Republicans Change Their Position on Opposition to Abortion at Trump’s Behest

MILWAUKEE — The Republican National Committee on Monday decided to adopt a party platform that mirrors former President Donald Trump’s position opposing a federal abortion ban and giving restrictions to states, omitting a clear basis for a nationwide ban for the first time in 40 years.

Trump has imposed his priorities on the RNC platform committee as he seeks to avoid harsh language on abortion in his campaign, even taking credit for setting up a 2022 overturn of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling. Trump appointed three of the six justices who voted by majority to overturn the 1973 precedent that established a national right to abortion.

The restricted platform — just 16 pages and with restricted detail on many key Republican issues — reflects the Trump campaign’s desire to avoid giving Democrats more material to warn about the former president’s intentions if he retakes the White House. President Joe Biden’s campaign has the document “Project 2025” has repeatedly emphasized produced by Trump’s allies, as well as Trump’s Own Promises impose sweeping tariffs, replace thousands of government workers with supporters of his party, and carry out the largest deportation operation in U.S. history.

” READ MORE: There is only one key issue on which Pennsylvania voters trust Joe Biden more than Donald Trump: abortion

The policy document stays true to the party’s longstanding principle that the Constitution extends rights to fetuses, but removes a provision that maintains support for “an amendment to the Constitution and legislation that expressly provides that the protections of the Fourteenth Amendment shall apply to children before birth” – a section of the party’s platform first included in 1984.

It states, “We believe that the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees that no person shall be denied life or liberty without due process.” The document also notes that “the states are therefore free to enact laws to protect these rights.”

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

Anti-abortion advocates who criticized Trump’s campaign actions before the policy committee meeting largely shared his position on Monday.

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

Dannenfelser did not support the document’s reflection of Trump’s view that the matter is entirely up to the states. Under the 14th Amendment, “it is for Congress to make and enforce the provisions thereof.”

The program committee began its meeting on Monday, a week before the start of Republican National Convention in Wisconsin, where Trump is expected to accept his third consecutive presidential nomination.

This the platform is a statement of first principles traditionally written by party activists. In 2016, the platform included support for a 20-week nationwide ban. Trump had supported federal legislation in 2018. which would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, but the measure did not gain the necessary support in the Senate.

This year, Trump faced months of democratic criticism of abortion Biden’s re-election campaign showed that Trump nominated half of the Supreme Court justices who would invalidate a nationwide abortion law in 2022.

To promote the platform document, the campaign released a statement highlighting 20 issues it is addressing, including immigration, the economy, energy, taxes and crime. However, the document titles omitted abortion.

Some of the staunchest anti-abortionists on the policy committee say pursuing a federal ban on abortion after a certain point in pregnancy must remain a party principle, even if it is not a policy that is achievable right now or one that will necessarily help Trump’s campaign in November.

“I find that problematic. We still need to have those rules clearly spelled out. Some of those battles aren’t over yet,” said Iowa Rep. Brad Sherman, a member of the platform committee who endorsed Trump’s winning Iowa caucus in January and also supports a federal abortion limit.

Conservative activists, accustomed to having a seat at the table, had previously fumed that the process of selecting commission members was secret and the meeting was held behind closed doors.

“For 40 years, the Republican Party and the GOP agenda have benefited greatly from an open and transparent process,” said Tim Chapman, the new president of Advancing American Freedom, a foundation run by Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence.

The Trump campaign has sought to transform the Republican National Committee into a campaign ship. A memo last month from senior campaign advisers Chris LaCivita and Susie Wiles signaled that “textbook platforms … are being scrutinized and intentionally misrepresented by our political opponents.”

Trump ally Russ Vought serves as policy director for the Republican National Committee on Writing, and leading efforts to develop a 180-day program as part of Project 2025, a wide-ranging proposal to transform government, Trump said Friday he “knew nothing about” even though several former colleagues were involved in the case.

After the 2022 midterm elections, Trump He blamed Republicans who held strongly anti-abortion positions for the party’s failure to gain a majority in the House of Representatives. Since then, he has criticized the strictest abortion bans in individual states.

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

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