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. Sniffit

    "Politicians, both sides want to make women wards of the States and render them uncapable to think for thenselves"

    I think most of us here "get it" when you apply such statements to the GOP/Teatrolls, but what's your excuse for applying it to the Dems or liberals? Wards of the state? How? By passing equal pay legislation and trying to reverse 40 years of the country's wealth being redistributed to the already wealthy?

    August 21, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. New Gawker

    No abortions for anyone even those who were raped legitimately

    August 21, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. Reasonably

    Because with the economy in the pooper and record number of folks still out of work this is what we need to worry about. Silly GOP – tricks are for kids.

    August 21, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  4. TiredODaCrap

    Cute comments.....But, in the end, how is it news that the Republican party is choosing a platform of pro-life? Hasn't that been the party's platform for decades??

    August 21, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  5. JohnK

    Akin accurately stated the Republicans neanderthal position on abortion and against women's rights. He was just too dumb to use the coded language, i.e. "rights of the unborn".

    August 21, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. MaryR

    This is a distraction! The subject of birth control, abortion, etc. has no place in a public forum. It's strictly between a woman, her doctor and her God. Get the Govt. out of our bedrooms. We need to focus on the economy.

    August 21, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  7. Say No to Willard Romney Hood and Personhood Ann Ryand

    Steve King is the latest scientifically challenged GOTPer to develop hoof in mouth disease; lending further credence to the fact that Akin has shed light on the GOP position. They should all be outraged at themselves, the fact that they are only trying to scapegoat Akin (who is in line with the entire party's position) speaks volumes...

    August 21, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  8. Carprin

    Here we go again. The GOP is doubbling down on this abortion issue.. Rowe v Wade was decided by the Supreme Court in 1975. This is 2012 . Legalized abortion is settled Law that will never be overturned. So why are these Republicans continuining to go down this road. Most Women are Pro Choice. Thes Neantherals dont even wand to woman to have an abortion even for rape or incest.
    Vice Presidential Nominee Ryan along with aiken sponsored a Bill in Congress with language that include " forcible rape" the bill had to be modifies and that language taken out
    This Abortion Language by the Platform Commitee still has to be approved by the General Body of the Convention. Why is the GOP going down this road. This is an election that they could have won but they are turning a lot of women voters OFF.
    They will never get more that 5 PerCent of the African American VOte or 35 Percent of the Hispanic Vote–They cant afford to loose the White Women –if they keep going down this road that is what will happen.

    August 21, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  9. mige

    Sure have a lot of unwanted kids and don't give them health-care,a good education and no medicare or Social Security

    August 21, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  10. 8.3% unemployment - Over 8% 42 Straight months and the Obama Jobs DEPRESSION continues unabated

    Anybody notice the 25 MILLION people that don't have jobs in this country? Obama and the Democrats sur edon't want to notice!

    August 21, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  11. Mark in Seattle

    I guess they are not running on a "Jobs" platform this time. The gop should be thrown out of America.

    August 21, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  12. MRstfu

    Let's go backwards as fast as we can. How about we focus on fixing problems and not repealing everything that's happened in the last 30 years?

    August 21, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  13. G Smith

    Akin only spoke the truth about what the GOP truly believes...and now here's the proof.

    Vote GOP in the Fall...At your own peril !

    August 21, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  14. skeptic001

    If you want to be Christian, good for you. Why does everybody have to believe like you? It is a free country. Freedom of religion, and freedom FROM it. When they are a fetus, they are sacred, but when they are starving and abused, they are on their own. I guess my taxes are going up, because this is a much higher price to pay. Way to alienate the Independents!

    August 21, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  15. Ed1

    "Socialism is a philosophy of failure,
    the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy,
    its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.."
    - Winston Churchill

    These are possibly the 5 best sentences you'll ever read:

    1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity, by legislating the wealth out of prosperity.

    2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

    3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

    4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.

    5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them;

    and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work, because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

    Can you think of any reason for not sharing this?
    Neither could I.

    August 21, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  16. Orwell sees it, again & again


    August 21, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  17. DaisyinNY

    Let us all take a minute to pray that the wives, daughters, sisters, Aunts and female cousins of Republicans never get raped...what their own people would do to them is akin (no pun) to a second rape.

    August 21, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "These are possibly the 5 best sentences you'll ever read:"

    These are possibly the 5 most irrelevant sentences you'll ever read.

    Nobody's pushing socialism. Learn what it is. It'll help you avoid looking so stupid.

    August 21, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  19. Orwell sees it, again & again

    What are the odds the voting will be rigged in November?
    Considering billions spent, rigging the voting machines would be cheaper.

    August 21, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  20. Larry

    Hey Romney....where are those tax records? Do you think your pro-life BS is going to keep us from demanding you show whatever it is you feel so compelled to hide? Not acceptable from a candidate for POTUS.

    August 21, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  21. Say No to Willard Romney Hood and Personhood Ann Ryand

    Ed try to stay on topic. It may be challenging for you, but try.

    August 21, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "Can you think of any reason for not sharing this?"

    Yes, it was irrelevant to the article and irrelevant to the public debate about our economic and tax policies. Thanks for playing. Don't worry...we'll be sure to let you know when your frantic hair-on-fire demagoguery of socialism is actually applicable.

    August 21, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  23. eric

    Oh I get it, pro life understands all that involves rape, rape dosent end when the guy gets off of her, for years depression, and anxieties, will push her to the brink of death, and some will surpass that. Women need therapy and counseling after a rape, sure the state provides a few sessions, that's only in the beginning. Some Momento suffer because the guy that raped her was never caught. There is a percentage of women that carry the child to term, that % ends in abuse to that child in some cases or worse, I don't think pro life has considered all avenues, and should infringe on anyone rights you have the right to be pro life and I have the right not to be.

    August 21, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  24. Bleu

    Shameful Leadership – Waste of Opportunity for Consensus

    I identify with GOP fiscal diligence and limited government. Limited government should be ... Limited. Stick with the majors that matter, and leave social decisions effecting the People to the vote of the People. Why these old tools include things they have zero control over as it should be, like abortion, gay marriage, and age of consent, to extend the power of government seemingly, is a divisive maneuver that only serves to distract and derail success on the things government should navigate.


    But these dinosaurs are talking about gay marriage and abortion instead of the majors listed above, while talking about limited government? Are they that stupid?

    August 21, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  25. Jeff

    Please tell me how a women getting an abortion affects anyone but the women and the embryo? How is it anyone else business to dictate to a women what she can and cannot do to her body and a glob of multiplying cells. It is very hypocritical to proclaim to be in favor of small non-intrusive gov't and then take take this stance. There is a separation of church and state in this country and your religious beliefs should be your own, they should not be forced on everyone else. Please stop the hypocrisy.

    August 21, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
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