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. WeR4Freedom

    Romney / Ryan 2012

    August 21, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  2. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    Maybe Missouri Rep. Todd Akin's comments about "legitimate rape."let the cat out the bag. Well Republicans drafted their party's official policy platform today ratified a call for a Constitutional ban on abortion that makes no exceptions for rape or incest. Women of America better may close attention of what going on in america

    August 21, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  3. jennymay

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

    Exactly Don. If it was about protecting human lives, especially innocent ones, there would be no wars without cause, and about half the money going into defense right now would be going into food/healthcare/education programs for all of the suffering children already in the world.

    August 21, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  4. Obama/Biden - We Wanna Put Government Chains on Y'ALL

    Democratss = The Party of DEATH.... unless of course you are a serial killer then they want to keep you alive. Yup, makes a lot of sense doesn't it?

    August 21, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  5. MagicPanties

    wow, back to the 50's and beyond.

    Wake up, people. The GOP is nothing less than a christian taliban.

    August 21, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  6. Thomas

    When you cut funding for education , when you cut funding for social programs , when you cut public services .

    It's nice to have a deep personal subject like abortion to feel good about campaigning on.

    The GOP seams to think there are people that like having an abortion . Then they think there are those who are economicly less off that injoy being on welfer .

    The Gop prefers spending money on war's and prisons.

    August 21, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  7. Wyobob

    Just another smoke screen to keep the sheeple distracted so they won't keep looking for mitts tax records, his lack of a viable economic policy, his lack of any job creation policy or his $77,000 dancing horse deduction.

    August 21, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  8. Hillcrester

    The GOP is in deep do-do, as Bush the Elder might put it.

    I doubt Romney can win, but I take great solace from the conviction that if he does somehow become President, he won't be able to govern as the evangi-delusionals expect. They have good reason not to trust him.

    August 21, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  9. midas

    Will they care to triple health and welfare benifits for all these children. you will see that they will care little.

    August 21, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  10. Baruch

    Let's be very clear. What the anti-choice people really mean by their position is that women are holes to be used by men, and if a pregnancy results, too bad.

    Anyone who supports this position is a misogynist, be they man, woman, or Ann Coulter.

    August 21, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  11. Larry

    No matter what any republican candidate says while running – the party platform is what they will do once elected. Vote for or against the party platform. Obama 2012.

    August 21, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  12. ChristopherM

    Just in case anyone thought Akin was an isolated incident, his opinion is clearly that of the party. Check out Rep. Steve King's (R-Iowa) that he has never heard of someone getting pregnant from rape or incest. This is what happens when you make science the enemy.

    August 21, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  13. mommytwice

    So, let's see. The Republicans want to outlaw birth control, AND they want to outlaw abortion. So...essentially they are all for forcing women back into the standards of 1910, where you had as many babies as your could conceive, whether you wanted them or not. And they claim there's no war on women?? What kind of lunatics are these people????

    And, to TooBad S. Sad, where are all these people lined up around the block to adopt these unwanted children you speak of? The foster care system and state group home are full to overflowing. If you know where these adoptive parents are, please refer them to any state foster system...there are hundreds and hundreds of children who are in the system with no way out. These adoptive parents must simply not realize they are there.

    August 21, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  14. Kianasmum

    If they try to make abortion illegal, make it mandatory that the father takes custody of the unwanted child. Try that with all those highschool and college boys and see how the GOP feels about it.

    It's not about a woman keeping their legs closed. If that were the case, make sex illegal except for the purpose of procreation. No? Then make it a criminal offence for a man to continue to have sex if a condom breaks in the middle of the act or make it a crime for pharmecutical companies to make birth control that's not 100% effective.

    The GOP isn't seeing the big picture.

    August 21, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  15. Sal

    Nobody in their right mind should ever vote for a republican, period! 

    August 21, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  16. Dave

    Romney and the GOP will get our country back on track.

