Republican Party Platform Softens Language on Abortion, Same-Sex Marriage

Carol Zimmermann


Republican Party Platform Softens Language on Abortion, Same-Sex Marriage
At the request of former U.S. President Donald Trump, a panel charged with developing a platform for the Republican National Committee has adopted a draft document with softened language on abortion and same-sex marriage. (Photo: OSV News/Brian Snyder, Reuters)

WASHINGTON — A Republican Party platform, overwhelmingly approved by a committee on July 8, has softened the party’s language on abortion for the first time in more than four decades.

The draft, which still needs to be approved at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee next week, did not endorse a national ban on abortion but instead emphasized state rulings in the wake of the overturn of Roe v. Wade.

Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, praised the platform committee for its “hard work ensuring that the party’s goal of protecting women and their preborn children is clearly stated.”

She also said, “In contrast to what the Democratic Party offers to women and their preborn children, the Republican Party platform offers life and hope.”

The section on abortion, near the end of the platform, states: “We proudly stand for families and life. We believe that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees that no person can be denied life or liberty without due process, and that the states are, therefore, free to pass laws protecting those rights.”

It also praises the overturn of Roe v. Wade and then states support for “policies that advance prenatal care, access to birth control, and IVF.”

The draft, written by former President Donald Trump’s campaign, was approved in an 84-18 vote.

It also briefly mentions marriage, saying the party no longer defines it as between “one man and one woman.”

The document’s abortion shift differed from previous versions of the party’s platform that had stressed that unborn children have a “fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed” and called for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing that right.

But Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, said the new platform demonstrates that the Republican Party “remains strongly pro-life at the national level.”

“It is important that the GOP reaffirmed its commitment to protect unborn life today through the 14th Amendment,” she added in a statement.

And Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins said on X, formerly Twitter, that “it is a win that the GOP platform did not back a weak federal abortion limit that would allow for 9/10 abortions to continue. Their support of 14th amendment protections for preborn children is an open door to passing strong pro-life federal legislation.”

While many pro-life advocates have accepted the shift, not all are in agreement.

Some expressed concern, including Lila Rose, a Catholic convert and founder and president of Live Action, a pro-life group that conducts undercover investigative reports on Planned Parenthood and abortion facilities.

On X, she said: “Trump’s recent statements on life, and the downgraded GOP platform protections on life he’s approved, are alienating some of his most passionate supporters and will win exactly zero fence sitters.”

Brian Burch, president of Catholic Vote, a conservative, nonprofit political advocacy group, said he is “sympathetic to those who have fought for decades to preserve the robust pro-life language that has been part of the platform for decades.”

However, he also said on the group’s website that the new platform’s language is “unmistakably pro-life.”

“It’s not the language we would have drafted,” he said, “but it provides plenty of room to continue to move the country in a pro-life direction.”

Gail Ruzicka, an RNC platform committee member from Utah, did not see this nuance. She told an ABC affiliate just after the committee’s vote that she has “never seen this happen before. I don’t understand why they did it, and I’m extremely disappointed that we do not have any pro-life language.”

She said the “platform simply says that we oppose late-term abortion. Well, what about before that?”


By Carol Zimmermann , thetablet.org , National News ,

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2024-07-09 15:31:43 , The Tablet , Republican Party Platform Softens Language on Abortion, Same-Sex Marriage

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