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. Phil Thomas

    Awesome, push this clown Akin to resign but keep pushing the policy this guy stands for. The polls say Mitts and the boy wonder should have a stance that confuses America on what they are really about it when it comes to Abortion and these clown lie to the Nation. At the end of the day a vote is a powerful thing and i wish more republicans stood for more than just obstruction, selling thier service to the highest bidder and the pure extreme racist disenfranchisement of minority voters. I would gladly start voting for them again but I can't reward these guys, they are putting on the biggest Magic show the Nation has ever seen. I just hope people don't fall for it, Illusions eventually bear out

    August 21, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  2. olga79

    Then they should expand welfare and expect increase in crime since statistically those that were born out of wedlock will likely grow into a dysfunctional setting. ( Not to mention GOP is against contraception too)

    What are they going to do with women who commits abortion? Lock them up. Why don't we lock the men who made them pregnant too?

    I don't like abortion neither but it is a matter between the person and God and nobody else's business. There are different circumstances involve in it, that only God with His infinite mercy can decide which is sin. Politicians should not play God.

    August 21, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. Brad

    Ronald Reagan made a deal with the Devil, Jerry Falwell putting us on the path to a Religious Theocracy.

    Well here they come trying to push their religious views on all of us.

    August 21, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. don

    Republican/Tea Party passionate anti-abortion stance is about keeping women submitting, not about reverence for life.

    August 21, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  5. gmenfan54

    Every day the GOP moves closer to sounding like a Communist regime.

    August 21, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  6. Jon

    WHy does everyone make the abortion issue a moral issue? Isn't it just a civil rights issue. I mean if we define when death happens, that should automatically define when life begins. Once we have the defination of when life begins, it is no more a moral issue. It is a cival rights issue.

    If we as a society decide that death happens when the heart stops ... then life begins when the heart starts ...

    If death happens when we stop breathing ... then life happens when we start breathing.

    If death happens when the brain waves stop ... life begins when brain waves starts.

    Sounds simple to me. If life stops when we stop breathing, there is no reason for mouth to mouth ... If life stops when the heart stops beating, then there is no reason for defib machines ... If we defin life stops when the brain waves stop, then all the battles over when to pull the plug on those who stay in a brain awaveless vegitative state ... because we willhave defined that is when life ended.

    August 21, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  7. Geo

    The aboriton issue is just a ruse to get people worked up into a hypermoral stance for things they in reality don't care about. What they care about is spewing out pseudo moral stances and hating other people. If the Right really was for the unborn and the life after the womb they would be the strongest supporters of a national heatth care system. Pro life means health care. But it is all about power and control and hatred of other people. And the Right Wing supporters are in the game and know instinctively the rules, know they are being used and don't care. It's like a contract, you give me a reason to dispise others and not have to face the pathetic quality of my life and in exchange I'll give you my support, even if what you stand for is against the best interests of me and my family. Sometimes in mass, human beings are mad.

    August 21, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  8. Here-we-Go-again

    Are all demo – crybabies Pro-death? Let us lump all liberials into one group too.

    Too much crap thrown around on the topic of saving the unborn. They have rights too.

    How about you dems and libs suggest adoption instead of abortion? Then, we as Americans will have a common ground to start talking rationally and with respect.

    What to try something new?

    Repeating the same mantra on Pro-Choice and expecting a different outcome is a definition of insanity. You are not insane, just misguided.

    Cross over the line you drew in the sand, and let's talk.

    Big the bigger man or woman.

    We are waiting...

    August 21, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  9. Sheri Lee

    Just like the Nazi's they to were against Abortions. OK good GOPers are against abortions and are for life. Then they should not complain if the mother should live off of foodstamps and welfare to take care of that baby. OH wait when it comes to that they much rather that baby starve. There stance on right to life is a pure two faced Joke. I want to believe most people in this country are catching on. This platform issue is to appeal to the radical extrem right wing wacko's of the party.

