Former Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz says he will pull out all the stops to keep the Republican Party platform pro-life. His decision comes as a response to presumptive nominee Donald Trump who said in April that he “absolutely” wants to change the Republican party’s current pro-life platform to promote abortions in cases of rape or incest.
“Yes I would. Absolutely, for the three exceptions, I would,” he said. Trump was then pressed further and asked if he would make an exception to protect the “health” of the mother. “I would leave it for the life of the mother, but I would absolutely have the three exceptions.”
Now, Cruz is telling his supporters they have “his word” that he will fight to retain the pro-life language.
[Radio host Pat] Campbell asked Cruz if he could promise to listeners to ensure Republicans in Cleveland do not “screw around with the party platform and remove the abortion plank, or alter it.”
“You have my word. One of the reasons that we are continuing to work to elect conservatives to be delegates, even though Donald has the delegates to get the nomination, we intend to do everything we can to fight for conservative principles to prevent Washington forces from watering down the platform,” Cruz said. “The platform is a manifestation of what we believe as a party, and I think it is important that it continue to reflect conservative values, free-market values, constitutional liberties, Judeo-Christian principles, the values that built this country, and that is exactly what I intend to fight for.”
Republican chairman Reince Priebus says the pro-life platform will likely stay as is.
Meanwhile, the chair and co-chairs of the platform committee are staunch pro-life advocates — including U.S. Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx from North Carolina.
Below is the full text of the current pro-life platform in the Republican Party:
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.
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.