The Republican National Convention begins next week in Tampa, and the Republican National Committee is this week hammering out the 2012 party platform. Exact language has not yet been finalized, but the committee has voted to support the "human life amendment," a strict anti-abortion stance.
The human life amendment bans abortion in all cases, including instances of rape or incest. Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney believes in exemptions in those cases, while his vice presidential running mate Paul Ryan only supports abortion when the health of the mother would be endangered by a continued pregnancy.
The 110-person panel voted Tuesday in Tampa to approve the stance:
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.
Members of the Republican Party tend share conservative views on social issues, so the language is unlikely to alienate such voters from the party. The Democratic Party has a prochoice stance on abortion, maintaining that decisions surrounding abortion should be left up to the woman.
The presidential election thus far has mainly revolved around the economy and job creation, but this week pushed abortion into the limelight with comments from Republican Senate candidate and Missouri U.S. Rep. Todd Akin regarding his views on the issue. Akin caused a political firestorm with his claim that in cases of "legitimate rape" it is rare for a woman to become pregnant.
The comments have drawn criticism from both Democrats and Republicans, with some Republicans even calling for Akin to abandon his bid for the Senate seat.
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- Read Peter Roff: After 'Legitimate Rape' Comment, Todd Akin Should Resign From Race
- Read Robert Schlesinger: Todd Akin, What Is 'Legitimate Rape'?
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