First on CNN: GOP prepares tough anti-abortion platform
August 20th, 2012
10:41 PM ET
10 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. n2video

    By adopting this platform plank, the GOP has just sealed their loss in the election. How deaf can a political party BE??

    August 21, 2012 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  2. RB

    What does he mean that under a Romney administration abortion will be allowed in the case of rape?
    How about the US Supreme Court has already ruled that abortion is legal. His administration will not be able to trump their ruling.

    August 21, 2012 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  3. janerose

    Would you have for your Doctor someone who thought "women have control over whether or not a man's sperm lives"? Would the GOP really go for a Dr appoinment with any Doctor that believed all this crazy stuff? Ann Coulter must be excited to back those crazy comments. At least we will have a shockingly difference between parties that will help real normal humans decide where they stand. No wishy washy politics now.

    August 21, 2012 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  4. bam

    BACKWARDS to the dark ages.... next Women Obedience classes and required date rape drugs eh yeah legalize them too....

    August 21, 2012 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  5. irex

    Of course they won't ever put in the Rape/Incest/Health of the Mother provisions, because then it might actually pass and a bunch of people who only vote on the abortion issue might start voting Democrat. This is why almost every conservative effort to restrict abortion leaves the poison pill of no exemptions in.

    August 21, 2012 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  6. carolineharrah

    Congratulations, Romney - you just lost the election. Should have just stuck with the most relevant topic... the economy. No woman (at a minimum) can / will vote for you.

    August 21, 2012 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  7. nolimits3333

    1. Ryan voted to end funding for Planned Parenthood, which could jeopardize access to cancer screenings, birth control, and other preventive care that nearly three million Americans rely on each year.
    2. He wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, ending safe and legal abortion with no exceptions for rape, incest, or when a woman’s life is at risk.
    3. He co-sponsored an extreme and dangerous “personhood” bill which could ban some forms of birth control and fertility treatments.
    4. The Ryan budget plan, his signature piece of legislation, would dismantle Medicaid, jeopardizing basic health care for millions of women and families. For many, this could mean the difference between getting cancer screenings and birth control or going without.

    Romney and Ryan would turn back the clock on women’s health and women’s rights.

    August 21, 2012 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  8. Tammy

    I believe in protecting unborn children from abortion whenever possible. However, I also believe in protecting senior citizens and their rights as well. The republicans only wish to protect the rights of unborn children-not the rights of the elders in our society. They only get half of the equation it seems. They also (as evidenced by Akins stupid thinking) still live in the dark ages with thoughts about women. Rick Santorum and Paul Ryan dont believe we should use birth control and God forbid we expect the ultra rich insurance companies to help pay for it. It is a crazy political world we live in...and all the politicians are really in it for themselves.

    August 21, 2012 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  9. Norman

    wow-they really want to lose huh? this will not be tolerated-anti-woman and anti-gay? the GOP is toast! Thank God!!!

    August 21, 2012 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  10. Schmoogalicious

    So the hypocrisy of the Republicans' faux shock at Akin's rape comments has now been exposed for all to see. Everything Akin said actually came straight from the GOP party platform!

    August 21, 2012 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  11. Steve Fielder

    Republican Party leaders are trying to force Todd Akin out of his Senate race because he was foolish enough to state publicly what a great many Republicans believe privately. For decades, Republicans have been slowly working to undermine abortion-rights while attempting to keep such efforts on the low-down least women voters get wise to their schemes. Since the election of so many Tea Party candidates in 2010, however, such efforts have become far more blatant, and GOP leaders are now becoming concerned that American women are increasingly turning against the Republican Party as a result..........

    August 21, 2012 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  12. comm0nsense

    This isn't the Roman empire idiots!

    August 21, 2012 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  13. comm0nsense

    This isn't the Roman empire!

    August 21, 2012 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  14. communicator1453

    The republicans want to lose.

    August 21, 2012 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  15. KellyT

    So a clump of unborn, unviable cells has more human rights than the living human being carrying it? Oh sure. Makes total sense.

    August 21, 2012 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  16. drewsco

    The GOP is going to implode! I can hardly wait.

    August 21, 2012 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  17. ochomme

    This is why Romney will loose. Republicans refuse to be dragged into the 21st century. Loss after loss, and they still don't understand the priorities of the American people.

    August 21, 2012 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  18. Phattee

    I assume that the GOP's voter suppression efforts are going as planned, or else they would not be forging ahead with their anti-women, anti-gay, anti-black, anti-Muslim, anti-Latino, anti-poor, anti-middle class agenda.

    August 21, 2012 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  19. Donkey Party

    And the GOP war on women continues...

    August 21, 2012 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  20. Erin Kathleen Sands

    Perfect timing!

    August 21, 2012 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  21. CaliforniaBC

    So the GOP is going with the highly religious-based, ANTI-Choice platform.

    Gotta love that small government that stays out of your lives unless, of course, you life contradicts the Republicans' religious government beliefs then they interfere at the most intimate levels by telling people, especially women, what they cannot do with their own bodies.

    August 21, 2012 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  22. MaryM

    It will be interesting to see how the GOP will try to create distance between Akin and Ryan given their co-sponsorship of bill H.R. 3, “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” which initially included language which changed the definition of “rape” to “forcible rape." forcible rape is legitimate rape. The GOP is DOA at their convention

    August 21, 2012 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  23. David A

    Pro life, but pro war.. What abunch of double talking hypocrites..the party of god hahaha. Gemme a break

    August 21, 2012 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  24. Prime Controller

    What a surprise, this is really news.

    August 21, 2012 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  25. aaron

    So, apparently the Family Research Council is now dictating GOP policies. Gordon Norquist must be on vacation.

    August 21, 2012 02:42 am at 2:42 am |
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