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. Sniffit

    "WHO is going to pay for all those unwanted babies that will be born?"

    Nobody. That's the whole point. Do you really think that a personhood amendment is going to prevent wealthy people rom obtaining safe illegal abortions? Who do you really think this is a screwjob for? And why might the GOP/Teatrolls and the plutocrats behind them, funding them want the middle-class and poor saddled with the economic burdens of unwanted children that they cannot afford? It's one of two things for sure: (a) the downtrodden, overburdened and economically powerless are far easier to manipulate and control and/or (b) so they can say "well, then stop're like vermin for christ's sake," which of course fits nicely into the rampant alarm running through the GOP/Teatroll ranks that minorities are out-reproducing white people.

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

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

    I'm sorry, ma'am, but when they refer to less instrusion, they are referring to men' wallets, not women's hoohoos.

    August 21, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  3. Miss Yvonne

    If you have had a baby in the past 20 years or so, you know that at or around 7 weeks you are able to see the baby's heart beating on an ultrasound machine. It's the most awesome experience. I cannot imagine any one wanting to stop that little heart. Call it a fetus if you will, but it is a human...a tiny human. Abortions kill humans. All religion aside...abortions kill humans. Please don't do it. Use birth control.....consider adoption. Please don't kill.

    August 21, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  4. Squigman

    Akin, was set on point then placed in position to be thrown under the bus if any heat was felt. WAKE-UP.

    August 21, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. simpleguy73

    @lolo I'm waiting for the Democrat Senate to pass a budget. I'm waiting for Obama to run on real policies and not "cards" (i.e. Race; Women; Gays; Elderly). What are Obama's plans for jobs? Another failed stimulus package? If you would open your tone deaf ears and listen to Romney maybe you find out Romney's plan. Which he has stated in the news and on his website. I'm not saying Romney is perfect, but he has a plan. As an Independent voter I was sold on "Hope and Change" and it was business as usual. So, now I'm moving "Forward" past Obama onto Romney. But, you are more closed minded than opened mind it's sick. Instead, you like to be a bullheaded Democrat and think any Obama does is gold. I bet if Obama had a BM you touch, smell it, rub on your face and say it's gold! Please, do tell me what has Obama done for the economy and the national debt since being President. I am waiting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 21, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  6. Bookenz

    So, a 13 year old girl is raped and she should be forced to give birth?

    August 21, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |

    What is wrong with the GOP?

    August 21, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  8. MaryM

    Thank you Sniffit, you answered my question

    August 21, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  9. Lip Service - nothing more

    Aside from the name calling ("libs, "socialists", etc.) from republicans when the public calls them out, When are they going to start laying out their JOB plan? Do you have your economic plan? When are we going to hear it? August is almost over. By the way Medicare is not a job creation program is just another entitlement program.

    So if Obama has failed misserably in the last four years, then tell us how are YOU going to fix the problem. How much Obama stinks as POTUS is not a plan, is just delaying the fact that you DO NOT have a plan yourselves. Now is your turn to prove the American voters WHY we should vote republican, not the other way around.

    August 21, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. rs

    Obama/Biden – We Wanna Put Government Chains on Y'ALL-

    Nice attempt to chane the topic from the GOP's Medieval attitudes. Look- Obama has overseen the cretion of more than 4.4 million jobs- more than Bush managed in 8 years. Maybe if the GOP hadn't crashed the economy we wouldn't be worried about job creation.

    What YOU need to pay attention to is that the GOP in the House instead of passing jobs bills like they promised, idled ttheir time away with Taliban like anti-birth control and anti-abortion bills.

    August 21, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. Truth

    The Republican party line: just say no to anything that makes sense.

    August 21, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  12. HOWard

    Who are they kidding? I am willing to bet the farm on the fact that just as many republican females have availed themselves to abortion as those of any other party affilation. I have to shake my head at the hypocrisy of the republican party. Personally, I feel the GOP needs to disovle itself and start over as something else with better leadership.

    August 21, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  13. Jay T

    So, let me understand this. We have to ban all abortions. Abortions are evil. But, if we even think to ban assault rifles, that's evil too. Somebody please explain it to me.

