The Republican platform committee approved language on Tuesday seeking a constitutional amendment that would ban abortions with no exceptions for rape, incest, or danger to the life of a pregnant woman, a position Democrats quickly labeled the “Akin Plank,” after embattled Representative Todd Akin of Missouri.
The wording of the GOP’s call for a “human life amendment” is no different from what the party approved in 2004 and 2008…
The platform committee wrote: “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.”
I would like to know what people think about the omission in the GOP platform regarding an exception for the life of the mother and whether failing to include such language helps or hurts the pro-life cause.
I agree with the platform and agree that all abortion is wrong including in cases of danger to the life of the mother. Abortion is the DIRECT taking of the unborn child’s life; which is wrong in all circumstances. You are right that the lack of distinction in the platform could bring up questions or bring up misleading attacks on the true views of the party.
My thoughts are the platform description could have been expanded to include something along the lines of “Any life threatening condition of the mother should be treated as such utilizing as much care as possible to save both the mother and the child”
I don’t believe it is much of a departure from previous platforms. The 2004 and 2008 platforms stated that the “unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life that cannot be infringed.”
Which I can only assume supports the same.
Another party’s platform for 2008 stated:
The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.
2008: "Faithful to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence, we assert the inherent dignity and sanctity of all 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 we 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 and will not fund organizations which advocate it. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity and dignity of innocent human life..."
2004: "As a country, we must keep our pledge to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence. That is why we say the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and we endorse legislation to make it clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. Our purpose is to have legislative and judicial protection of that right against those who perform abortions. We oppose using public revenues for abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life." 
2000: "Ban abortion with Constitutional amendment. We say the unborn child has a fundamental right to life. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and we endorse legislation that the 14th Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. Our purpose is to have legislative and judicial protection of that right against those who perform abortions. We oppose using public revenues for abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it. We support the appointment of judges who respect the sanctity of innocent human life." 
2000: "Alternatives like adoption, instead of punitive action. Our goal is to ensure that women with problem pregnancies have the kind of support, material and otherwise, they need for themselves and for their babies, not to be punitive towards those for whose difficult situation we have only compassion. We oppose abortion, but our pro-life agenda does not include punitive action against women who have an abortion. We salute those who provide alternatives to abortion and offer adoption services." 
Whole heartedly agree. I think the pro-choicers are in the minority, but they make a lot of noise.
I have a “choose life” license plate. You would be surprised about the number of people who come up to me and say they are not Catholic but they really admire the Church’s efforts on the part of pro-life issues.
Bella, you are from Massachusetts. I used to live there. People in Mass. tend to be very myopic. Here are some of the things said to me:
You have an accent (they pronounce my daughter’s name as Anner, but it is spelled Anna).
I didn’t know there was fall color in Missouri
Go back where you came from
and a bumper sticker “Native Plymouthian, an endangered species”
I found most of my husband’s relatives and friends in Mass. to be pro-choice even though they were Catholic. I was shocked that at family gatherings they would say things like “Of course everybody is pro-choice.” In those days I was not comfortable speaking up. To be honest, I had lived in St. Louis most of my life and I had never met anyone who was pro-choice, so I was myopic too. I have also lived in Philadelphia and Cincinnati. There are HUGE pro-life programs in both those cities, as well as in St. Louis.
In essence, I support the opposition to all abortion. However, I am very concerned that poorly-informed politicians on both sides DO NOT have the expertise or understanding of basic health issues (Akins certainly demonstrated that) to decide what does or does not qualify as abortion in the case of risk to a woman’s life.
As a Catholic, I fully support the principle that everything should be done to save mother and baby. As someone familiar with the limitations of science, I just as fully acknowledge that sometimes nothing can be done to save the baby and what can be done to save the mother might lead to the baby’s death.
The essential qualification of an abortion ban for me, is one which ***specifically excludes ***abortion “as a consequence of treatments administered to mothers”. Those situations should be decided on a case-by-case basis by the people involved.
LIFE IN CHRIST
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
“YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF”
THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT
You shall not kill.54
You have heard that it was said to the men of old, “You shall not kill: and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.” But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment.55
2270 Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person - among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.72
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.73
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.74
2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:
You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.75
God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.76
2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. "A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,"77 "by the very commission of the offense,"78 and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.79 The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.
2273 The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:
"The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death."80
"The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined. . . . As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child’s rights."81
2274 Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being.
Prenatal diagnosis is morally licit, "if it respects the life and integrity of the embryo and the human fetus and is directed toward its safe guarding or healing as an individual. . . . It is gravely opposed to the moral law when this is done with the thought of possibly inducing an abortion, depending upon the results: a diagnosis must not be the equivalent of a death sentence."82
2275 "One must hold as licit procedures carried out on the human embryo which respect the life and integrity of the embryo and do not involve disproportionate risks for it, but are directed toward its healing the improvement of its condition of health, or its individual survival."83
"It is immoral to produce human embryos intended for exploitation as disposable biological material."84
"Certain attempts to influence chromosomic or genetic inheritance are not therapeutic but are aimed at producing human beings selected according to sex or other predetermined qualities. Such manipulations are contrary to the personal dignity of the human being and his integrity and identity"85 which are unique and unrepeatable.
Upon reflection, I think you are correct because most people don’t study in detail what the Platform says, and would be surprised by the inflexibility of the position. It’s not the Platform that voters are voting for, but for the candidates who may not hew that closely to the Party position.
Will the plank hurt the party? Probably not, because it’s been in previous platforms and Republicans with national aspirations will proceed to ignore it once the elections are over. They don’t get primary challenges for not doing enough to promote the pro life cause. Just saying they’re pro life seems enough to satisfy Republican voters.
As to your further point, I agree with you. I believe you’re referring to the principle in moral theology known as the double effect. If, after everything possible is done to save both the mother and the baby’s life, it nevertheless becomes necessary to choose (I’m thinking of cases of tubal pregnancies in particular; there may be others) one or the other, it is permissible to terminate the pregnancy because the abortion is not directly willed.
I disagree with you. Republicans in Congress as well as Bush have done what they could for the pro-life movement. The first thing Obama did after his inauguration is to overturn one of Bush’s policies - the Mexico City Policy.
From my experience on this board, liberals defend their voting for Democrats by saying Republicans won’t do anything or do enough to stop abortion. In one thread, a poster said he wouldn’t vote Republican because the party wasn’t 100% pro-life.
When the facts are presented, over and over again, they just ignore them. Would you like me to repost these?
Has anyone in the US **ever **proposed a ban that would include treatments that could potentially harm or kill the baby? Even before abortion became legal, there was no ban on treatments that might have indirect abortive effects.
I agree. Many politicians on both sides don’t agree wholeheartedly with the Platform. They know their constituents better than any Platform Committee does, and cater to them, not to the anonymous faces in the Party.