Republicans move at Donald Trump’s behest to change how they will oppose abortion
Image via AP.

Donald Trump debate
'I see that as problematic. We still need these principles clearly stated. Some of these battles are not over.'

The Republican National Committee (RNC) moved Monday to adopt a party platform that reflects former President Donald Trump’s position opposing a federal abortion ban and ceding limits to states, omitting the explicit basis for a national ban for the first time in 40 years.

Trump imposed his priorities on the RNC’s platform committee as he seeks to steer clear during his campaign of strict abortion language, even while taking credit for setting up the 2022 reversal of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court. Trump appointed three of the six Justices who voted in the majority to overturn the 1973 precedent that established a national right to have an abortion.

The scaled-down platform — just 16 pages and with limited specifics on many key Republican issues — reflects a desire by the Trump campaign to avoid giving Democrats more material for their warnings about the former President’s intentions if he wins back the White House. President Joe Biden’s campaign has repeatedly highlighted the “Project 2025” document produced by Trump allies as well as Trump’s own promises to impose wide-ranging tariffs, replace thousands of government workers with party loyalists and stage the largest deportation operation in U.S. history.

The policy document sticks to the party’s long-standing principle that the Constitution extends rights to fetuses, but removes language maintaining support for an “amendment to the Constitution and legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to children before birth,” a passage in the party platform first included in 1984.

It asserts, “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.” The document also noted “that the states are, therefore, free to pass laws protecting those rights.”

The abortion language was first reported by The New York Times.

Anti-abortion advocates who had criticized the Trump campaign’s efforts leading up to the platform committee’s meeting largely fell in line Monday.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of SBA Pro-Life America, praised the committee for reaffirming “its commitment to protect unborn life through the 14th Amendment.”

Dannenfelser stopped short of endorsing the document’s reflection of Trump’s view that the matter rests entirely with states. Under the 14th Amendment, “it is Congress that enacts and enforces its provisions.”

The platform committee began its meeting Monday, a week before the start of the Republican National Convention in Wisconsin where Trump is scheduled to accept his third straight nomination for President.

The platform is a statement of first principles traditionally written by party activists. In 2016, the platform included an endorsement of a 20-week national ban. Trump had supported federal legislation in 2018 that would have banned abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, though the measure fell short of the necessary support in the Senate.

Trump this year has faced months of Democratic criticism over abortion as Biden’s re-election campaign has highlighted that Trump nominated half of the Supreme Court majority that struck down the nationwide right to abortion in 2022.

In promoting the platform document, the campaign released a statement highlighting 20 issues it addresses, including immigration, the economy, energy, taxes and crime, but omitted any mention of abortion in the subject titles.

Among the vocal abortion opponents on the platform committee, some say the aspiration of a federal ban on abortion after a certain stage in pregnancy must remain a party principle, even if it’s not an immediately attainable policy or one that necessarily helps the Trump campaign in November.

“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.

Conservative activists who were accustomed to having a seat at the table fumed beforehand over what they said was a secretive process for selecting committee members and the meeting taking place behind closed doors.

“For 40 years, the Republican Party and the GOP platform have massively benefitted from an open and transparent process,” said Tim Chapman, the incoming President of Advancing American Freedom, a foundation headed by Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence.

Trump’s campaign has sought to reshape the Republican National Committee into a campaign vessel. It signaled in a memo last month from senior campaign advisers Chris LaCivita and Susie Wiles that “textbook-long platforms … are scrutinized and intentionally misrepresented by our political opponents.”

Trump ally Russ Vought is serving as the Policy Director of the Republican Party’s platform writing committee while also leading the effort to draft the 180-day agenda for Project 2025, a sweeping proposal for remaking government that Trump said Friday he knew “nothing about” despite having several former aides involved.

After the 2022 Midterm Elections, Trump blamed Republicans who held strict anti-abortion positions for the party’s failure to secure a larger House majority. He has since been critical of the most stringent abortion bans in individual states.

An AP-NORC poll conducted in June 2023 found that about two-thirds of Americans think abortion should be legal in all or most cases. The poll also found that 6 in 10 Americans think Congress should pass a law guaranteeing access to legal abortion nationwide.

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Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Associated Press


18 comments

  • Impeach Biden

    July 8, 2024 at 7:23 pm

    Smart. Take away the only thing the Demo’s can campaign on.

    Reply

    • Ocean Joe

      July 8, 2024 at 7:42 pm

      He’s pivoting for votes. You will pick up the senate and there will be a national ban on abortion. Along with a big tax cut for the wealthy and corporations meaning an increase for everybody else or an exploding deficit (which has been the case for GOP presidencies).
      Meanwhile, the wealthy will fly their daughters to Europe for all the abortions they need. See how that works?

