August 21st, 2012
11:51 AM ET
10 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. ian

    government should never intervene in my life.

    I mean unless its about my health or who I want to marry, then its cool

    August 21, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  2. ghostriter

    CCD008, being pro-choice doesn't advocate for abortions. But it is kinda cute the way you conservatives attempt the, I know you are, but what am I PeeWee Herman approach to politics.

    August 21, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  3. rs

    This is just ANOTHER bad day for the GOP. They trash Akin (maybe rightly so- he'll lose his race in Missouri), but then they adopt a platform for this years' convention identical to the position Akin (and others like Ryan) hold.

    So, they want hom gone....but they support what he says?

    Hypocrits, or just plain stupid?

    August 21, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  4. Age of Fools....

    Neither Republicans nor Democrats....Politicians period have the right to force their way into the Nation's bedroom...
    "SO"....Stop family panning for women.....stop telling women what they can or cannot do....Politicians, both sides want to make women wards of the States and render them uncapable to think for thenselves...."SO" Women fo America you have the right to vote....Tell Washington to back-off........The country must become gender-blind and treat all its citizen as equals......

    August 21, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  5. Still Waiting

    @Tim wrote

    So wouldn't 100% pro-life include being pro-healthcare, pro-humanitarian aid for children (born and unborn) in other countries, pro-keeping our bombs from falling on innocents in other lands, pro-food programs for hungry children in the US. I would say the GOP is 10% pro-life.


    August 21, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  6. Yancey

    simpleguy73, I think maybe we are all looking at this the wrong way. You talk about how Romney at least "has a plan," but why is it that we always assume a different plan than that in effect is automatically better? Yes, Romney has a plan, but it may very well make things WORSE. How can we be sure it won't do that? Meanwhile, since when is the President of the United States powerful enough to magically reverse a worldwide recession? In the global world of the 21st century, our economy is probably more effected by the strengths and weaknesses of Europe, India, and China than we are by most presidents' economic policies. At this point Obama really only has one option: to stop implementing policies we cant afford and to let the U.S. economy stand on its own two feet – i.e. OUR feet. It's OUR job to grow the nation's economy, by taking risks and working twice as hard as we did before the recession. I say keep the president who will do what he can to make sure the poorest and most vulnerable aren't abandoned by the rest of society. Meanwhile, the rest of us should rededicate ourselves to doing our part to pull America out of its funk.

    August 21, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  7. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Great way to alienate a large voting block, way to go TEA TARDS!

    August 21, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  8. Silence DoGood

    Repubs sick of GOP should vote Libertarian. GOP has shown itself to be Big Government and Government Interference and Anti-States Rights all in one bone-headed move!

    August 21, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. I built it Mr. President, NOT YOU

    Omg has anyone seen the front page on NewsWeek?

    August 21, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  10. rotund one

    How generous of the GOP to define women's health issues with so few of them being women and with men being the primary cause of and reason for abortions to begin with.

    August 21, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  11. MrBig

    Based on the retoric this year; If the GOP takes control after this election, what would they like to have happen?
    - Healthcare law would be repealed immediately, revert to whatever we've had up until now.
    - Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid programs and benefits would be cut back.
    - Budgets for any Fed assistance programs for the poor would be cut or eliminated.
    - Gay marriage would be banned in the US, by Fed Law.
    - Abortions would be banned in the US, by Fed Law.
    - Funding for Planned Parenthood will be banned.
    - New, harsher laws would be passed regarding illegal immigrants with special emphasis on Hispanics.
    - The wealthy and corporations would continue to receive tax cuts, if not get new ones.
    - Labor unions will be outlawed.
    - Minimum wage will be eliminated.
    - Environmental Regs will be reduced or eliminated.
    - All Fed land/water will be opened up for oil/gas drilling, logging, etc.
    - Regulation of Wall Street, Banking, etc will be reduced or eliminated.
    - Fed will cut or reduce funding for education. Implement new harsher requirements on teachers.
    - Student loan programs will be cut back or eliminated.
    - Some sort of declaration will be made making Christianity the official religion of the US.
    - Military funding will be increased.
    - All foriegn aid will be cut or eliminated.
    - The US will cut all ties with the UN.

    I may have missed a few, but that's my impression of what the GOP and it's supporters want. I'm not a Democrat, I don't associate myself with any party. That's the way I see and hear it this year...

    August 21, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. DaveM

    People, this is quite frightening. Banning all abortion makes a woman's body property of the federal government. She no longer has control over her own health. Sounds like a radical Muslim state. What's next? Women have to return to the homes and be barefoot and pregnant?

    August 21, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  13. Lor

    I am sick that this group of GOP white men are trying to manage the women of America's body. Also whatever happened to separation of church and state? AND Row v Wade decided all this years ago. Let it go, and get your legislation out of my pants. WOMEN OF AMERICA UNITE AGAINST THESE TYRANTS THAT ARE TRYING TO SEND US BACK THE THE 1950'S!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 21, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  14. Lar 5

    The GOP is running a fully armed War on Women. Romney and Ryan are leading the charge. They may be trying to force Akin out of the race but their anti-woman positions are the same. They both want the definition of rape changed.They both support the Personhood horror even though Romney has grandchildren from invitro births. Is he ready to accuse his daughters-in-law of murder? . Is he ready to make invitro a crime? What a bunch of hypocrites. Come on Mitt, tell the truth for once.

    August 21, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. Tom, Tom The Piper's Son

    LOL republicans are their own worst enemy.

    August 21, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  16. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    It looks like we are going to have to use 2nd amendment remedies against the repubes.

    August 21, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  17. BLKMANinAmerica

    LMBAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, but this has no connection with the Akin BS right repuks? Whatever! Stupid is as Stupid does.

    August 21, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  18. Neo

    Why does CNN refer to it as "anti-abortion" and never "pro-life", but then will use the "pro-choice" language for those who support surgical destruction of the unborn?

    August 21, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  19. Tired of This

    Instead of Sharia Law we get the good old Catholic Law. This is not separation of church and state, no law should be enacted due to a groups religious beliefs or "morals" as the like to call it. Wake up America

    August 21, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  20. Dave Harris

    It always seemed a little disingenuous that people who hate and fear almost everyone, who think that charity is a scam and any sort of cooperation is communism, would claim to be so concerned about fetuses. Once they're born, they'll hate them too, especially if they need food stamps. Does anybody really think Republicans are holier than anyone?

    August 21, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  21. Paulgrouch66

    used to be a Republican (now independent) the party I advocated was supposed to be about getting government OUT of peoples lives, now they're saying who can and cannot be married, who can and can't have an abortion etc etc...Let folks live their lives and focus on fixing the economy. They've lost my vote, and I'm sure many others as well.

    August 21, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  22. Bob

    Let me see: The Republicans want less govement control Unless it is something they want controlled. Nope I will stick with the other party...Much fewer lies and more attention to what the normal people want.

    August 21, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  23. Bob

    Let me see the Republicans want less govement control Unless it is something they want controlled. Nope I will stick with the other party.

    August 21, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "In response to Sniffit, "So, a 13 year old girl is raped and she should be forced to give birth?"
    No she will not have to pay a doctor to do the abortion under the table, all she has to do is go to a CIVILIZED COUNTRY LIKE CANADA and have it done safely.
    Take my advice don't have an abortion done in a Third World Country like the USA under a Republican administration."

    Ha...fair enough point. I was using hyperbole, obviously, but I think it got the point across just as well.

    August 21, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  25. Leann

    And more importantly, how many women voted for this platform out of the 110 members?

    August 21, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
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