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. skylark@73

    Next they will be checking for eggs in menstrual blood and caling it murder.

    August 21, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    Do you want your daughters and grandaughters to have a baby a year whether they can afford it or not? I don't.

    August 21, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  3. Kentucky Windage

    Women can get into a rich man's GOLF CLUB (if they are 'pedigreed' women !) but they must ACCEPT A PREGNANCY if THEY ARE RAPED – the teaparty says that THEY MUST HAVE THAT CHILD !

    August 21, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  4. rxlawdude

    Well, this would certainly remove one concern about what wacky right-wingers will do to stuff SCOTUS. Just go around that and do a constitutional amendment. Good luck with that, old party formerly known as "Grand".

    August 21, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  5. rs

    The GOP wants to be the party of "life". Unfortunately, they define life as beginning at the bedroom door and ending at birth. For real people (children, the poor the elderly)- not so much.

    August 21, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  6. beth

    Well, their presidential candidate definitely isn't anti-abortion. He's the one who attending a $50,000 a plate fundraiser at Phil Frost's home. He is the chairman of Teva pharmaceuticals, the producers of the morning after abortion pill. Oh, I guess it's OK to accept money from people who produce abortion pills...just so your against it. At least when President Obama says it's the womens choice (which is completely different from being PRO-ABORTION, as the Republicans choose to call it) he says it from a civil rights standpoint..which it is a woman's right to chooses what to do with her body. The Republicans must also remember that in Massachusetts, Romneycare did cover abortions. So, regardless of their strong stance, their presidential candidate is pro-choice.

    August 21, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  7. mel

    fox news always dissappears when a gop controversy comes to play,but when a democrat controversy surface,the fox news channel gives it wall to wall coverage

    August 21, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  8. Sammy

    Where has Paul Ryan been in all of this. Suddenly he can't find his big mouth to shoot off. He sat there like a monkey when Romney(who by the way has the same beliefs as Ryan) answered one question about Akin. These two men are very, very scary! These are not the people we want running our nation. I hope people have anough sense on election day and vote Obama/Biden! Imagine Ryan partnering with Akin on such an offensive and repulsive law that defines what rape can and can not be. This is beyond my compreshension and we must not have him in any type of office.

    August 21, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  9. Randall Dem

    Hypocricy is the best thing the GOP (Guardians of Oil's Power) have going for them. When the America voter realizes what the GOP really believes, they will vote the Oil Companies out.

    August 21, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  10. Jeb

    Akin just said what all Republicans think.

    August 21, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  11. Here-we-Go-again

    What crime did the unborn child commit that deserves the death sentence of abortion?

    August 21, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  12. allens

    the republicans are a extremist organization. they preach hate and lies. they have out done politicians of the past. how can they throw aiken under the bus and accept ryan? they are an evil & mean group of people

    August 21, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  13. nolimits3333

    Economy recovering.....check

    Al Qaeda destroyed.....check

    GM rebuilt.......check

    What will the Republicans run on?



    August 21, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  14. IndFL

    All you Ladies make sure you remember that... The GOP will ruin/run your life and they don't want you to have any say about it. What a bunch of self righteous NUT cases. Not one single GOP'er will EVER get my vote. Congrats Obama, you'll win by default.

    August 21, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  15. Mark

    As an independent, I often scratch my head over the things that both republicans and democrats say and do. This however makes me wonder if these people are capable of anything more than sheeple mentality. The Supreme Court has issued a verdict on the issue so now the fanatics will try and whittle down the rights until even the use of contraception is outlawed.

    I really they do this stuff on purpose. If you scream loud enough, often enough, you will force people to believe it. Its akin to Chinese water torture.... drip... drip... drip...

    August 21, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  16. rs

    The GOP has just laid out the most regressive, radical, anti- woman (pro-rapist, pro-zygote) platform. This is the "War on Women". Is this a surprise? No, but I think Republicans are about to start discovering the downside to their manufactured TEA Party, and all their radical talk. For the vast majority of Americans this stuff sounds flat-out crazy.

    August 21, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  17. Peter Herz

    Finally a move in the RIGHT direction 🙂

    August 21, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  18. Pam from Iowa

    "affirming our respect for human life."
    Ha! that couldn't be further from the truth for the GOP!!!
    and they call themselves Christian!
    A true Christian would not want to watch you die because you have no insurance!!!

    August 21, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  19. Sven

    Hopefully they can get enough support to do this, Abortion should be illegal.

    August 21, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  20. RobinMO

    The notion that a human life (person) begins at conception is an opinion. People are entitled to their opinion but are not entitled to impose their opinion on others. Medical science recognizes that the presence of unique DNA in a living cell does not constitute personhood. A level of neurologic function is required, which the fetus does not develop until about 24 weeks of gestation. This is why "life support" is discontinued in brain-dead bodies even though the body containes millions of cells that are alive. Having the government force women to continue unwanted pregnancies aginst their will is tyranny.

    August 21, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  21. WDinDallas

    GOP committee approves a pro-life platform!

    August 21, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  22. Ryan

    one of the hiprocracys of the GOP that drive me nuts is that they want to keep their hands out of my wallet, but they have no problem thinking that they have the right to stick their noses in my bedroom and my dr office

    August 21, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  23. nothing new here

    The same old cow manure, just another day to spout off...blah blah blah...whatever.
    Do these people really think they are going to completely do away with abortion?
    And what about women that will seek abortions overseas, or in Mexico? Hey GOP, you going to hold U.S. taxpayers hostage?
    And what about the $$$$ of legislation and enforcement of anti-abortion rules? Who is suppose to pay for that, GOP?

    August 21, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |

    The truth is, in most cases, with the exception of rape, women already have the freedom of CHOICE in this country and abortion has nothing to do with it. When a woman decides to have sex with a man (rape excluded) she is exercising her freedom of choice. If a woman becomes pregnant, that is a result of the choice she has made. Having an abortion means the child is paying the price for the result of a choice the woman made she had sex. Doesn't mean you do not treat that woman with dignity. Everyone makes mistakes. You just don't make a second mistake (abortion) to cover up the first mistake. There are many couples who would love to adopt a child in cases where the woman got pregnant and does not want the child.

    August 21, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  25. ELR

    Warning to the GOP, that wouldn't be on my platform. When you make it a major issue you tend to lose those in the party that don't agree. I already give my annual RNC contribution to planned parenthood as a penalty, but may be time to change affiliations.

    August 21, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
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