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. mige

    Jerrylax.How do you figure voting for Obama gives him control over your life.He gives women the choice to do what they want with their healthcare choices. Rob-ney gives state government the power to make womens choices.Twisted thinking wouldn't you surmise?Unbelievable how you conservatives think!

    August 21, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  2. saraph

    Love the photo above – it looks like Ryan is aiming his "microphone" at the mouth of one of his dopey supporters

    August 21, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  3. dreamer96

    The GOP has completely lost touch with reality of life in America...

    What is also so hypocritical of our New Conservative Religious Taliban GOP Party, is their views on the right to life...Their Person Hood bill..Obviously they never bothered to talk to a real doctor..or find out just how many fertilized eggs never attach to the Uterus wall and grow, or how many start to grow, but are rejected by the mothers body..or all the other exposure to toxins in the mothers blood..They live in a fantasy world..not reality..and no wonder, since they reject any science, and rely on thousand year old mythology instead...

    but most of all..our current GOP..have illogical goals and beliefs..

    The GOP's right to life..ends at birth..from then on those babies are on their own..The current GOP constantly reject any support for those babies, their mothers, their health care, their education, their housing, their future...

    August 21, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    Well, one thing the GOP/Teatrolls don't have to worry about being aborted: they're hopes and dreams of dominating all three branches of gov't after November 2012. You don't need to abort something that was stillborn.

    August 21, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  5. Lisa P


    anyone but that chimp back in offce.
    August 21, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm
    Never fear - Bush Jr. is unquestionably out of the picture. The GOP's corporate masters have no further use for him: he could clear the brush off the rest of Texas for all his party cares about him, or the environment, or Texas. Get with the program!

    August 21, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  6. Redleg56

    Then the Romney family is a gang of child murderers according to their own party - they use in vitro fertilization. I aslo must ask if these morons have any idea what this amendemtn would to estates since miscarriages by ex-spouses would involved inheritance rights and in any event would require death certificates. Can Romney tell us when and where he was conceived? He lies about where he filed his taxes.

    August 21, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  7. single mom

    great. just great. As a Republican woman, I am going to have to hold my nose when I vote for Romney/Ryan. As an AF veteran, I refuse to vote for Obama's ideology which leads this country straight to what I was defending it against during the Cold War. I'm a hybrid – conservative on fiscal and national security and semi-liberal on environment and issues that concern women. Actually, I like to consider myself a consistent conservative - I don't want someone telling me what I can or can't do with my body, anymore than I would try to tell someone else - and that extends to all aspects of personal business.

    August 21, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  8. Boomer in Mo

    Finally, the fringe in the anti-abortion movement have found a political party to be their puppet. It's one thing to be against abortion, it's another to be against all forms of contraception. That is the real agenda: NO LEGAL contraception, even condoms, in the U.S. This has been the underlying agenda of the far, far, almost off the planet right for more than 30 years. The GOP will make it so, mark my words. Akin slipped up and let the cat out of the bag but the Tea Partiers are already committed and that tail wags the dog through threats and intimidation.

    August 21, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |

    You've heard of the "KKK"..right? This is the "RRR", as in "Reactionary, Racist, Republicans"

    August 21, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. Ambrose Smith

    If it were men who gave birth abortion wouldn't even be an issue. It would be legal with no questions asked.

    August 21, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  11. mige

    Find out if it's going to be a Republican first.If so then abort it.

    August 21, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  12. rtcherokee

    It could happen... a tie Electoral College!!

    August 21, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  13. Here-we-Go-again

    Sad day in America, the rights of the children in the womb are dismantled and killed through the aweful practices of abortion. What crime did these children commit? Why because of size and location, they are not given a chance to live. Why isn't adoption the RIGHT solution regardless of how the women got pregnant? We don't fault the male or female in this case, why does the child recieve a death sentence for a crime they didn't commit? Where is the humanity now? Why is there a war on the unborn? Who is going to defend these innocent lives?

    August 21, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |

    The Gop freaks have no chance in Nov,with nobody to blame but them selves .who do they representing ,aboutone half of one persecutors of the country .somebody should have told romney the tax cheat ,corporations are people ,corporations can't vote moron !!!!!

    August 21, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. russ

    for more details, please see the 2008 GOP platform, and the 2004 GOP platform, and the 2000 GOP platform, and the 1996 GOP platform, and the 1992 GOP platform, and the 1988 GOP platform, and the..........

    August 21, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  16. BADGUY

    – You're a women.
    – You're a Black
    – You're a Hispanic
    – You're a Teacher
    – You're a state worker
    – You're a union worker
    – You're a non union worker
    – You're a 99%'er.
    – You're a salaried employee
    – You're a cancer patient
    – You're uninsured
    – You're OVER 65 and on Medicare
    – You're OVER 62 and on Social Security
    – You're UNDER 62 and DON'T have a fortune.

    The Republican Party is your WORST nightmare!

    August 21, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  17. Bookenz

    The GOP Taliban continues to spout their hatred and need to control women.

    August 21, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  18. Observer91

    According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, life is defined as "a: the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead body, b: a principle or force that is considered to underlie the distinctive quality of animate beings, and c: an organismic state characterized by capacity for metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction." Seeing as how a premature fetus does not fit any of these definitions, an abortion can't be considered a termination of life, and thus should be legal. Sounds like the GOP needs to go sit down and read a book for once.

    August 21, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  19. BADGUY

    I WANNA KNOW: Did Romney accept the 2009 IRS Amnesty on money held in a Swiss Bank account. Yes or No!

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

    So is Romney going to denounce that too? Interesting.

    August 21, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  21. livingston

    The republican platform clearly shows that they have no intention to have any exceptions to the law. This radical stand will lose the election for them and may finally bring an end to the party of hate and control.Americans will only tolerate so much before they say "NO MORE"! Then America can recover from the black cloud that has been trying to destroy this country for the last 3 1/2 years..

    August 21, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  22. pkMyt1

    single mom

    great. just great. As a Republican woman, I am going to have to hold my nose when I vote for Romney/Ryan....

    How long can you hold your nose if these two get in their? Have any daughters? If you truly can't agree with going back 100 years on womens rights then please don't vote. If you do agree then I feel sorry for you but it is your right.

    August 21, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  23. ViK100

    Romney and Ryan are not going to change their stance on abortion because it goes against God. I applaud their courage! I will no longer be voting for Obama!

    August 21, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |

    Gop freaks should all be in jail ,romney and Ryan mothers should have had an abortion !!!!!! It would have been a good thing. .atkins Ryan Gop goofs ,for president of somila and take romney and Ann the tax cheats and there draft dodger sons ,and money ,if they even have any in the USA ,with them . Losers!!!!!!!

    August 21, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  25. Yancey


    Those are all reasonable-sounding statements. But you're missing something hugely important: the lack of opportunity that results from ingrained inequality in America.

    I have no more interest in "giving" to the poor than you do. But until they have the same opportunities that I had (simply because I was luckier), I will continue to support a system that at least TRIES to make sure poor kids get three square meals a day. When you can no longer go anywhere in the U.S. and see an amazing, high-tech high school in a suburb and a run-down, out-dated, dilapidated school only a few miles away in a poor city neighborhood, THEN I will be open to discussing your idealistic views of how to approach life.

    Every day those poor kids walk through the door of their schools, they are reminded that, not only do their parents probably not care about them, but that neither does society.


    August 21, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
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