Pro-Abortion Republicans: John Kerry Will Win if Pro-Life Platform Remains

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 18, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion Republicans: John Kerry Will Win if Pro-Life Platform Remains

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 18, 2004

New York, NY (
— The Republican convention in New York hasn’t started, but pro-abortion Republicans are already launching an effort to strip the pro-life position from the GOP platform. Abortion advocates claim President Bush will lose to Massachusetts senator John Kerry in November if it remains.

Describing themselves as "mainstream" Republicans, a coalition of three groups, including the Republicans for Choice political action committee, Log Cabin Republican, a gay rights organization, and the Republican Youth Majority, are targeting the platform.

"We recognize and respect that Republicans of good faith may not agree with all the planks in the party’s platform. This is particularly the case with regard to those planks dealing with abortion [and] family planning," the groups said in a recent statement, according to a CNS News report.

The current Republican Party platform, put in place during the 1976 convention and changed little since, calls for a Human Life Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to afford legal protection to unborn children before birth.

The groups want the platform removed despite researching showing a pro-life position has helped recent presidential candidates.

A study published by the Gallup Poll Special Report entitled "Public Opinion About Abortion — An In-Depth Review" said "the abortion issue has been an advantage for Republican candidates" for all six presidential elections from 1984 to 2000 because of the nominee’s pro-life position.

According to the Gallup, of the 14% of voters who said abortion was one of the most important issues in deciding whom to vote for in the 2000 presidential election, 58% supported Bush, while only 41% voted for pro-abortion candidate Al Gore.

The coalition of groups released the results of a survey it contends shows a majority of Americans — and Republicans — favor abortion.

According to their poll, 72 percent of Americans and 69 percent of Republicans said they "strongly agree" that the decision about an abortion should be "between a woman, her doctor and her family" and that government shouldn’t be involved.

But Larry Sabato, a nonpartisan political analyst from the University of Virgina, told CNS News the poll is a "misrepresentation of where America stands on abortion."

"They picked the strongest possible statement for the pro-choice side," Sabato said.

The pro-abortion Republicans are unlikely to get help from prominent pro-abortion groups.

In a recent interview with Newsweek, Planned Parenthood president Gloria Feldt said her group likely won’t change the GOP platform, which currently calls for a Human Life Amendment protecting the right to life of unborn children, but it won’t stop abortion advocates from doing a little networking.

"We have tried very hard the last few conventions to get some change in the Republican platform and have not been successful. Nevertheless, we will have a reception for pro-choice Republicans who are there," Feldt said.

The list of some of the top pro-life speakers at the Republican convention includes Senate Majority Leader Bill First, a doctor from Tennessee who recently spoke in favor of President Bush’s position against taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research.

Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, the sponsor of the partial-birth abortion ban Bush signed into law, will also speak as will Senator Sam Brownback, who has been the leading pro-life lawmaker fighting human cloning.

Other pro-life speakers on the new list include Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, Senator Elizabeth Dole, Kentucky Congresswoman Anne Northup, and Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele, a leading black Republican.