Abortion opponents give lukewarm response to RNC platform which omits mention of national ban

Trump has said he wouldn’t support national ban, though allies including Lindsey Graham are still pushing federal restrictions

John Bowden
Washington DC
Monday 08 July 2024 23:51
Comments
Jd Vance Says Trump Hasn't Offered Him VP Spot

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

Anti-abortion groups were still behind Donald Trump after Monday’s announcement of the draft platform to be adopted by the Republican Party at its convention in August.

But there were clear signs that at least some on the far right are miffed at the obvious efforts by Trumpworld to chart a less restrictive (and maybe more electable) position on reproductive rights as the battle against the Democrats comes into focus and the incumbent president’s campaign makes clear that the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe vs Wade will be a main line of attack.

Monday came as Democrats are entering their second week of a four-alarm fire over Joe Biden’s performance in the first presidential debate of the 2024 general election cycle. The president, who sounded hoarse and could not finish his thoughts coherently at a few points, has continued to espouse his support for codifying the now-defunct standard set by Roe into federal law if he is given sufficient Democratic majorities in Congress. It’s a proposition that appears far out of reach given polling of the race, including an Emerson poll released this week which has Biden below Trump in every swing state he won from the Republicans in 2020.

Republicans, meanwhile, remain gleefully quiet amid their opponent’s campaign meltdown. The main news from the GOP in the past few days was Monday’s adoption of the draft political platform for the party’s 2024 campaign by an RNC committee, and what the document says about the careful course the national Republican Party is at least attempting to chart on the issue of reproductive rights in a post-Roe era.

Anti-abortion demonstrators march in the Ohio March for Life
Anti-abortion demonstrators march in the Ohio March for Life (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The platform indicates the party’s total opposition to “late-term” abortion, while simultaneously declaring support for "policies that advance Prenatal Care, access to Birth Control, and IVF (fertility treatments).” It further goes on to declare that state governments can and should pursue restrictions on abortion as they see fit.

It was a move that drew a statement of support from groups including Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America and Students for Life Action, thanks in part due to language that seemed almost a coded message to them — the platform “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 language is an apparent example of the RNC trying to have it both ways. While the omission of rhetoric specifically endorsing a national ban was intentional, the remaining platform leaves open the possibility that a conservative Supreme Court could find that due process protections extend to unborn fetuses. That move would effectively enact a national ban on the practice of abortion without Congress ever having to take a politically untenable vote.

“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,” said SBA Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “The mission of the pro-life movement, for the next six months, must be to defeat the Biden-Harris extreme abortion agenda.”

Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life Action, meanwhile, noted simply that “[w]e are still waiting for President Trump’s new deal with the Pro-Life movement”.

“[G]iven the state focus of this platform, we are asking President Trump to call for Republican voters to reject the extreme, late-term abortion ballot initiatives across the country, beginning in Florida where he visits tomorrow,” she said. The group also called for Republicans in Washington to refocus their efforts on ending all pipelines for federal funding for abortion care in any form.

RNC co-chair Lara Trump is seen in the spin room after the first presidential debate
RNC co-chair Lara Trump is seen in the spin room after the first presidential debate (AFP via Getty Images)

Other pro-life advocates were signaling related unhappiness with efforts over the weekend by JD Vance, seen as one of Donald Trump’s top three contenders for a 2024 running mate, to track away from the right as well. Vance, appearing on Meet the Press, said that he supported the legality of mifepristone, a drug available in pharmacies that can allow for a pregnancy to be halted in its very early stages.

“Just to be clear, you support mifepristone being acceptable?” asked moderator Kristen Welker.

“Yes, Kristen, I do,” said Vance. On the issue of reproductive rights, the senator went on to argue that reporters frequently “frame Democrats as being reasonable and pragmatic, when in reality Republicans are the ones trying to find some common ground”.

“54% of all abortions are from mifepristone/misoprostol. So, the GOP is fine with more than half of all abortions. I’m out,” wrote one angry GOP voter on Twitter, adding in a second tweet about the RNC platform: “Nothing about defunding Planned Parenthood and I guess anything that’s not late term abortion is fine.”

Overall, it seems clear that even as Joe Biden is facing his own serious problems with voter enthusiasm — even before last night’s debate — the post-Roe minefield in which Republicans find themselves carries its own risk of turning off many of the evangelical voters who boosted the former president to victory in 2016.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in

news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news