Initial Republican Party Platform Pro-Life on Abortion, Stem Cell Research

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 25, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Initial Republican Party Platform Pro-Life on Abortion, Stem Cell Research Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 25, 2004

New York, NY ( — Despite attempts by activists to change the GOP platform to support abortion and embryonic stem cell research, the initial version of the document supports President Bush’s pro-life positions on the subjects.

A draft of the platform, shown to delegates last night in advance of hearings today, retains the longtime stance in favor of a Human Life Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would afford legal protection for unborn children throughout pregnancy.

The platform language also contains a plank supporting President Bush’s August 2001 policy prohibiting taxpayer funding of any new embryonic stem cell research and supporting the use of adult stem cells as a more ethical and effective alternative.

Jim Bopp, a leading pro-life attorney who is a member of the platform committee, told that the platform looks "real good" so far.

In calling for the pro-life constitutional amendment, the platform says "the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed."

Former presidential candidate Gary Bauer met with members of the platform committee and is pleased with what he sees.

"I strongly believe that only a bold and unapologetically conservative platform can help President Bush win reelection," Bauer said.

"There are millions of Americans who care deeply about the issues of hearth and home, for whom ‘family values’ are an everyday way of life and not just an election year slogan," Bauer said. "The polls have consistently shown that pro-family, pro-life issues are winning issues."

Republicans who wanted to change the platform to weaken the pro-life stance hoped to add a unity amendment noting that a minority of Republicans disagree with the part on the controversial issue.

However, language added to the platform’s conclusion mirrors a plank in the Democratic Party platform adopted at their convention in Boston. It only says that Republicans disagree on some issues without naming any specifics.

Ann Stone, the chairman of Republicans for Choice, a group that favors abortion, told the Associated Press she is disappointed with the wording of the unity language.

"It was their chance to show George Bush as a uniter not a divider, but clearly they have failed," Stone said.