TAMPA, August 24, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Republican Party is continuing to hammer out its platform in advance of next week’s convention in Tampa, but the full pro-life plank as it now stands presents a robust support of human life.
The GOP platform’s plank on “The Sanctity and Dignity of Human Life,” which has yet to be finalized, endorses a constitutional Right to Life amendment, opposes taxpayer funding of abortion, favors stronger regulations on abortion providers, and strongly rejects assisted suicide and euthanasia.
“We oppose the non-consensual withholding or withdrawal of care or treatment, including food and water, from people with disabilities, including newborns, as well as the elderly and infirm, just as we oppose active and passive euthanasia and assisted suicide,” the platform reads.
The platform specifically addresses sex-selective abortion—“gender discrimination in its most lethal form”—and abortions performed on unborn children capable of feeling pain.
The party, which will nominate the Romney-Ryan ticket next week, has also expressed its continued advocacy for parental consent, informed patient consent, waiting periods, and abortion clinic regulation, as well as promoting adoption as an alternative.
It also pledges to “strengthen the Born Alive Infant Protection Act by exacting appropriate civil and criminal penalties to health care providers who fail to provide treatment and care to an infant who survives an abortion,” a stance intended to draw attention to the fact that Barack Obama opposed born alive infant protections as an Illinois state senator.
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The platform also opposes federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, breaking with the position of former President George W. Bush. One of the 44th president’s first actions in office was to extend public revenues tor experimentation with certain lines of “discarded” embryonic stem cells.
Despite saturation media coverage to the contrary, the platform’s support for a human life amendment does not necessarily mean it bans abortions in the case of rape or incest.
James Bopp, who drafted the original language in 1980, told The Washington Post some versions of the amendment would grant personhood rights, including all the protections of the 14th Amendment, to all unborn children; others include various exemptions, including for rape and incest.
Bopp, who now co-chairs the Republican Party’s platform Subcommittee on Restoring Constitutional Government, said, “We want the Constitution to provide legal protection to the unborn. But there’s no way the Republican Party is going to be able to sort through dozens of versions of what that means legislatively, and get behind one.”
Mitt Romney has made clear he believes in the rape and incest exceptions since his pivot on the abortion issue.
CNN, which obtained the full platform language, reports, “The language will not be official until it’s ratified by convention delegates next week, but it’s unlikely to undergo any changes before then.”
The full plank reads as follows:
THE SANCTITY AND DIGNITY OF HUMAN LIFE
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. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion or fund organizations which perform or advocate it and will not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life. We oppose the non-consensual withholding or withdrawal of care or treatment, including food and water, from people with disabilities, including newborns, as well as the elderly and infirm, just as we oppose active and passive euthanasia and assisted suicide.
Republican leadership has led the effort to prohibit the barbaric practice of partial birth abortion, permitted States to extend health care coverage to children before birth. We urge Congress to strengthen the Born Alive Infant Protection Act by exacting appropriate civil and criminal penalties to health care providers who fail to provide treatment and care to an infant who survives and abortion, including early induction delivery where the death of the infant is intended. We call for legislation to ban sex-selective abortions – gender discrimination in its most lethal form – and to protect from abortion unborn children who are capable of feeling pain; and we applaud U.S. House Republicans for leading the effort to protect the lives of pain-capable unborn children in the District of Columbia. We call for a revision of federal law 42 U.S.C. 289.92 to bar the use of body parts from aborted fetuses for research. We support and applaud adult stem cell research to develop lifesaving therapies, and we oppose the killing of embryos for their stem cells. We oppose federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.
We also salute the many states that have passed laws for informed consent, mandatory waiting periods prior to an abortion, and health protective clinic regulation. We seek to protect young girls from exploitation through a parental consent requirement; and we affirm our moral obligation to assist, rather than penalize, women challenged by an unplanned pregnancy. We salute those who provide them with counseling and adoption alternatives and empower them to choose live, and we take comfort in the tremendous increase in adoptions that has followed Republican legislative initiatives.