    August 21, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    I see the conservative tradition of raising little boys to become small men hasn't changed.

    August 21, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  11. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    Just maybe Missouri Rep. Todd Akin's comments about "legitimate rape statement" let the cat out of bag or he spoke to soon. The Republicans has drafted 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. Women of America better pay attention to WOMEN RIGHT.

    August 21, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  12. slk

    so now the gop are playing GOD?
    These folks are just men. Who do they thnk they are?
    NOw doctors,nurses,hospitals,paitents lives that may hinge on being saved will die? and the doctors will go to jail?
    change the constitution?
    What will they try next?
    which right will be up for "their" grab?

    August 21, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  13. Dan

    In 2007, Governor Romney said if he becomes President, he would sign the GOP bill to ban abortion in case of rape.
    Ryan, was co-sponsor of Akins bill that would ban abortion in case of rape.

    Romney violates the Ten Commandments when he claims he that he would have never signed a bill banning abortion in the case of rape.

    August 21, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  14. nothing new here

    Adopt much? Of course not.
    The solution to the problem is BIRTH CONTROL! Us Independent/Libertarians figured that out a long time ago, now time for you so-called pro-lifers to get with the program.

    August 21, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  15. alien

    How would you like to grow up knowing you were born from a rapists seed? I think I would rather be aborted than to have to kill myself later in life from the pain and agony of knowing

    August 21, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  16. Derek

    "we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed,""

    But.. it infringes on the rights of the woman.. that is the point. You can't put the rights of an unborn fetus above the rights of a living breathing person.

    August 21, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  17. Fred Garvin

    The GOP needs to stop mincing words and just come out and say what they want to say – raping women is not only a legtimate but also the preferred means of procreating.

    August 21, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  18. Thomas

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

    Why should a women die due to complications? That wasn't a part of the platform.
    Why should a women have to re-live her rape constantly? That wasn't a part of the platform.
    Why should a women molested by a family member have to carry the child to term? That wasn't a part of the platform.

    Instead of thinking about the tiny spec of nothing that hasn't had any time to develop any attributes relatively close to a human being, why not think about the human being that could live or die, or have to live with an extremely traumatic point in their life because you feel that a tiny spec that couldn't be seen on the tip of your finger is a person?

    August 21, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. Doyle Wiley, MI

    God gave humans 'free will', I guess the GOP think they know better.

    August 21, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  20. Scotty

    Republicans continue to find ways to "blow" an election. Thank God.

    August 21, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  21. Hillcrester

    The GOP's capacity for self-mockery seems boundless. They want Akins to drop out for clumsily espousing the sane attitude and policy they will build into their party's official position.

    They deserve the thrashing they are about to get. The GOZ "tent" is getting smaller and smaller.

    August 21, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  22. Thomas

    "How about keep your legs closed."

    Ahahaha, I bet you're a hit with the ladies.

    August 21, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  23. Jon

    alien ... that is great for you to speculate about that ... But I happen to have a friend that was born from rape ... he is happy and is greatful to a mother that loved him enough to raise him ... he is greatful that she found a husband which is his step father who took the time in life to show him how to fish, play basketball, throw a football. He was greatful for parents that showed him what it took to be a man, that college was important, and what to look for in a wife. He has been happily married for 45 years, has 3 children, one of the children is a doctor that goes overseas once a year to do sugery on kids who are missing part of their mouth.

    I bet every day that those children that he helps for free thank God that his mother didn't abort him.

    August 21, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  24. mick

    i'm horrified about how this country of ours is going. whatever happened to freedom? will we start witch hunting again? let's all go back in time when there was no such thing as a women's right of choice! hell, let's stop teaching evolution! i think we're living in some alternative reality.

    August 21, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  25. nothing new here

    I am still waiting for the JOBS platform.
    I better not hold my breath, or I might abort myself.

    August 21, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
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