GOP committee votes to approve Trump platform’s softened stances on life, marriage – LifeSite

MILWAUKEE (LifeSiteNews) — With little-to-no deliberation, the Republican National Convention’s Platform Committee tentatively adopted a dramatically-shortened Republican Party platform that drops the GOP’s longstanding support for federal preborn protections as well as the party’s opposition to homosexual “marriage,” along with other changes to align the party’s values and priorities with presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump.

WISN reports that the committee voted 84-14 to approve the platform in a closed-door session, though it still awaits final approval at the convention next week. 

“If you look at it, it has Donald Trump written all over it,” boasted Republican National Committee (RNC) co-chair Lara Trump, the former president’s daughter-in-law. “This is his platform.”

As reported Monday by LifeSiteNews, the new platform clocks in at just 16 pages, down from the previous platform’s 58. It cuts the GOP’s longstanding support for a “human life amendment to the Constitution and legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to children before birth,” declaration that “[t]raditional marriage and family, based on marriage between one man and one woman, is the foundation for a free society,” and call for that understanding to be reflected in law, including with the “reversal” of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell ruling that forces all 50 states to recognize homosexual “marriage.”

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In its place, the new platform gives a noncommittal acknowledgement of the Fourteenth Amendment while leaving it to individual states to protect the rights it guarantees and endorses birth control (many common methods of which function as abortifacients) and embryo-destructive in vitro fertilization.

Since that report, the full text of the platform has been released. It opens with an “America First” preamble calling for a “return to common sense” that closely echoes Trump’s own campaign rhetoric (his name appears 19 times throughout the document).

Many conventional conservative and Republican goals remain, including economic deregulation, energy exploration, school choice, and border control, albeit with far less detail about policy specifics. In keeping with the MAGA coalition’s more populist disposition, it endorses “baseline Tariffs on Foreign-made goods,” which have long been a contentious subject in conservative economic circles.

“Republicans will restore Parental Rights in Education,” it declares, as well as “ensure children are taught fundamentals like Reading, History, Science, and Math, not Leftwing propaganda. We will defund schools that engage in inappropriate political indoctrination of our children using Federal Taxpayer Dollars. We will keep men out of women’s sports, ban Taxpayer funding for sex change surgeries, and stop Taxpayer-funded Schools from promoting gender transition, reverse Biden’s radical rewrite of Title IX Education Regulations, and restore protections for women and girls.”

On foreign affairs, a subject on which conservatives are particularly divided, the platform is more in line with conventional Republican positions than some vocal factions had wanted, albeit again with significant wiggle room in the relative lack of elaboration: “Republicans will strengthen Alliances by ensuring that our Allies must meet their obligations to invest in our Common Defense and by restoring Peace to Europe. We will stand with Israel, and seek peace in the Middle East. We will rebuild our Alliance Network in the Region to ensure a future of Peace, Stability, and Prosperity. Likewise, we will champion Strong, Sovereign, and Independent Nations in the Indo-Pacific, thriving in Peace and Commerce with others.”

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Some members of the platform committee have spoken out against the process by which the platform was approved, in which the Trump campaign blocked journalists and cameras from deliberations.

“This has never happened before. I guess I’ve done this several times. There were no committees,” said Gayle Ruzicka from Utah. “We always had subcommittees where we can go in and work on a section of the platform. We can propose amendments, debate them, add them. Always happens. I’ve done it many times. That would usually take today and then tomorrow we would come back and meet as a complete platform and sometimes there’d be more amendments. They didn’t allow any amendments. They didn’t allow any discussion. They rolled us. That’s what they did.”

“I want something that says the unborn baby has a fundamental right to life that can’t be infringed,” she added. “That’s pro-life and that’s not in there. If we had met we could have made some little fixes and ended up with everybody happy instead of just railroading this through and not giving us a chance to read or amend it.”

“The RNC is doing this process behind closed doors because they know that the Republican grassroots would never go for this establishment RINO bull****,” another delegate told Politico on condition of anonymity.

In response, RNC co-chair Michael Whatley claimed, “we had plenty of votes, we had plenty of discussion on it. We feel very, very good. We had an overwhelming vote in support of the platform.”

As previously covered by LifeSite, pro-life groups Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America and Students for Life endorsed the final language after expressing initial concern. 

CatholicVote called the new language “unmistakably pro-life” but not “perfect,” citing its omissions and new support for birth control and IVF. “The GOP platform gives us room to maneuver and make progress,” it concluded. National Right to Life Committee president Carol Tobias embraced the platform as “ensuring that the party’s goal of protecting women and their preborn children is clearly stated.” The American Principles Project and Faith & Freedom Coalition also issued endorsements. Americans United for Life issued a statement detailing both good and bad aspects of the platform, but ultimately joined SBA, APP, F&FC, Phyllis Schlafly Eagles, and Citizens for Renewing America in signing an endorsement touted by the RNC.

Other pro-life groups and leaders have remained more critical. Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said that while the platform may be a “concise statement of campaign priorities,” it was not a “declaration of enduring principles for a political party.” He also renewed his criticism of the “choreographed process” by which it was passed as “unbecoming of a party that champions free speech and due process.”

“The new GOP platform on life is a significant downgrade from what it has been for four decades,” said Live Action founder and president Lila Rose. “This is deeply disappointing and harmful to preborn American children. Our constitution guarantees every person the right to equal protection; states do not get to decide which innocent people can be unjustly destroyed.”

“The new GOP platform claims the 14th Amendment guarantees the right to life yet states can decide to legalize killing unborn,” lamented the Personhood Alliance. “Marriage as the union of a man and a woman is out of the platform. Trump might be conceding the war to win this electoral battle.”

“Politicians pander. Platforms shouldn’t,” said the Radiance Foundation. “Life is NOT a states’ rights issue, any more than slavery, women’s right to vote, or Jim Crow laws were. It took federal action to defeat the unequal legal patchwork that had been sloppily made by a lack of moral courage. And it will take that same certitude to end the nationwide violent discrimination against the most marginalized – the ones who cannot protest or vote or curry any favor.”

For the past year, Trump has worked to stake out a “middle ground” on abortion of closing the door on further federal action, urging state laws to contain exceptions for rape, incest, and “medical emergencies,” embracing IVF, and contrasting himself against Democrats’ support for late-term abortion and infanticide. The about-face has caused consternation among pro-lifers, while most continue to accept him as preferable to the Democrats’ abortion-on-demand alternative.

It remains to be seen what impact Trump’s efforts will ultimately have on pro-life turnout in November, but it comes as Democrat panic over incumbent President and presumptive democrat nominee Joe Biden’s disastrous presidential debate performance has unleashed widespread panic over his true health and odds against Trump, including calls to replace him as the nominee which Biden has so far resisted.

National polling aggregations by RealClearPolitics and RaceToTheWH indicate a widening popular vote lead for Trump since the debate, with the former president’s leads in swing states translating to a seemingly durable Electoral College advantage over Biden.

The 2024 Republican National Convention is slated to begin on July 15 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and run until July 18. Pro-lifers interested in giving feedback to Republican leaders about its platform changes can find the social media accounts for the RNC and its co-chairs by clicking here, and for the convention’s social accounts by clicking here.

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