    August 21, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  17. SA in OO

    I have to say I actually respect Ryan more than Romney.

    As much as I disagree with him, Ryan has clearly thought about the positions he has taken. As has come to light recently, he holds to an Ayn Rand Objectivist philosophy. At it's core Ayn Rand (and Paul Ryan and Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck and . . . a lot of other Republicans if truth be know) believe that they don't owe anything to anybody. When you take this attitude to it's extreme and propose it as the underlying principal for governing a nation, the consequences are pretty scary.

    But to his credit Ryan actually believes this stuff in his sole, and until he got tapped for the VP spot on the ticket was very transparent about his beliefs no matter how uncaring the are to the poor and unfortunate he is willing to throw under the bus.

    Simply put Ryan is honest – or was.

    Romney? Not so much. His "philosophy" is less based on some theory he arrived at through deep thought, than circumstance. He was born rich, managed not to lose the fortune that was his birth right, and is damned if he can see why he has to give any of it to those who didn't work as hard as he did to be born to rich parents.

    August 21, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  18. Pander Bear

    The reason the GOP is so outraged with Todd Akin is that he brought their draconian anti-abortion stance into the news cycle ahead of the election. They're angry because he let the cat out of the bag, not because of his position. This is today's GOTea.

    August 21, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  19. batjones

    The results of this Republican platform provision if enacted will be more deaths of child bearing women; Lower wages for labor; and Increase in sexual harrassment. There is no such entity as an unborn child. The term child denotes birth, a being. Man cannot create something from nothing. Why is it trying to legislate something from nothing? How does one run an actuarial assessment against the unborn? Do we start the calculation from nine months prior to birth? Do we calculate the date of conception? Do we calculate from a couple's marriage? Perhaps we should calculate from the date of the mother's birth. The starting point must be the date of birth, which is the official date of being.

    August 21, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  20. Sal

    Evangelicals and tea party supporters get no respect from me. They are the biggest threat to the country. 

    August 21, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  21. Just another Nickel

    I just wonder...I ask myself and wonder...just how many abortions the Republican party has administered to their women? Yes sir...the self-righteous Republicans are wanting to wing it on abortion...and if it were'nt for the backlash Akin received, they would have been complimenting the idiot!

    August 21, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    No man has the right to tell me what I should do with my body.It is my right to chose. Why should I be forced to give birth to a child I DO NOT want and CAN NOT love because of the way it was concieved.Why should I have to look at that child everyday and be remined that I was raped. Who will pay for this child? the father? I dont think so. Why should the child have to grow up knowing that it was the product of rape of being unloved and rejected by it's mother because she doesnt want it.Who will pay for this child when it has a mental break down?or worse...

    August 21, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  23. freidamurray

    Really? Didn't the GOP Platform Committee hear or read about Akin yesterday? They honestly thought this would be a good time to ratify a call for a constitutional ban that makes no exceptions for rape or incest? See ya, wouldn't want to be ya!

    August 21, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  24. Amberglas

    Pretty scary when GOP/Tea Party politics start sounding like a prequel to the plot summary of The Handmaid's Tale.

    August 21, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  25. Sametestsameresults

    This is a pattern from the GOP, they want to pay back their religious cronies by passing theocratic laws in a religiously free country. This type of law is the beginning of the end, iabortion is a medical procedure that takes in to account the MOTHERs and the fetus's welfare. The church wants to take the womans decision away, same with birth control, same with equal pay, same with legal rights. The GOP supports a religious doctrine dead set on moving the U.S. back 150yrs in human rights. Why anyone would vote Republican and call themselves an American is beyond me. If your answer to my last statement is because Republicans are better with the economy you couldnt be more wrong. The middle class has suffered more from extremist pro-corporate, pro-defense/security legislation introduced by Republicans than all the welfare, social security, medicare, Obama care (adding future costs for next 10 yrs), education costs combined in any 1, 2 or 10 yr period you want to look at.

    August 21, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
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