Republican Party Committee Adopts Platform Saying 14th Amendment “Guarantees” Right to Life

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 8, 2024   |   1:49PM   |   Washington, DC

The Republican National Committee’s platform committee has adopted a policy document that confirms the 14th Amendment “guarantees” the right to life for unborn children.

“We believe that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees that no person can be denied life or liberty without due process and that the states are, therefore, free to pass laws protecting those rights,” the platform says.

The platform does also promote the state’s rights position of nominee Donald Trump by saying states are free to pass their own abortion laws, including bans that protect babies from abortions.

It also removed a call for a federal abortion ban, which some Republicans wanted to be kept in place.

“I see that as problematic. We still need these principles clearly stated. Some of these battles are not over,” said Iowa state Rep. Brad Sherman, a platform committee member who supported Trump’s winning Iowa caucus campaign in January and also supports a federal limit on abortion.

SBA Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser told that she appreciated the GOP staying committed to pro-life principles.

“It is important that the GOP reaffirmed its commitment to protect unborn life today through the 14th Amendment. Under this amendment, it is Congress that enacts and enforces its provisions. The Republican Party remains strongly pro-life at the national level,” she said.

“The mission of the pro-life movement, for the next six months, must be to defeat the Biden-Harris extreme abortion agenda,” she added. “The platform allows us to provide the winning message to 10 million voters, with four million visits at the door in key battleground states. We are educating voters on the Biden-Harris promotion of abortion for any reason even in the seventh, eighth, or ninth month. We contrast that with protecting the states’ ability to create consensus pro-life laws and provide compassionate options for women and children.”

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Before the vote, some Republicans called for the pro-life platform to be retained.

“Presidential candidates come and go,” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) pointed out, but the platform “is foundational.” “There’s no reason to change it. Let’s stick with what got us here.”

Graham pointed to the near-dozen GOP governors who won reelection in 2022 after signing strong pro-life protections. Despite the Left trying to “demagogue the abortion issue,” he said, “they won.” “So the narrative that being pro-life hurts you politically is a false narrative perpetrated by the liberal media, who wants us to be ashamed or afraid of embracing pro-life policies. … If you listen to the chattering class, the gun issue and the life issue hurts us. It does not. … We’re going to be in a world of hurt if we don’t stick with the pro-life community. We’re going to be in a world of hurt,” he repeated.

The South Carolinian used his own reelection campaign as an example why. “People give me money, and I appreciate it,” Graham said. “I raised $112 million in my last race, the highest in the history of the Senate, except my opponent, who raised $132 million. We had money from all over the country, $5 and $10, a bunch of money coming in. You know what got me elected by over 10 points? It [was] people who knocked on doors and made phone calls on my behalf, the people who believe in the sanctity of life … the activists. All the people who write these [big] checks,” the ones, he claims who think social issues hurt the GOP, “are not going to make one phone call, and they’re not knocking on one door.”

“Do not be ashamed of being pro-life,” Graham urged. “It is a responsible position to take. It is a position the American people will understand if you advocate it right. If you look scared and you act scared, you will lose no matter what the issue is. So be not afraid. Be pro-life.”

FRC president Tony Perkins, who this week launched a major effort, the Platform Integrity Project, to safeguard the language of the GOP’s guiding document, strongly agreed.

“We’ve heard this slogan ‘Making America Great Again,’” he told Graham. “But for the United States to be great again, we must first be good morally. We must have a moral foundation. So this platform must address issues like the sanctity of human life to defend the most vulnerable, the family, religious freedom — those things that are fundamental to a strong and prosperous nation.”

He also pointed to 2022 as a perfect example of what can happen when Republicans are “confident in who we are and we can defend the positions we have.” Ultimately, it “expose[s] the weakness in the policy positions of others,” he underscored, and “we win.” “The Democrats are the ones who have the extreme positions,” Perkins reminded everyone. “And when that is exposed, abortion up until the moment of birth at taxpayers’ expense, the American people get it.”

Another thing to remember, Graham emphasized, is that this will never be “just a states’ rights issue.” For one, the Left doesn’t treat it that way. “The Democratic Party is hell-bent on nationalizing the abortion issue [by] shutting down every pro-life law in every state, federalizing abortion rights so that you can have an abortion. Literally, late-term abortions will be legal. There’ll be no limits. All the exceptions consume the rule there. They want to create a national law allowing abortion-on-demand in all 50 states up to the moment of birth.”

Exactly, Perkins said. “So just so people are clear on this, it is only one party and an element of one party talking about this being strictly a state issue.” And it’s important for Americans to know, Graham chimed in, “Democrats are saying they want to [not only codify] Roe. … They go well beyond that. The law they introduced — we voted on it — goes well beyond what the Roe standard was. What are we trying to do?” he asked. “We’re trying to take it from the courts to elected officials.” But that includes elected federal officials, Graham argued.

“I support President Trump,” the senator said. “I want him to win. I’m going to help him [by doing] everything I can. He believes this is a states’ rights issue. He talks about the downside, the [horror] of late-term abortions. What I think we should be doing is saying, ‘Yes, it is a state issue, but it’s also about the child itself.’ So what I want to do is not change our platform,” which carves out specific roles for Congress in defending life. “If we change our platform and we buy into the narrative [that] being pro-life is bad politics … we’re going to be net losers, because the people who believe like we do are going to abandon us because we’ve abandoned what makes us different.”