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. LivinginVA

    Interesting how Romney and other top Republicans have been slamming Akin – including saying that they believe abortion should be legal in cases of rape and incest. So at Convention are they going to stand up and announce in their speeches that they have no intention of furthering that part of the platform?

    August 21, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  2. Chemack56

    Let me get this straight. In one breath it's the Teavangelicans position to protect life from the moment a sperm fertilizes an egg with NO exceptions and then in the next breath they want to relax all gun controls so every nut job in America is armed to the rafters and getting us into Iraq type wars where thousands of Americans are senselessly slaughtered. I thinik they call this bipolar disorder.

    August 21, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |

    Abortion is murder. Aborting someones life is killing.

    August 21, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  4. drake mallard

    Everywhere you look, Republican men are leading an all out assault on American women.These conservatives are really something, aren't they? They are all in favor of the unborn, they will do anything for the unborn, but once you're born, you're on your own! Pro-life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to nine months. After that they don't want to know about you, they don't want to hear from you Oh yes and "let a baby be born" to a mother who cannot care for it or someone who does not want it and then whose responsibility is it? Yours The conservative position SHOULD be to cover birth control so as to lower abortion rates.

    August 21, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  5. Alcohologram

    @simpleguy73: What has Obama done for the economy? Let me count the ways:

    1) The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009: a $789 billion economic stimulus plan that halted the economic slide many economists were calling the start of the second great depression. The recession was costing the economy nearly 800,000 jobs per month by the time President Obama took office. But by the end of his first year, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act created and sustained 2.1 million jobs and stimulated the economy by 3.5%.

    2) Not only did he completed the massive TARP financial and banking rescue plan, he also leaned on the banks and others, and recovered virtually all of the bail-out money.

    3) Along with Democrats, and almost no Republicans, implemented an auto industry rescue plan, and saved as many as 1 million jobs. Many are of the opinion that he saved the entire auto industry, and even the economy of the entire Midwest. This resulted in GM returning to its place as the top car company in the world. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, advocated for the entire industry to go belly-up.

    4) Created more private sector jobs in 2010 than during entire Bush years.

    5) Within his first week, he signed an Executive Order ordering an audit of government contracts, and combating waste and abuse.

    6) Created the post of Chief Performance Officer, whose job it is to make operations more efficient to save the federal government money.

    7) Launched to track spending from the Recovery Act, providing transparency and allowing the public to report fraud, waste, or abuse.

    8) Signed the Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act to stop fraud and wasteful spending in the defense procurement and contracting system.

    9) Established Credit Card Bill of Rights, preventing credit card companies from imposing arbitrary rate increases on customers

    10) Tax cuts for up to 3.5 million small businesses to help pay for employee health care coverage

    11) Tax credits for up to 29 million individuals to help pay for health insurance

    12) Signed the Democratic-sponsored and passed Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, expanding on the Making Home Affordable Program to help millions of Americans avoid preventable foreclosures. The bill also provided $2.2 billion to help combat homelessness, and to stabilize the housing market.

    13) Eliminated subsidies to private lender middlemen of student loans and protect student borrowers

    14) Provided stimulus funding to boost private sector spaceflight programs

    15) Signed financial reform law establishing a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to look out for the interests of everyday Americans and prohibiting banks from engaging in proprietary trading (trading the bank's own money to turn a profit, often in conflict with their customers' interests).

    16) Signed the Democratic-sponsored Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act giving the federal government more tools to investigate and prosecute fraud in every corner of the financial system, and create a bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to investigate the financial fraud that led to the economic meltdown.

    17) Initiated a $15 billion plan designed to encourage increased lending to small businesses.

    The real question I have for you is: what would you have done to prevent the recession Bush and a republican legislature left for Obama to fix? I'M WAITING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 21, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  6. SassyMe@

    Dignty of life? I'm a woman – where's my dignity of life?

    August 21, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    @ Jay T,

    You only have a right to life while in the womb. After that, its every man for himself. At least thats how the GOP Tard policies read to me.

    August 21, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  8. Gary

    Romney just flip flopped and said they he agrees in case of rape or incest that abortion is OK, but the GOP platform says it is not, who is in charge, anybody, anyone?

    August 21, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  9. EXRepublican

    Republican going to lose so many votes because of there policy against women.
    Romney and Ryan are the worst politician in history.

