Pro-Life Congressman Will Head Up Republican Convention Platform Committee
by Steven Ertelt
May 2, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A pro-life Congressman has been selected to head up the Republican Party’s platform committee at its upcoming convention. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, a freshman California lawmaker, will lead the panel the last week of August to craft the party’s positions on abortion and other issues.
McCarthy has already compiled a 100% pro-life voting record on abortion and bioethics issues, according to the National Right to Life Committee.
He twice three times against forcing taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research, supported the pro-life position on human cloning, voted to deny public funds to foreign groups that promote abortions and supported denying federal funds to Planned Parenthood.
Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, applauded the appointment of McCarthy to head the committee, which Republican National Committee Chairman Robert Duncan announced.
"Anyone hoping to water down the Republican platform must be mightily disappointed this morning after it was announced that staunch pro-lifer Rep. Kevin McCarthy will preside over the GOP platform committee this year," he said.
"Although he could very well be the youngest person to chair the GOP panel, this freshman could make a significant mark on the direction of the party," Perkins added.
Perkins indicated McCarthy received a 100% rating in FRC Action’s annual "True Blue" awards for supporting pro-life stances on key bills.
Meanwhile, Steven Duffield will serve as the platform committee’s executive director. Duffield served as a senior policy adviser to Senator Jon Kyl, a strongly pro-life senator from Arizona.
The FRC leader said his group would be on hand in St. Paul to make sure the GOP stays true to its pro-life principles.
Delegates to the Republican convention will reconsider the party’s 93-page platform that opposes abortion and supports President Bush’s policy against using tax dollars to fund embryonic stem cell research.
The current GOP position on abortion advocates a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution that would afford legal protection to unborn children throughout pregnancy.
"As a country, we must keep our pledge to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence. That is why we say the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed," the platform reads.
The Republican Party has supported a pro-life amendment to the Constitution since 1976, the first convention after the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.
Republican Party activists have continually rebuffed efforts to remove the plank from the platform and pro-abortion GOP groups calling for its removal appear out of step with most Republican voters.
Post-election polling after the 2004 presidential elections found that President Bush’s pro-life stance gave him an edge over pro-abortion Sen. John Kerry.
A 2004 Wirthlin Worldwide post-election poll found that 39 percent of voters said abortion affected the way they voted for president. Twenty-four percent of those voters cast their ballots for President Bush while 15% voted for Kerry, giving Bush a 9 percent advantage on the issue of abortion.
Eight percent of voters in the Wirthlin poll indicated abortion was the "most important" issue affecting their votes and Bush won among those voters by a six to two percent margin, leading Kerry by four percentage points among the most intense abortion voters.
Including Texas and Ohio voters who cast ballots on Tuesday, the number of states with a pro-life Republican majority jumps to 19 out of 24 that have voted thus far and had exit polling data.
The Texas exit poll included 1,545 Republicans and 69 percent said abortion should be illegal while just 29 percent said abortion should remain illegal. The pro-life margin in Ohio was 70-28 percent.
Other states have pro-life Republican majorities, including California, Florida, Georgia, and Illinois. Some of the most competitive states in the 2008 presidential elections do as well, including Iowa, Missouri, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Exit Polling Shows Most States With
Pro-Life Republican Majorities
State Pro-Life v. Pro-Abortion Always Illegal Mostly Illegal Mostly Legal Always Legal Alabama 76-20% 32% 44% 15% 5% Arizona 58-37% 17% 42% 25% 13% Arkansas 80-18% 37% 43% 13% 6% California 54-42% 19% 35% 28% 14% Connecticut 46-50% 13% 33% 30% 20% Florida 54-44% 18% 35% 30% 14% Georgia 64-33% 25% 39% 24% 9% Illinois 64-33% 26% 38% 23% 10% Iowa 74-23% 25% 49% 16% 7% Louisiana 75-22% 38% 37% 15% 7% Maryland 56-42% 17% 39% 28% 14% Massachusetts 41-56% 13% 28% 37% 19% Missouri 74-23% 32% 43% 18% 6% New Hampshire 45-52% 15% 30% 32% 20% New Jersey 46-53% 16% 29% 34% 19% New York 48-49% 14% 34% 28% 21% Ohio 70-28% 27% 43% 22% 6% Oklahoma 76-22% 27% 49% 17% 6% South Carolina 71-28% 28% 43% 19% 9% Tennessee 75-22% 33% 42% 15% 7% Texas 68-29% 25% 44% 22% 7% Utah 85-13% 10% 75% 10% 3% Virginia 63-34% 25% 38% 25% 9% Wisconsin 74-25% 27% 47% 16% 9%
Source: LifeNews.com, compiled from CNN exit polling data.