Republicans at the 2012 GOP convention approved yet another solidly pro-life platform on the issue of abortion, which retains the language supporting a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution that has been a part of it since 1980.
The platform, on abortion, reads as follows:
THE SANCTITY AND DIGNITY OF HUMAN LIFE
Faithful to the “self-evident” truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion or fund organizations which perform or advocate it and will not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life. We oppose the non-consensual withholding or withdrawal of care or treatment, including food and water, from people with disabilities, including newborns, as well as the elderly and infirm, just as we oppose active and passive euthanasia and assisted suicide.
Republican leadership has led the effort to prohibit the barbaric practice of partial birth abortion, permitted States to extend health care coverage to children before birth. We urge Congress to strengthen the Born Alive Infant Protection Act by exacting appropriate civil and criminal penalties to health care providers who fail to provide treatment and care to an infant who survives and abortion, including early induction delivery where the death of the infant is intended. We call for legislation to ban sex-selective abortions – gender discrimination in its most lethal form – and to protect from abortion unborn children who are capable of feeling pain; and we applaud U.S. House Republicans for leading the effort to protect the lives of pain-capable unborn children in the District of Columbia. We call for a revision of federal law 42 U.S.C. 289.92 to bar the use of body parts from aborted fetuses for research. We support and applaud adult stem cell research to develop lifesaving therapies, and we oppose the killing of embryos for their stem cells. We oppose federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.
We also salute the many states that have passed laws for informed consent, mandatory waiting periods prior to an abortion, and health protective clinic regulation. We seek to protect young girls from exploitation through a parental consent requirement; and we affirm our moral obligation to assist, rather than penalize, women challenged by an unplanned pregnancy. We salute those who provide them with counseling and adoption alternatives and empower them to choose live, and we take comfort in the tremendous increase in adoptions that has followed Republican legislative initiatives.
Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly applauded the party for keeping its pro-life plank intact again.
“The pro-life platform is absolutely excellent,” Schlafly told The Daily Caller. “The heart of it is identical to the pro-life platform we have had since the 1984 convention in Dallas. It says that the unborn child has a fundamental, individual right to life which cannot be infringed.”
“The pro-life plank of the platform is the same one we elected Ronald Reagan on in his 49-state victory,” she told TheDC. “It is really not controversial in the Republican Party anymore. It is just a blind statement and, I think, one of the things we have done to make the Republican Party pro-life. Almost all of our candidates in 2010 were pro-life, and they are again this year.”
James Bopp, Co-chairman of the Subcommittee on Restoring Constitutional Government for the Republican National Committee, emailed LifeNews the background of the pro-life position:
Since 1980, the Republican Party Platform has endorsed the adoption of “a Human Life Amendment” to protect unborn life and to reverse Roe v. Wade. Carl Anderson, now head of the Knights of Columbus of the U.S., and I drafted this plank, and it has remained the same and in the platform since then. In addition, I was Co-Chairman of the Subcommittee on Restoring Constitutional Government of the Platform Committee which readopted this platform plank this year.In 1980, there were dozens of different versions of a Human Life Amendment then pending in Congress. The approaches included a state’s rights version, one reversing the right to abortion, one endorsing restoring personhood, one permitting abortion only to save the life of the mother and some allowing abortion in instances of rape and incest.The Republican Party plank endorsing a Human Life Amendment does not take a position on which version of a Human Life Amendment should eventually be adopted. We leave that decision to Congress and the people of the United States at that time. Thus, we do not take a position on which exceptions should be included in a Human Life Amendment.
On the other hand, the Democratic National Committee has officially rejected an effort by pro-life Democrats to get the party to include them in its platform that calls for keeping unlimited abortions legal and paid for at taxpayer expense.
Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats For Life of America, says the platform panel refuses to acknowledge any difference of opinion on abortion within the Democratic Party.
“For the good of the Democratic Party, we will continue to advocate that the platform language should reflect the true diversity of views within the Democratic Party,” said Kristen Day, Executive Director of Democrats For Life of America. “Our message is simple: If you are pro-life and a Democrat, you can make a difference, thus the case for recognition. Inclusion can make a critical difference in this fall’s election.”
“If we are going to increase our members and win the majority, we must recognize the contributions of pro-life Democrats within our party and the diverse position of Democrats on the issue of abortion,” said Day.
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According to Day, almost one-third of all Democrats self-identify as pro-life. In the 2008 Election, about one-quarter of Obama’s supporters self-identified as pro-life.
The proposed Republican platform language is very similar to the 2008 GOP platform, which contained strong pro-life statements of position on abortion.
“Faithful to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence, we assert the inherent dignity and sanctity of all human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed,” the final 2008 GOP platform said. “We support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children,” it added.