Antiabortion Language In The GOP Draft Platform Draws Attention To Akin Flap

English: Presidential candidate Mitt Romney ta...

English: Presidential candidate Mitt Romney talks with patrons at the Senate Coney Island Restaurant, 34359 Plymouth Road, Livonia, Michigan, June 9, 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Topics: Women’s Health, Politics

Aug 22, 2012

The Republican panel charged with drafting the party’s platform included language that would essentially ban abortion. Mitt Romney‘s campaign says he supports “exceptions for rape, incest and to save the life of the mother.”

NPR: GOP Platform Anti-Abortion Language Includes No Exceptions For Rape, Incest
With little discussion, the committee on Tuesday adopted the same anti-abortion language it included in GOP platforms in 2004 and 2008. It seeks passage of a constitutional amendment that would extend legal rights to the unborn, essentially banning abortion (Allen, 8/21).

The Washington Post: GOP Party Platform Sticks With Antiabortion Stance, Does Not Address Rape Exception
That language would appear to be incompatible with exceptions when pregnancies result from rape or incest. But the draft does not specifically address the issue of exceptions, and party leaders here said that the issue is too complex to be addressed in what is intended to be a broad statement of party principle, and that it should be left up to states in a federal system (Helderman, 8/21).

Politico: GOP Rejects Rape Exception In Platform
Even as Mitt Romney sought to quash the furor surrounding Todd Akin‘s “legitimate” rape comments, the Republican platform committee here approved an abortion plank that includes no exemptions for rape, incest or even to save the life of the mother. The platform committee instead approved draft language Tuesday, calling for a “Human Life Amendment” that gives legal protection to the unborn. Democrats quickly labeled the GOP language the “Akin Plank,” referring to the Missouri Senate candidate’s statements that victims of “legitimate rape” rarely get pregnant (Hohmann, 8/21).

Bloomberg: Republican Platform Panel Backs Blanket Ban On Abortion
Concluding two days of deliberations in Tampa yesterday, the platform committee completed a 60-page draft of political positions and principles that will be submitted for adoption when the Republican National Convention begins Aug. 27 in the Florida city. Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell, the panel’s chairman, and other leaders sought to emphasize the document’s focus on proposals to promote economic growth as the party dealt with a political storm stirred by a comment about rape by the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Missouri (Rowley, 8/22).

Reuters: Republicans Again Back Strict Anti-Abortion Platform
A Republican Party committee on Tuesday embraced anti-abortion language it has used in its platform since 2004, with no mention of exceptions for rape or incest, as one of its Senate candidates was widely condemned over his comments about rape. The anti-abortion language was approved by the platform panel with little discussion and is nearly identical to what was in the Republican platform in 2008 and 2004 (Charles, 8/21).

The Boston Globe: Republican Plank Opposes All Abortions
The wording of the GOP’s call for a “human life amendment” is no different from what the party approved in 2004 and 2008, but proponents and opponents alike greeted it with renewed zeal two days after Akin said he “understand[s] from doctors” that rape-induced pregnancies are “really rare,” and that “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” (Borchers, 8/22).

McClatchy Newspapers: GOP Platform On Abortion Is Tougher Than Mitt Romney’s Own Stance
Romney, like nominees in the past, said he’d set his own agenda and wouldn’t follow the party platform word for word. “Mitt Romney’s position is clear: He is pro-life. He opposes abortion with exceptions for rape, incest or to save the life of the mother,” Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said (Douglas and Lightman, 8/21).

The Hill: Reince Priebus: RNC’s Abortion Policy ‘Not The Platform Of Mitt Romney’
Mitt Romney doesn’t have to take ownership of the Republican Party’s abortion platform, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Tuesday. Ahead of the Republican convention next week, the party’s platform committee is set to endorse an abortion plank that calls for a constitutional amendment restricting abortion — without exceptions for cases of rape and incest. Romney supports those exceptions, and Preibus said on MSNBC that Romney will run on his own beliefs (Baker, 8/21).

USA Today: GOP Trying To Keep Focus On Economy Rather Than Abortion
Trying to keep the presidential contest focused on the economy rather than divisive social issues, Republican candidate Mitt Romney joined a growing GOP chorus urging a Missouri Senate candidate to quit the race after inflammatory comments about abortion and rape (Davis, 8/21).

The Washington Post: Akin Comments Expose GOP Rift Over Abortion
Rep. Todd Akin’s controversial comments on abortion and rape — and the Missouri Republican’s vow Tuesday to continue his U.S. Senate campaign — have given Democrats an opening on an issue on which they enjoy broad public support. In the past two days, party leaders in Washington and their supporters across the country have highlighted Akin’s comments to try to raise money, as part of campaign pitches and to revive the “war on women” theme that emerged this year after some Republicans came out against health-care coverage for contraception (O’Keefe and Helderman, 8/21).

Politico: GOP To Akin: You’re Blowing Our Chance To Repeal ‘Obamacare’
National Republicans on Tuesday gave Rep. Todd Akin another reason to back out of the Missouri Senate race: If he stays in, they say, the repeal of the health care reform law is at risk. “By staying in this race, Congressman Akin is putting at great risk many of the issues that he and others in the Republican Party are fighting for, including the repeal of Obamacare,” Brian Walsh, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said in a statement (Haberkorn, 8/21).

The Washington Post: Republican Platform ‘Salutes’ Va. Abortion Law
The Republican platform that Gov. Robert F. McDonnell is helping to hammer out in Tampa contains a “salute” to states that have, like his own, passed “informed consent” laws meant to dissuade women from having abortions. Virginia’s informed consent law, requiring that women seeking an abortion first undergo an ultrasound, brought unflattering national attention to Richmond this year and forced McDonnell into an awkward balancing act. Some observers think it may have cost the governor the chance to be Mitt Romney’s running mate (Vozzella, 8/21).

The Hill: Scott Brown Calls GOP’s Abortion Platform ‘A Mistake’
Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) on Tuesday called Republicans’ strict opposition to abortion rights in the party platform “a mistake.” Republicans are set to adopt a platform, ahead of their convention next week, that calls for a constitutional amendment banning abortion. Brown — whose race against liberal favorite Elizabeth Warren could decide which party controls the Senate — said the abortion plank is too rigid. “Even while I am pro-choice, I respect those who have a different opinion on this very difficult and sensitive issue,” Brown said in a letter to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. “Our Party platform should make the same concession to those of us who believe in a woman’s right to choose” (Baker, 8/21).

Meanwhile, a Democratic response –

ABC: Obama Campaign Will Blast Email From Sandra Fluke About Akin Comments And Republican Presidential Platform
The Obama campaign will later today send out a mass e-mail to supporters from abortion rights activist Sandra Fluke criticizing the comments of embattled Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., and trying to tie them to the GOP presidential platform, ABC News has learned. The email will be just the latest attempt by the Obama campaign to link the presumptive Republican presidential ticket to Akin, whose widely condemned (and scientifically false) remarks about rape have been disputed by both Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., in addition to almost every national Republican official with a pulse (Tapper, 8/21).

This is part of Kaiser Health News’ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.


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