Trump-backed Republican platform tempers language on abortion


By James Oliphant and Helen Coster

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Republican Party released its platform on Monday, one that denies anti-abortion activists within the party the aggressive and far-reaching language they sought on abortion and thoroughly embraces the views of its presidential candidate, Donald Trump.

The platform, a basic statement of policy principles, takes Trump’s position that the issue of abortion now is one to be determined by individual states. It makes no mention of a federal ban or protecting a fetus as a person under the U.S. Constitution – tenets that have been included in past platforms and were demanded by a cadre of influential evangelicals.

The platform also vows that Trump and Republicans in Congress would seek to build a missile defense shield over the United States, carry out “the largest deportation in American history” of people in the country illegally, make permanent Trump’s signature tax cuts and pass “large tax cuts for workers,” “demolish” foreign drug cartels, protect Medicare and Social Security benefits, and support public funds being used for private school tuition.

All are policies Trump advocates on the campaign trail, illustrating his grip on the Republican Party ahead of its convention next week in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he will be formally named as its presidential nominee to take on President Joe Biden in November.

Social conservatives last month sent Trump a letter asking him to preserve language from past platforms that called for a “a human life amendment to the Constitution and legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to children before birth.”

The new platform falls short of that, instead only saying that states are now free to pass laws in accordance with the Constitution and with U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in 2022 that left abortion restrictions to the individual states.

It is silent on federal regulation of the abortion drug mifepristone – which some anti-abortion groups also want restricted – and notes that the party supports policies that advance IVF treatments, birth control and pre-natal care.

The platform was approved on Monday by the party’s Platform Committee and will be presented to the party at large for adoption at the convention.

Trump campaign operatives had worked behind the scenes to try to fill the platform committee with people more amenable to accepting Trump’s stance on abortion, according to people familiar with the matter. The effort led to the ousting of delegates in some states who were not deemed too conservative and inflexible in their anti-abortion views.

Still, at least one anti-abortion activist said on Monday that she was satisfied with the platform’s language.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America who last week warned the Trump campaign that its longstanding political alliance with social conservatives was in jeopardy if the party took a watered-down position on abortion, said in a statement that the party had “reaffirmed its commitment to protect unborn life today through the 14th Amendment.”

(Reporting by James Oliphant and Helen Coster. Additional reporting by Nathan Layne.; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Alistair Bell)



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