    August 21, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  10. Vincent

    Supporting this bill is the same as supporting the Akin comments. Republicans are running away from this guy when they are on board. So you can support it just don't say it. Dopes.

    August 21, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  11. ghostriter

    Simpleguy, Romeny has laid out his plans in such detail that Obama was Politichecked as not true his statement that Romney's tax plan would raise taxes on folks.....because Romney's plan doesn't have enough details to rate it. None of Romney's plans have any details to rate it on. How will he create 4 million jobs? Cutting taxes? Which ones? Which loopholes? Which regulations will he get rid of? What will he replace them with? Lemme guess.....common sense ones.....

    You wanna know what Obama has done? Seeing as how he could possible erase the number of jobs lost since 2009, I'd say not bad. Considering how bad it could've been, I'd say he's done alot.

    August 21, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  12. Kris

    The Democrats will again use this to scare women. Why is the Republican Party giving the Democrats a gift? It is illogical.

    August 21, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  13. Keith

    In response to Sniffit, "So, a 13 year old girl is raped and she should be forced to give birth?"
    No she will not have to pay a doctor to do the abortion under the table, all she has to do is go to a CIVILIZED COUNTRY LIKE CANADA and have it done safely.
    Take my advice don't have an abortion done in a Third World Country like the USA under a Republican administration.

    August 21, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  14. DIna


    August 21, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  15. blue19

    The GOP said Obama has a secret agenda on gun control and passing the Affordable care act would mean death panels. Neither are true. What is scary are the actions being taken recently by GOP lead governmetns. While the GOP says the election is about the economy, it is the assult on the feedoms of individuals that are at stake in this election. Gop led states have or are passing legislation limiting the rights of women to access abortions. GOP states are manipulating the election process to deliver the election to Romney (their words not mine). The GOP refused to pass a law guaranteeing equal pay for women.

    August 21, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  16. CCD008

    I can call your positions Anti-Life of the Child, if you prefer.

    August 21, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  17. DerekinSC

    No exclusion for rape or incest? The right has highjacked the Republican party (again). Idiots. Obama's an idiot and you just opened the door for his reelection. Idiots.

    August 21, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  18. kayla

    i wonder if a black man would rape one of their wives would they keep the baby?

    August 21, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  19. Still Waiting

    And the real question is....

    Where are Mitt's tax returns?

    August 21, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  20. Greater Good

    I understand now GOP. The child of a rape or infest victim must br born...only so your leaders can withdraw medical, developmental, and educational services..then accuse the child of being a drain on the system.

    Afghanistan called...they want their Taliban back.

    August 21, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  21. Larry L

    @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. 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.
    A heartbeat does not define a "human" unless you chose that definition. One-celled organisms have rudimentary circulatory systems but like the 7-week fetus, lack the sophisticated functions of human life. If you extract a 7-week fetus from a woman's body it will not survive. Sperm cells exhibit characteristics of life but certainly are not "human".

    No doubt, in many situations an unwanted pregnancy results from poor planning, irresponsible behavior, or failed birth control methods. Sometimes it's the result of violence against women. Regardless of the reason, 100% of the time it is a serious and private decision that must remain under the control of the woman – not some right-wing, Evangelical radical. Ironically, these same people have recently declared contraception to be an "evil" practice. Make no mistake – this is a Republican issue and only the GOP believes they have the right to control a woman's reproductive functions.

    August 21, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  22. Fair is Fair


    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?
    Dear MaryM,

    It's 2012. 99.999% of "unwanted babies" could be prevented with readily available, inexpensive birth control.

    August 21, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  23. ian

    I'm 100% pro life and 100% pro guns

    makes sense

    August 21, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  24. Tim

    So wouldn't 100% pro-life include being pro-healthcare, pro-humanitarian aid for children (born and unborn) in other countries, pro-keeping our bombs from falling on innocents in other lands, pro-food programs for hungry children in the US. I would say the GOP is 10% pro-life.

    August 21, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  25. John

    Romney...."Abortion OK in the case of Rape"...Platform "No exceptions, abortion unacceptable".....SOLUTION?

    Don't bring it up, change the subject if someone does, and continue to pretend the subject is not important to women....

    August 21, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
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