GOP Omits National Abortion Ban From Platform For First Time In 40 Years

GOP omits national abortion ban from platform for first time in 40 years

A member of the anti-abortion group, A Moment of Hope, holds a plastic model of a fetus 12 weeks into its development, as part of a gift bag they try to hand out to patients arriving for abortion appointments at a Planned Parenthood clinic, Friday, May 27, 2022, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

The Republican National Committee softened its stance on abortion in a draft measure adopted by a committee Monday, agreeing to a platform that no longer calls for federal limits on abortion.

The move — a dramatic shift for the party, made two years after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade — comes a week before the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, where former President Donald Trump is expected to accept GOP’s presidential nomination.

Trump, who received high praise for his policy actions related to abortion during his presidency, has been more evasive this cycle regarding topics like national limits and exceptions to state bans. He also distanced himself from Project 2025, a conservative-led transition project which calls for a number of new abortion restrictions.

The softer stance on abortion also comes as voters have appeared to reject an all-out ban on abortion. Voters have backed abortion rights on all seven abortion-related state ballot initiatives since the Supreme Court’s 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision — even in states where Republicans control the majority of the state government.

Nationally, Democrats have made protecting and expanding abortion access their key campaign issue for 2024, with President Joe Biden kicking off his campaign with an event focused on restoring Roe v. Wade. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., announced another vote on reproductive rights on Monday, part of a larger messsaging strategy.

The 2024 GOP platform, released Monday, is shorter and more limited on specific asks related to abortion issues compared to previous platforms.

The platform specifically calls on states, rather than Congress, to weigh in on issues pertaining to life. It cites the 14th Amendment, which grants equal rights to all U.S. citizens, asserting that  “the States are, therefore, free to pass Laws protecting those Rights. “

By contrast, the 2016 platform called for Congress to pass legislation that would bar abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and prohibit sex-selective and disability-related abortions. That platform also opposed embryonic stem cell research and federal funding for abortion.

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