      Reply

      • Impeach Biden

        July 8, 2024 at 9:19 pm

        That is your scenario Ocean but I disagree. Personally I would like to see the Repubs drop this altogether. The decision should belong at the state level and that’s where it is now. No need to jet the rich girls to Europe. There is always the Prople’s Republic of Kalifornia and others.

        Reply

        • Ocean Joe

          July 9, 2024 at 11:09 am

          Wanting them to drop this is like wanting Trump to behave. They wont and he cant. This moment: a far right supreme court, a candidate who is putty in the hands of the Federalist Society and others, a likely Republican congress. You guys are going to have a ‘field day’ of going too far, as usual.
          And a federal ban would eliminate California abortions.

          Reply

      • Gabriel

        July 9, 2024 at 2:57 am

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          July 9, 2024 at 2:58 am

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  • My Take

    July 8, 2024 at 7:37 pm

    Trump laughs at you Dimvangelicals.
    But where else are you going to go?

    Reply

  • Michael K

    July 8, 2024 at 9:01 pm

    Abortion is just red meat for the “under-educated” as Trump calls them.

    Deficit? Remember those wars launched under W? First time in American history that wars were waged without taxation or sacrifice. There’s your deficit – along with those huge tax cuts for the top 1% under Trump. And the bottom 20% are expected to bear the brunt. The culture war stuff is just a smokescreen.

    There’s no GOP “platform.” The RNC is a subsidiary of Trump, Inc.

    Thre real “platform” is Project 2025.

    Reply

  • Impeach Biden

    July 8, 2024 at 9:16 pm

    Hello nepotism Michael. So just like Joe didn’t help his son to get in the BOD of Burisma, now you are going to tell us that Biden’s attempt to forgive hundreds of billions in student loans will not add to the deficit. You are cracking me up this evening.

    Reply

    • Michael K

      July 9, 2024 at 9:00 am

      Honey: Pay attention: The FBI informant who claimed those ties was found to be a liar – there is no there there. The House investgation collapsed

      Reply

  • ScienceBLVR

    July 8, 2024 at 9:18 pm

    Change their platform on abortion? Too little too late, states already doing their own thing and pi$$ed off most women in the process. Kinda like shutting the barn door after the cows already escaped. GOP stands for racism, misogyny, and mass slaughter of innocents with the misinterpretation of the 2nd amendment.

    Reply

    • Impeach Biden

      July 8, 2024 at 9:24 pm

      Grasping at straws as a single issue voter represented by a party that can run on one issue only. Good luck with that.

      Reply

  • Elvis Pitts " America's Sage BIG VOICE ON THE RIGHT" American

    July 8, 2024 at 9:35 pm

    Sage wisdom indeed Don “The Donald” Trump. Take away the only Ace that The Dook 4 Brains Left had.
    Do I Hear The Fat Lady Singing????
    Yes, Yes, I do.
    SO:
    Relax your Sphincters Sage Patriots.
    AND AS FOR THE DOOKS:
    There will be ZERO Sphincter Relaxing for you Dook 4 Brains Leftys,
    Thank you Ameriva,
    EPA

    Reply

  • PeterH

    July 8, 2024 at 11:29 pm

    LOL

    Reply

  • Khan Zain

    July 9, 2024 at 6:59 am

    This move by the RNC to align its platform with Trump’s stance on abortion reflects a significant shift in party strategy. While it’s clear that the focus is on appealing to a broader base and avoiding Democratic criticism, the omission of a national abortion ban raises important questions about the party’s core principles. It’s crucial for the RNC to balance pragmatic politics with the values that many Republican supporters hold dear. Ensuring transparency in the platform committee process and addressing these contentious issues openly will be key to maintaining trust and unity within the party.”

    Reply

    • Ocean Joe

      July 9, 2024 at 11:14 am

      Mr. Zain, bad news. There is no Republican party. It’s the Trump party now, and whatever he says, goes.
      The good news for you, is that Trump is a pathological liar, who will support a national abortion ban 20 minutes after the votes are counted.

      Reply

  • Ron Ogden

    July 9, 2024 at 7:16 am

    The core principle is the same: reinforcing the the right of the states and diminishing the power of the central government–and that goes equally for abortion. I am confident that my state will restrict the heinous practice of child sacrifice. This is what living in a federal republic is all about.

    Reply

  • Paul

    July 9, 2024 at 12:40 pm

    The decision should lie with the woman and her doctor. Not the state. And not over zealous legislators who don’t know how to mind their own businesses.

    Reply

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