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. magistramarla

    How any woman can possibly vote for the GOP is beyond me.

    August 21, 2012 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  2. Irskan

    Next up... Birth control!! After that, women's right to vote! And what's with those pesky child labor laws anyway?

    August 21, 2012 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  3. Craig

    The Republicans want to lose.

    August 21, 2012 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  4. ArthurP

    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.


    So republicans have to sell out their principles to get support from their base. You know if they were to stand up and tell the religious right to get stuffed they would pick up many of the independents and free themselves to actually be able to govern the country.

    August 21, 2012 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  5. Mopery

    Republican's aren't pro-life, they're anti-women.

    August 21, 2012 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  6. Steve

    The GOP and the Catholic Church are all for the rights of the unborn but God help them once they make it out of the birth canal.

    August 21, 2012 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  7. mk1

    Why in the world then are Republicans distancing themselves from Akin? He simply stated their long held beliefs enshrined in the platform. American women need to know and understand the vicious anti women position the GOP constantly takes and women need to get out and vote in huge numbers and show these old men that they will not allow those men to decide what they do with their bodies. We are long past the paternalistic societies of the dark ages which the GOP wants to take us back to.

    August 21, 2012 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  8. Bob

    When all GOP policies make the country either more like Columbia or Saudi Arabia, I think its time to rethink the policy.

    August 21, 2012 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  9. pimpson

    Majority of the world abortion is illegal except for rape and medical emergency.

    August 21, 2012 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  10. ClaudiaL

    Republican Neanderthals, one and all. They can throw Akins under the bus, but the GOP's support for draconian ideas are front & center for all to see. First they take away your right to abortion, next birth control bills, next....well, we can't all go to Canada or Mexico for healthcare. We must vote these Republican men out!!

    August 21, 2012 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  11. Matt

    That will be awesome for the election... Good luck with that! 🙂

    August 21, 2012 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  12. reaperfearer

    Yay Tony Perkins. Thanks for giving the democrats another win.

    August 21, 2012 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  13. tammyk tammy

    The Tea Party Taliban stance on rape – if a married woman is raped she should give birth and then be stoned – if an unmarried woman is impregnated during rape she should marry the rapist and have the baby; then she can continue to be raped every day. VOTE No on GOTP Sharia law in America.

    August 21, 2012 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  14. Samn

    When a child is born, they need parents who could take care of them. The child need healthcare, need food and a path to become a productive citizen. It is not enough to say you protect the right for life, but they must provide protection for a life too. This is pure hypocracy of Republicans. Once you are born, they would say, we can not help you and you are on your own and if you can not afford healthcare you go and die. All they want is protect the unborn without any regard to what happen when a child is born. This is pure BS coming out of a nothing other than religious belives.

    August 21, 2012 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  15. EatYouAlive

    Scary stuff you americans are doing.

    August 21, 2012 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  16. tammyk tammy

    The Tea Party has continuously and incorrectly tried to label President Obama as a Muslim, however it is their ideas about women that more closely resemble radical Islam. Tea Party Taliban wants total control over women's reproductive rights.

    August 21, 2012 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  17. Joe

    why is the opposition to most or all abortion Christian, assuring the right to life, but government health care to for newborns and children is Socialism?

    August 21, 2012 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  18. John

    One more example of how the Far Right Tea Party has taken over the Republican Party. I'll be surprised if they don't also include a clause in their platform forbidding contraception of any kind. After all, as candidate Santorum commented, contraception leads to promiscuity. Condoms and contraception pills=evil. Unprovoked wars upon innocent countries=good. Crazy people.

    August 21, 2012 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  19. Joe

    sorry for the extra "to" after the word care, I noticed as soon as it was posted, silly me.

    August 21, 2012 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  20. Spot On

    Oh what a surprise – the GOP pandering to the religious zealots on the right? Amazing. Who would have guessed?

    August 21, 2012 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  21. t3chn0ph0b3

    Here it comes everyone. Batten down the hatches. The reproductive rights thieves are at the door again.

    August 21, 2012 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  22. A Woman

    It's unfortunate when a room full of men think they have the right to a woman's body.

    I see no point in women 1. having babies they don't want and putting them into the foster care/ adoption system, which is very hard on children at any age or 2. having said baby and resenting the child for the rest of their life. Why should a bunch of cells have more rights than a woman? If someone is not ready and willing to deal with having a child, I see no reason as to why they should. To me, it's ridiculous that this is still an issue.

    Bottom line: If you don't want an abortion, don't have one.

    August 21, 2012 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  23. ThinkAgain: Under the Ryan Plan, Romney Pays 0.87% in taxes

    This is why we MUST re-elect President Obama and Democratic majorities in the House and Senate. The GOP is determined to turn our nation into a theocracy of their fundamentalist brand of Christianity (all you Mormons and Catholics, I'd be worried, if I were you because evangelicals don't consider you Christians).

    August 21, 2012 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  24. James

    The republican party stridently claims to be the party of freedom, liberty, and personal responsibility, yet they are so quick to impose myriad restrictions on personal freedom, liberty, and responsibility. It is obvious that the GOP has an agenda to turn the USA into a theocratic police state where we are all good little pious serfs who serve the plutocratic priests of the church of money.

    August 21, 2012 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  25. Anonymous

    unborn = not alive

    August 21, 2012 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
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