    August 21, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  14. DJL

    What is the GOP going to do in 25-30 years, when their core-constituency (men born before 1960) is gone? What issue will they be able to conjure up to try to "divide and conquer" the masses?

    August 21, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  15. Corporations of America

    impossible to get an ammendment to the constitution. It would take 2/3 of states to vote for it. And to get it passed the house and senate? Once again, abortion and gays the republican call to the voter box. I wish we could have on election where the word abortion or gay rights never come up, then we might actually get stuff done.

    August 21, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  16. Kimbiqua

    This platform and belief system is completely appropriate – for church members. Feel free to impose these rules on your congregants. But the last time I looked, abortion was legal, and religious belief not law. We are not trying to impose a theocracy here in the United States, are we? Separation of church and state – now more necessary than ever.

    August 21, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Ferret out the B.S.

    It is clearly evident that the GOP wants to return this country to the 1950's and earlier or better yet mirror the ultra consevative views and activities of the Taliban along with other religeous groups. The apparent desire is to turn the US into a theologic society where we are forced to believe, live and act by conservative religeous doctrine determined by a group claiming to create freedom but are working their hardest to take it away. Repudiate this move to restrict our hard earned freedoms by voting all of these fanatics out of office.
    CORRECTION: "....act by CHRISTIAN conservative religious doctrine...."

    An ideology this is contrary to the US Constitution that they claim to hold so dear to their moral values. Actually, they use it as a weapon to impose their beliefs upon others, whether they are willing or not.

    August 21, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  18. fistface

    Do not let these Republicans fool you into thinking they are Conservative. True Conservatives are for the Separation of Church and State and Staunchly against peoples freedoms being dictated. The True Conservative.... pondering this matter, would be pro-choice in regards too Legislation. The Fake Republican Brand of Conservatism is no pro-choice.... because they can not Separate Church from State far enough too realize that anything other than giving people Freedom of Choice in any matter of life choices is AMERICAN. You have Fake Conservative Republicans being the only "Brand" of Conservatism, and Liberals going so far with their Liberalism that everything is becoming against the law, and there is no Common Sense being applied. Because the American Voters are Deadlocked in a two-party system where both parties are going the wrong direction. At the end of the day, the Federal Government is too big, too wasteful, and overtaxing its citizens... some more unfairly than others.... No matter which of the two parties you pick.

    August 21, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "So, a 13 year old girl is raped and she should be forced to give birth?"

    Only if she's too poor to pay some doctor $10K under the table for a safe procedure. Otherwise, it's time to play coathanger roulette. And hey, if we're lucky, both her AND the baby get sepsis and that's 2 less poor people we have to worry about!

    August 21, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  20. bertha59

    Abortion is not nice...but it should not be outlawed.

    August 21, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  21. rs


    So in exchange for "poicy" that you perceive Romney and Ryan as having, we should accept a trip back to the eighteenth century? Sorry sir, that's not happening.
    What R &R propose (for jobs, the economy, the environment, etc.) is exactly what the Republicans have pushed for 30 years- cut reulations, give the rich more welfare. Where has it got us? No middle class, and the greatest number of millionaires in the world. That hasn't helped anyone I know.

    August 21, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  22. Glenn Rice

    So, with this platform, why is there any suggestion that Akin step down? He is supporting the platform. His views are the mainstream republican views.

    August 21, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  23. Brendan



    August 21, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  24. Kimbiqua

    I think the Republican party should just label themselves a religious organization. Then all their earnings will be tax exempt too, just like the churches. They'd like that. They're not trying to impose a State religion, are they? No. It's ok to be any religion, as long as it follows Christian tenets!

    August 21, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  25. Marie MD

    Could somebody in the media grow a pair and ask the vp no mined what he thinks. The flip floppef shouldn't have to speak for him. He has already enough things and tried go make fun the our VP to detract from him.
    Don't sorry bulky bishop we are not forgetting everything else yiu think we are going tom out aside. Yiu are still a lying 13% cheat!!!

    August 21, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
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