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. crush

    The GOP doesn't care about this issue. It's just a way to lead low informed, religious zealot voters by the nose to the polls. If the dems would concede on the whole abortion thing, there wouldn't be a republican party anymore.

    August 21, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  2. ViK100

    Life is sacred! I am not voting for Obaman anymore.

    August 21, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  3. AJ

    And they just lost any chance of me voting for Romney/Ryan. As a fiscal conservative, I like their policies relating to business and taxes. But this is ridiculous and archaic. A woman should have the right to choose what happens to her own body, and that right should be clearly protected in cases of rape, incest, or medical need. Sorry, Republicans, you're really going in the wrong direction for me.

    August 21, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  4. urwrong55

    POTUS supports late term abortion. let's have the conversation.

    August 21, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota


    The democrats (and popular media) are master magicians they use misdirection to focus your attention away from the real issues. Abortion and gay marriage are important subjects but they get 10 times for coverage that the economy and the pillaging of other personal freedoms that are going on in this country. If the Dems got into debates on those issues they lose every time.

    Article headline: GOP prepares tought anti-abortion platform.

    Presumably, then, it is the GOP who wants this discussion front and center during this election. The Republican controlled Congress has certainly done their fare share this past two years keeping the country focused on their much touted "fetus-hood" Bill of Rights.

    The media is accommodating their wishes.

    August 21, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  6. L

    The lack of logic, reason and compassion involved in the current GOP Platform is unbelievable. Akin just said what is actually in their platform. It is PRO-Rapist Platform, forcing women to be hurt, humiliated and take on the expenses of carrying a pregnancy to term. Of course they don't want to make sure the women and fetuses have health care, that would mean they would actually help females in some way. And they are anti Women because they want doctors to tell teens and women, you are not valuable, and any kids or spouses you currently have, don't matter. We are not going to save you, if your pregnancy goes badly. That is just so insane, and I don't know why doctors are not crying foul. Could you tell someone, we won't save you even if you are pleading for your life? I don't know why any female or thinking male would support this sick thinking.

    August 21, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  7. W.G.

    The Republicans war on women continues , as does their war on the 99% .

    August 21, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  8. V

    Why does the GOP continue to shoot itself in the foot? The abortion issue has been settled. Roe v. Wade, anyone? Is it because they don't have any "real" plans for the economy and jobs so they are going after anything and everthing else? I find it amazing that with the economy in the shape it is in and the middle class being wiped out, that these buffoons continue to labor over social issues and not get to work on the economic issues at hand. But then again, it is the GOP . . . I guess enough said. No real plans – just the need to tell everyone else how to live their lives.

    Another thing, if they really want government out of their lives, why are they trying to get government involved in a personal and very private matter that has already been decided?

    Obama 2012!!

    August 21, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  9. KCRick

    Democrats care more for spotted owls than they do unborn babies. Thousands of viable fetuses are aborted every year. Where is the outrage!

    August 21, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  10. Hogan's Goat

    This is just dismally stupid. These guys have abnormal thoughts about women or something. And some of you are actually considering voting this kind of junk into law?

    August 21, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  11. Ludwig

    Let me get this straight. The GOP does not support abortion for rape victims, but Romney (the GOP candidate) said under his administration he will allow abortion for rape victims. Ryan does not support abortion for rape victims, but pledged that under a Romney administration abortions would be allowed for rape victims. Talking out of both sides of their mouths much?

    August 21, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  12. Ozzie

    Let me see if I got this right.... the GOP is against any and all abortions but they are also against women having contraception being covered by insurance and against sex education in schools?

    August 21, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  13. High Way

    Go to Africa where there are on going wars. You will see childrens of rape are mostly abandonned, not loved and in poverty. Do we want the same thing here in the USA?

    August 21, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  14. Dmully

    no different than the 2008 platform. CNN is running this to extend the Akin story, plain and simple

    August 21, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  15. urwrong55

    Two extreme abortion views. One one side – Akins and the other Obamas. I believe Republicans will win this argument because I dont recall that Akin is running for President.

    August 21, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  16. California Gary

    If the GOP is going to write this stand right into their platform, then why all the fake outrage over Akin? He didn't say anything contrary to the official position of the evidenced by their platform. In 2010 the GOP ran on jobs, jobs, jobs and fooled enough people to get elected. Instead of jobs, the GOP focused their efforts almost entirely on abortion issues. This time, it will be hard for them to fool enough people and they know it. That's why they are working so hard to disenfranchise voters.......they know they can't win a fair election.

    August 21, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  17. Jim Hahn

    An ugly race is about to get uglier as social conservatives threaten to rip the GOP into two. Good riddance. Up to this point, the party has been able to get away with speaking out of both sides of its collective mouth. Now it's true nature and intent have been exposed. The Anti-women party really is just that.

    August 21, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  18. oman

    The GOP in the HOUSE and Senate has had a tough anti-abortion platform for over three years. Their platform is to
    abort legislation for creating jobs.

    August 21, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  19. G8r

    It's pathetic that Republicans present themselves as fiscal conservatives but yet are quite willing to let us foot the tax bill to educate those 1.3 million children per year who are presently being aborted. At $10,000 per year to educate a child in most states, a K-12 education costs the taxpayers $130,000 for each child. This doesn't include all the pre-school government programs nor does it include post secondary education or in too many cases, incarceration. At 1.3 million times $130,000 each, the cost of subsidizing a religious viewpoint is staggering. Already, the costs of government are not sustainable, and they want to stick us with this bill too??? Amazing!

    August 21, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  20. Lynda/Minnesota

    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 !

    Or care. (Both to your opinion and my existence.)

    August 21, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  21. Larry Pooface

    No one is pro-abortion in the way that they reccommend abortions to pregnant mothers; it is called pro-choice because they believe that the decision is up to the individual, not the government. A Constiitutional amendment is not a very hands off approach for the government.

    August 21, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  22. ja

    the gop need to pull their heads out of the sand, get rid of erectile dysfunction drugs, the socalled self righteous sobs, akin has the mentality of the majority of the gop, a woman's body is her temple, you pretend as if you care about life, but once it is here you squeeze its breath away

    August 21, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  23. Luke Brown

    It took Ryan less than a week to flip-flop yet again on a major position he has held since being elected to Congress.

    August 21, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  24. KlintzCNN

    Where does the RNC stand on unneeded "leftovers" from IVF?

    August 21, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  25. DB

    Why are we even indulging this "but what about rape?" question at all? YOU EITHER SUPPORT REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS OR YOU DON'T. Period. There is no "well in certain circumstances...and if the woman can prove to me that she meets those qualifications..." That's a load of fertilizer. To even ask the question 'but what about rape?" implies that it's okay to ban abortion in all other situations. You're surrendering half of the battleground before you've even started fighting. And you're giving the Akins of the world the wedge they need to argue in favor of a full ban that makes no exceptions at all. If you're surrendering on the issue of banning abortions when it's NOT a case of rape, you're just making it that much easier for someone like Akin to say, "well it's not the fetus' fault it was created by an act of rape, if you don't support reproductive rights in other situations you shouldn't make an exception here."

    Once again the right makes fools of the left and has us fighting the wrong battle. We're all so upset about the language Akins used to make his point that we're not even bothering to worry about the underlying message: it's okay to deny reproductive rights from women.

    August 21, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
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