GOP Abortion Plank Makes No Exception for Rape

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 21 2012 1:25 PM

GOP Approves Abortion Plank With No Exception for Rape

1345569863071

Republicans met this morning in Tampa to lay the groundwork for the party's official convention platforms, and the big takeaway involves the party's abortion plank. In short, the language approved by the platform committee calls for a constitutional amendment outlawing abortion with no mention of exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

The full convention will meet Monday to formally sign off on the platform, and Republicans are stressing that the language paints in broad strokes to give states more leeway. But, as the New York Times explains, that's all well and good but it's hard to see how the plank leaves room for exceptions of any kind: It states that "the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed."

Advertisement

More from the draft language, which was first reported by CNN earlier today:

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.

Republicans have included similar language in past platforms, so the news doesn't exactly come as a shock. Nonetheless, the timing is particularly awkward for the party given most of the establishment is doing its best to distance itself from Senate candidate Todd Akin, who at least one news outlet's headline writers has dubbed "the 'legitimate rape' rep." (The Huffington Post, meanwhile, is currently running its story about the GOP abortion plank above a giant picture of a hanger.)

As Slate's Dave Weigel reported, a bid to include a pro-civil unions plank in the GOP platforms was handily defeated earlier Tuesday.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

TODAY IN SLATE

History

The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

The GOP Senate Candidate in Iowa Doesn’t Want Voters to Know Just How Conservative She Really Is

Does Your Child Have “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo”? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

The Supreme Court, Throughout Its History, Has Been a Massive Disappointment

Why Indians in America Are Mad for India’s New Prime Minister

Damned Spot

Now Stare. Don’t Stop.

The perfect political wife’s loving gaze in campaign ads.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD

The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 5:19 PM Social Outcasts Republican candidates are retreating from debates on abortion, gay marriage, and contraception.
  Business
Building a Better Workplace
Sept. 30 2014 1:16 PM You Deserve a Pre-cation The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.
  Life
Education
Sept. 30 2014 1:48 PM Thrashed Florida State’s new president is underqualified and mistrusted. But here’s how he can turn it around.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 4:45 PM Steven Soderbergh Is Doing Some Next-Level Work on The Knick
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 4:59 PM China’s Not the Problem With Carbon Emissions. We Are.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath the Methane Lakes of Titan?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.