Obama’s “Truth Team” Engages in Falsehood on GOP, Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 27, 2012   |   4:45PM   |   Washington, DC

The Obama “Truth Team” apparently can’t discern between fact and fiction when it comes to the Republican Party’s pro-life platform and what it says and does on abortion.

Whereas the platform calls for a Human Life Amendment, while allowing states to determine the specifics of such a pro-life amendment protecting unborn children against abortion, the Obama campaign is misleading voters by falsely claiming the Republican party wants to ban abortion in all cases.

Factcheck.org, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, posted an item last Thursday under the headline, “Another Abortion Falsehood from Obama’s ‘Truth Team.’”

“The Obama campaign is falsely accusing the Republican Party’s platform of calling for banning abortions even in cases of rape or incest. That’s not true. The 2012 platform is silent on exceptions — leaving that decision up to Congress and the states — just as it was in 2008 and in previous presidential election years,” the web site says.

“To make matters worse, the latest falsehood comes from the president’s ‘Truth Team,” writes analyst Brooks Jackson. The column adds:



An Aug. 20 posting on the “Truth Team’s” site repeats a bogus claim that Mitt Romney would “ban abortion even in cases of rape or incest,” adding (our emphasis): “He also supports the Republican Party platform, which includes a Human Life Amendment that bans abortion without those exceptions.”

The fact is, as we’ve noted again and again in response to false Obama TV ads, Romney has consistently said — as far back as 2005 — that he would allow abortions in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. (Before then, he supported a legal right to abortion generally, but switched his position to opposing abortion, with the usual exceptions.)

Banning abortion in cases of rape or incest is deeply unpopular with the public. A 2011 Gallup Poll showed, for example, that even persons who described themselves as “pro-life” favor exceptions for rape or incest by a wide margin. Gallup found that 59 percent of those abortion foes favored those exceptions, as did 91 percent of those who described themselves as “pro-choice.” But political expediency is no excuse for falsifying an opponent’s position.

There’s a stark contrast between the actual positions of the two candidates. Obama favors maintaining a legal right to abortion, and Romney has for years opposed it, with the exceptions mentioned. Furthermore, Romney’s chosen running mate, Paul Ryan, opposes exceptions for rape or incest. And it would be accurate to say that the GOP platform calls for a constitutional amendment that would leave states free to adopt abortion bans without exceptions.

But that true contrast is not stark enough for the Obama campaign operatives. They stubbornly persist in claiming that Romney and now his party’s platform take an unpopular position that they don’t actually endorse.