amendment that will do away with capital punishment.

    August 21, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  12. Alesia

    At least most of the people commentining have some brains, because the GOP sure doesn't. What the hell gives you crooked, lying, cheating, etc. politicians the right to tell any woman when they HAVE to have a child? Here's a thought, maybe if you bastards quit shipping every job we had over seas which in turn would help us pay our bills, insurance and taxes we might have more children on our own. You guys are one to talk, you use the right of execution to kill people who are bad by mans standards. Then you turn around and tell americans you're trying forbid women to give birth. LOL Its political officials like YOU who make americans want to move out of the country. You can reign over all the illegal immigrants, eventually thats all there's going to be around here.

    August 21, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  13. ghostriter

    Boy. Talk about bad timing. Rolling out the same agenda that Atkin pretty much spoke to. Putting Romney on the defense once again.

    I think we are witnessing republicans being hit with the 1st batch of the information age issues. You can't hide anymore. You can't say one thing in LA and another in NYC. Everyone has a camera and youtube is free. Romney will either have to come out in support of this and lose even more of the female vote or come out against it and tick of his base. I guess that is what happens when your base is really concerned with pushing an agenda and not really concerned about doing what is right.

    August 21, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  14. anagram_kid

    I would believe this is all about human life except for two clear facts:
    1) The same party is pushing legislation that prevents access to contraception.
    2) Men don’t care about other people’s kids. They just don’t. They care about s*x and that someone else is having it.

    The abortion argument is about punishing women for being s*xually attractive and active. Every discussion I have had about abortion ends with the person stating that if a women did not want to get pregnant, she should not have s*x. That is their WHOLE argument – that women should be punished for having s*x. Time to move out of the dark ages folks..

    August 21, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  15. kristentsetsi

    These people are disgusting. I wish they were physically able to be impregnated, because I'm almost positive the majority of them would absolutely not draft a bill that would require them to carry a pregnancy violently and criminally forced inside of them.

    August 21, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  16. ghostriter

    I think the most telling thing was the Tea Party Express' reasons for asking Atkin to step down. Only because they think his chances for winning aren't too good. Not because what he said was wrong, but stupid. Not because they disagree with his view, but because they really need that seat to go republican.

    What did my man say earlier? He must think about what's best for him, his family and the republican party. Shouldn't country fit somewhere in there?

    August 21, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  17. Sniffit

    "They preach less government"

    And it's pretty simple why:

    The only thing keeping religion out of your bedrooms and wombs? The gov't.

    The only thing keeping widespread bigotry away from the lunch counters and jobs? The gov't.

    The only thing keeping the poor, destitute and sick from being "naturallyk selected"? The gov't.

    The only thing making sure women and minorities can vote? The gov't.

    The only thing keeping corporations from outright co-opting control over the gov't (instead of having to pretend they're not) by purchasing all of our elected representatives? The gov't.

    The list goes on. You get the point. As far as they are concerned, gov't is an inconvenience and a bother because it means they don't get to have everything they want. They see no reason they should have to compromise with you in order to form a workable society...and they certainly don't want to have to compromise with "them."

    August 21, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  18. Nietodarwin

    These polls that say this election will be "close" are not correct. A woman can go into the voting booth, and then tell a little white lie to her "husband' and that's that. The War on Women IS REAL and the GOP will lose.

    August 21, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  19. ShawnDH

    Nix the Food Stamp President wrote: "I as most Americans in polls would rather be on the GOP side of life. Obama favored infanticide while in the Illinois legislature which is so barbaric it’s beyond comprehension"

    So let me get this straight. You are anti-choice, but you will vote for Romney, who while CEO at Bain invested $75,000,000 in Stericycle, a medical waste firm that disposes of aborted fetuses. Keep in mind that your guy is an abortion profiteer. You support an abortion profiteer.

    August 21, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  20. Sniffit

    "I as most Americans in polls would rather be on the GOP side of life."

    Really? Interesting, because polls consistently show that over 70% of the populace supports the right to choose whether to have an abortion. Generally, the polls show that 20%-25% support it in ALL situations and that 50%+/- support it in some situations but with limitations, which is, in fact, currently the case. You can't abort fetuses willy-nilly any time you feel like it in this country and Roe v. Wade set the general parameters of those limitations. You're simply and completely wrong when you say that the majority of people want abortion banned in the manner the GOP/Teatrolls are pushing.

    August 21, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  21. Sniffit

    "Boy. Talk about bad timing. Rolling out the same agenda that Atkin pretty much spoke to." as many high-protein babies as possible, but stay away from those carbohydrates.

    I'm sorry...I had's Akin, not Atkin, but you left it so wide open....

    August 21, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  22. MaryM

    The inmates of the insane asylum have take over the GOP. They now do not have a chance in hell of winning this election

    August 21, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  23. Sven

    Abortion is wrong, so I support this.

    August 21, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  24. Pa Voter

    @ Lynda/Minnesota
    Its a shame you weren't one of those unborn children. Maybe you might have a change of heart. Opps, no you wouldn't, because you wouldn't even exist !

    August 21, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  25. Sotzume

    The Republicans continue to try and return to a time that "never was". Their utter contempt for women, gay people, black people, latin people, poor people and anyone else who isn't an old white rich man is evident in every thing they say, do, or vote for or block. They blame everyone for everything. Their attempt to punish all of us for having sex is laughable. They are the biggest hypocrites in the world. And they are dividing up our country and fomenting hatred on every level.

    August 21, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
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