GOP Platform: Anti-Abortion, No Exceptions

BlogHer Original Post

Once again, the GOP is preparing to add an anti-abortion plank to its official party platform that will be announced at the Republican National Convention in Tampa next week. According to CNN, a draft of the platform includes:

"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 draft platform 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."

It’s not surprising, considering the Republican stance on the issue for decades. But coming on the heels of Rep. Todd Akin’s comments that “legitimate rape” doesn’t lead to pregnancy, clearly women’s issues are going to remain a major battle in the November election, despite Republican efforts to keep the focus on the economy.

Aug. 20, 2012 - Tampa, FL, USA - L-R: RNC Chairmain Reince Priebus and RNC Chief Executive Officer Bill Harris unveil the stage built into the Tampa Bay Times Forum for the Republican National Convention on August 20, 2012 for members of the media. The 13 video panels behind Priebus and Harris will help the Republicans get their message out when the convention kicks off on Monday, August 27, 2012. [Edmund D. Fountain, Times] (Credit Image: © Tampa Bay Times/ZUMAPRESS.com)

And it will be interesting to see how exactly Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney parses his support of exceptions to ban on abortion, with his statement Monday condemning Akin’s statements:

“Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin’s statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape,’’ a Romney campaign spokeswoman, Amanda Henneberg, wrote.

Despite Romney’s statement, the Republican platform has never officially included any exceptions for abortion in the case of rape or incest. Many Republicans may personally espouse those beliefs, and John McCain pushed for those clauses back in 2008 – but was unsuccessful.

What will also be really interesting is to see how Romney’s new running mate, Paul Ryan is going to navigate these waters. After all, Ryan has a history of legislation opposing abortion and birth control -- including Rep. Akin’s bill to redefine rape.

Ryan, like many a candidate who has changed his mind on abortion when in the home stretch of a run for the White House, has said he will now defer to Romney on the issue of abortion, which is sort of like deferring to an Etch-a-Sketch.

News and Politics Editor Grace Hwang Lynch blogs at HapaMama and A Year (Almost) Without Shopping.

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