NEW YORK CITY, April 21, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Donald Trump said he would like to change the Republican Party's platform on abortion to make it less pro-life.
During a nationally televised town hall on the “Today” show this morning, Savannah Guthrie asked him, “The Republican platform every four years has a provision that states that the right of the unborn child shall not be infringed, and it makes no exceptions for rape, for incest, for the life of the mother. Would you want to change the Republican platform to include the exceptions that you have?”
“Yes, I would,” he replied without hesitation. “Yes, I would, absolutely, for the three exceptions. I would.”
Guthrie asked him if he would broaden the instances in which he favored abortion to include “an exception for the health of the mother.”
“I would leave it for the life of the mother,” Trump said, “but I would absolutely have the three exceptions.”
Pro-life advocates say the “health of the mother” exception has been broadened to such an extent that an abortion can be justified on any grounds, from permanent physical disability to the belief that carrying the child to term might cause the mother emotional struggles.
Every four years, the media focus scrutiny on the Republican Party's strongly pro-life platform, which endorses a Right to Life Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum, which has fought back previous efforts to remove the GOP's pro-life plank, has said, “The pro-life plank in the Republican Platform is essential both to the pro-life movement and to Republican victories. The Republican Party cannot win without the support of its pro-life constituency.”
Trump has long described himself as pro-life with the three “caveats” of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother – the same position as Governor John Kasich and every Republican presidential nominee since George H.W. Bush in 1988.
Senator Ted Cruz, Trump's closest rival, makes no exception on the basis of rape or incest. After Trump's landslide victory in the New York primary on Tuesday, Cruz has been mathematically eliminated from reaching the 1,237 delegates necessary to win the presidential nomination on the first ballot at the convention this summer. His only chance left is to prevent Trump from clinching the nomination, and then defeat him in later ballots at a contested convention.
The exchange begins at approximately 1:30 into the video.
Savannah Guthrie: The Republican platform every four years has a provision that states that the right of the unborn child shall not be infringed, and it makes no exceptions for rape, for incest, for the life of the mother. Would you want to change the Republican platform to include the exceptions that you have?
Donald Trump: Yes, I would. Yes, I would, absolutely, for the three exceptions. I would.
Guthrie: Would you have an exception for the health of the mother?
Trump: I would leave it for the life of the mother, but I would absolutely have the three exceptions.