Pro-Abortion Republican Group Pressing for Small Changes to Party Platform

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 15, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion Republican Group Pressing for Small Changes to Party Platform

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 15
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — Republicans nationwide are overwhelmingly pro-life, but the head of a pro-abortion Republican group says she’s hoping for small, cosmetic changes to the Republican Party platform. Ann Stone, the head of Republicans for Choice, doesn’t expect the party to reverse its pro-life position.

Yet, as she tells The Hill, she is hopeful some changes will be made to acknowledge the small percentage of Republicans that agree with Barack Obama on keeping abortions legal and unlimited.

“If we’re successful, there will be language in that plank or elsewhere that McCain wants to take a different track in dealing with abortion,” Stone said.

While supporters of President Bush closely managed the crafting of the 2000 and 2004 platform, which take an unequivocal stand against abortion, this year’s process is said to have a more open feel to it.

That process change goes both ways and makes it easier for people like Stone to insert a nod to abortion advocates.

Yet, Phyllis Schlafly, national chairman of Republican National Coalition for Life, will be there along with other pro-life advocates to keep the GOP solidly pro-life.

She pointed out to that, "in a close election, pro-life voters make the difference."

"If John McCain is to win in November, he must keep faith with the pro-life and pro-family base of the Party," she says.

Along with pro-life Republican Party activists from around the country, the Republican National Coalition for Life successfully led the battle to defend the pro-life plank in the Republican Platform in past conventions and, told, it "expects to do it again this year despite Ms. Stone’s press releases."

Stone and the handful of pro-abortion activists she works with also have to contend with Rep. Kevin McCarthy, a freshman California lawmaker who is pro-life and heads up the Republican platform committee.

Senator McCain, who strongly opposes abortion, has indicated he is not seeking any change in the pro-life language.

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.

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.

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:, compiled from CNN exit polling data.


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