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. Here-we-Go-again

    Her life. ... Typos. Sorry.

    August 21, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  2. Ted

    Mike in SA....Your alternative?

    August 21, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  3. Marge

    Funny, the don't want to register or have waiting periods for their guns, but they want to impose waiting periods on women trying to obtain an abortion! Please make up your minds you right-winged, conservative want to take away a woman's right to choose AND you want to restrict contraceptives! You can't have it both ways unless you want every woman in this country barefoot and pregnant with 20 kids! How about Congress focus on the REAL issues like job creation and getting this country back on track! And please, someone tell me, who is going to adopt all these unwanted babies...or babies with birth defects...or babies born addicted to drugs and/or alcohol?? Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are people out there that would love a baby, no matter their issues, but I have to believe they are few and far between!

    August 21, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  4. olde me

    And some people wonder why I'm glad to be past childbearing; no matter how God's Own Putz go, it won't affect me. But I truly fear for the young women of America.

    August 21, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  5. Mr. Moderate

    the fact that the Republican party had complete control of the government from 2001 to 2007 and did nothing to address this issue should be evidence enough that their commitment to "life" begins and ends at the ballot box. All of you in the pro-life crowd, why do you continue to let yourselves be made fools of?

    August 21, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  6. PushingBack

    If they cared at all about a woman's rights, there would be inclusion of exceptions for the known reasons of health issues and rape. But they don't and they won't. If you are on the edge out there and don't want to encourage this thinking (which will only grow worse going forward) then vote for Obama. We'd love to have you and our party is inclusive of all different opinions.

    August 21, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  7. pi_boson

    I do not understand how the GOP platform of oppressing females, vetting females as third-class entities is allowed in this nation. The GOP platform is for a smaller, more expensive, and much more intrusive goverment.

    August 21, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  8. Common sense grandma

    Get these people out of my body. What about their platform of less government intrusion?

    August 21, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  9. Johnathan

    Give the GOP all the rope they want.
    Shame they couldn't keep their abortion thoughts behind "private rooms" where they quietly developed their knuckle dragging, caveman philosophy away from prying eyes.

    Now it's no secret. And Paul Ryan, who thinks like Akin, co sponsored Akins' radical legislation.

    Now they are all throwing him under the bus ...with a 'we are really with you "wink", explaining how they are exposed in a politically damaging place and have to cover their rear ends.

    August 21, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  10. doug

    So...A). How is an invasive ultrasound not considered rape?
    B.) If an unborn child is considered a life before birth, shouldn't I be allowed to claim it as a dependent on my income tax return ?
    C.) In the Declaration of Independence (which is not the constitution, by the way) what if "life" ,"liberty" and "Pursuit of Happiness" some how collide ? Life and liberty collide with the GOP definition of abortion. Don't they just...cancel each other out ?
    D.) What if we were to outlaw religion because it interferes with my pursuit of happiness?

    August 21, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  11. Ben

    Where is the article about the democratic nti-Life platform to balance this out?

    August 21, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  12. tundrayeti

    How exactly does this differ from the opinion of Akin which the republican party is pretending to disagree with?

    If a woman is raped, then the republican's immediate response seems to be to lock the woman up for 9 months as a form of punishment.

    August 21, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  13. Cristiabella

    Just keep on shooting yourself in the foot, GOP. Letting the religious right dictate your stance on this issue–over and over again–just benefits the Dems every time. Good work.

    August 21, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  14. Political Agnostic

    Social issues have no place being determined by governments. Did we learn nothing from Prohibition? If the Republican party continues down this path, soon they will become marginalized and no longer a political force.

    August 21, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  15. Pop-Corn:Check, 55 inch TV: Check

    Paul Ryan as VP is becoming 'the gift that keeps on giving' for the Dems. Can't wait.

    August 21, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  16. MaryM

    I have one question, If the GOP gets their way and legislation is passed banning abortion,
    WHO is going to pay for all those unwanted babies that will be born?

    August 21, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  17. marco rubio

    this is no surprise. the gop is anti abortion. what that idiot akin said is what he truely believes and what others like him believe. how ANY woman could vote for that group is beyond crazy

    August 21, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  18. pi_boson

    I do not understand how our society allows such an assault on females. The GOP platform makes females third-class entities. The GOP platform is for a smaller, more expensive and much more intrusive government. With only 15% of the House members being females, we do not have a representative government. Boehner and Ryan caused the down-rating credit for this country and now they are down-grading females. Stand-up, let your voice be heard and your interests become a reality. Vote no on Romney/Ryan.

    August 21, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  19. josh

    This is big government taken over the lives of people I thought conservatives believe in small government apparently they don't.

    August 21, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  20. Reysantos

    Atkins did not get the memo to wait until after he was elected to voice the Republican Taliban agenda. Way go Todd...

    August 21, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  21. MS OF NY

    First the poor victim is r a p e d by a man and the she is r a p e d by the Government as well, as it holds her hand behind her back rendering her defenceless. I think it goes against the very idea behind the founding of this great nation which is Freedom and Liberty to one and all!!! Also, this is the opportunity for the people to stop Government intrusion into people's lives. Today it is abortion tomorrow they will say all women should remove thier uterus after having 2 children just in case they get raped and don't want to go full term from it. Really sick and tried of all this negativity from this party.

    August 21, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  22. josh

    Also why are they doing legislastion that will force a woman to through a medical procedure that is big government telling me that I need to do that.

    August 21, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  23. lolo

    Romney chose Ryan because he is not ready to be president. He does not want to handle all of this government stuff, only corporate stuff that helps him to keep lying, cheating and stealing. He has figured out that he does not want to givie up those tax loopholes that fills his pockets with millions every year. Romneyhood show us those taxes. What are your plans for jobs, deficit? You got the stupid vote, now come on and try to win over those that are too smart to fall for your BS comments and views. I am waiting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 21, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  24. linda

    All these republicans calling for Akins to quit to back out of his run for the Senate and yet everyone one of them feels and thinks the same way he does about abortion....all they want is to be able to get one of them into the Senate so they can have the majority and then they will pass the same things this man believes in.....they are hypocrites......they tell you one thing to get your vote and then screw you when they are elected......

    August 21, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  25. AT in Florida

    As a person living in Florida where we have being driving around with "chose life" license plates (and none from the other side), I"m not surprised at anything the Republicans do at this point. The party has been trending more conservative, religious, gun touting, and war-mongering for the past 15 years.

    Frankly, some of this is still a control issue for men - if men had babies, this would be a non-issue...

    August 21, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
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