August 21st, 2012
11:51 AM ET
11 years ago

GOP platform committee approves tough anti-abortion stance

Tampa, Florida (CNN) – Republicans drafting their party's official policy platform on Tuesday ratified a call for a Constitutional ban on abortion that makes no exceptions for rape or incest.

The vote to endorse the party's long-standing opposition to abortion and support for a "human life amendment" took place at a meeting of the GOP's official platform committee in Tampa, the site of next week's Republican National Convention.

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The party's official stance on abortion was approved after just a few minutes of discussion. The language in the platform must be voted on before the full Republican Convention next week, though Republicans say it is all but certain to pass.

"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 platform language 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."

Platform committee chairman Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia thanked the 110-member committee for "affirming our respect for human life" and quickly moved on to other topics as top advisers to Mitt Romney's Republican presidential campaign looked on from the back of the room.

Because the language about a Constitutional abortion ban is similar to language in past Republican platforms, the vote might normally have escaped notice.

But the debate over abortion - and exceptions for rape victims - was thrust into the national political spotlight on Sunday in the wake of Missouri Rep. Todd Akin's comments about "legitimate rape."

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.

Republican officials said the language in the platform was "100% pro-life" but stressed that the document has to remain vague and avoid specific language about abortion exceptions because different states have varying abortion regulations.

In the abortion and "sanctity of life" platform, Republicans also outlined its opposition to federally-funded embryonic stem cell research and demanded that the government "not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage."

Additionally, the party 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."

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Filed under: 2012 • Abortion • Florida • Mitt Romney • RNC
soundoff (341 Responses)
  1. Romin2003

    "Ryan now says he defers to Romney's position on the matter," meaning, "if something should happen to him, I'd be president and the we will be singing another song. I don't think so, chumps.

    August 21, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  2. Jim Hahn

    Basically what the Republicans are saying is that if your daughter is raped and becomes pregnant and that pregnancy threatens her life, you MUST sacrifice your daughter's life to save the child of a rapist! Think about that one for a little bit. Yes, trade your daughter's life for the child of her rapist. That's the Republican platform.

    Now, can you say with a straight face that the Republican party is not anti-women? Didn't think so.

    August 21, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  3. mige

    Is it true that ancestors of Republican senators had to untie their pet dinasaurs from the roof of the Ark when they disembarked? These guys make the Taliban look like boy scouts.

    August 21, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  4. Mark

    It seems a contradiction to tell a woman that the her being composed of body and mind must be sacrificed to save the fetus inside her. It is the mother's choice and in self defense of her psyche and body she might have to sacrifice the unborn. It can only be the woman's choice.

    August 21, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  5. ndnation23

    ironic, they just approved basically what Akin said...while they slam him for it! lol the GOP, delusional, inept, and trying to take away our freedom of choice.

    August 21, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  6. Jane

    Note; There are only 5 OTHER countries that do not allow for any exception in their woman hating legislation. They are: Malta, Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic. Even Saudi Arabia allows exceptions. The rest of the civilized world is laughing at us....aren't you proud???

    August 21, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  7. R C

    Cant wait to see what kind of spin Romney, and Ryan will be dishing on this. Will they support the party they lead or stand alone.

    August 21, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  8. jw

    When it comes down to it, I'm pro choice pro life...I believe abortion is wrong but I don't believe the gov should be involved in the decision. Let each person stand by their personal decision with whatever consequences result peronnaly, morally or spiritually

    August 21, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  9. justsaying

    Just wondering why abortion is such a huge topic.......why cant responsibility be the order of the day.....if you dont want to get pregnant then take the proper steps to not get pregnant.....simple.......but it seems that people of America want everything handed to them instead of taking responsibility for yourself......and dont come back at me with the rape or the incest trip......the majority of abortions performed today are just a form of birth control for lazy people who didnt think about protection......

    since when is it bad to have earned alot of money.......people should quit being so jealous of the so called rich republicans because all the dems in office are rich too.....and do you think they are going to give you their money so you feel equal......if you dont make the amount of money you want then get more training and change professions.....stop crying its not fair that some got off their arse and earned more than you.......really people wake the hell where in our constitution does it say we are all supposed to be earning the same amount of where does it say you will be only says you have right to pursue happiness.....never said you were going to reach it.

    August 21, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  10. jw

    When it comes down to it, I'm pro choice pro life...I believe ab0rtion is wrong but I don't believe the gov should be involved in the decision. Let each person stand by their personal decision with whatever consequences result peronnaly, morally or spiritually

    August 21, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  11. mig

    It seems to me that a large percentage of unwanted children would be more apt to be abused,neglected,abandoned,,homeless,runaways and end up on welfare medicaid or in prison or mental institutions.Not to mention the more likely possibility of alcohol or drug addictionand of course no healthcare,social security. But thatt's okay with the GOP of course especially if they end up in the prison system run by Republican "entrepeneurs.

    August 21, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  12. steven harnack

    "stressed that the document was vague..." This sums up the total GOP campaign strategy. It's akin to bait-and-switch where you lure the customers in with something that you don't have in order to sell them something else. In this case it is policies that are so far to the right that they are only acceptable to the 25% of the public that makes up our equivalent of the Taliban.

    August 21, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  13. davetharave

    I will be really interested to hear what Michele Bachmann has to say about it if Hurricane Isaac ends up right over Tampa during the Republican convention.

    August 21, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  14. Frank T

    First of all a women needing or wanting an abortion should only be between the mother and daughter. It's nobody elses business what this women wants to do with hey body. If she wants to damage her body that's her business. However to take it a little further,yes,the Gop right to life ends at birth,and they could care less on what this child does with their life from birth through their 18 or 19th birthday. At this age the male or female joins our United States Military and the War Mongers and Draft Dogger Repubs send them into an unnecessary War like{Iraq} and they get killed at this young age.{WOW} in the end the GOP is nothing but a gang of Child Murders.Now that's their Anti Abortion philosophy is don't kill them at birth wait until the are 17,18,19 etc than they die.Last but not least "When will America tire of our sons and daughters dying on foreign soil?

    August 21, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  15. Dr. G

    OK-- no more abortions.... humm..... that means about one million more births per year of unwanted children give or take a few hundred thousand.... more child abuse, more kids being given up for adoption-- perhaps we could bring back orphanages??? Anybody willing to volunteer or pay more taxes for these unwanted kids??? Leave the decisions about having or not having children in the hands of moms and dads and doctors?? Wow, no, let's let the GOP decide... give me a break......

    August 21, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  16. Snexas

    I think what some people don't realize is that this will negatively impact women who want to pregnant as well as those who want abortions. How exactly does a government protect the personhood of a fertilized egg without infringing on the rights of a woman? I'll tell you how, by becoming intimately involved in every pregnancy, even the wanted ones. They'll start legislating what activities you can & can't do when pregnant, what jobs are too dangerous for women, what foods you can drink, etc... If you have a miscarriage, all pregnancies including WANTED ones, will be scrutinized. You could go to jail or have your other children taken away. Is this the world we want to live in? As a woman of child bearing age it scares the living daylights out of me!

    August 21, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
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