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Elections

Republican committee signs off on a Donald Trump RNC platform - including abortion

While some Republicans wanted to retain language supporting a nationwide ban on abortion, the proposed platform says states should decide the issue.

WASHINGTON - A Republican convention committee endorsed a party platform Monday that reads almost like a Donald Trump speech − including deflection of the volatile issue of abortion rights.

While some Republicans wanted to retain language supporting a nationwide ban on abortion, the proposed platform echoes what Trump has said on the campaign trail: States should decide the issue on their own terms.

Democrats said the platform - and Trump - still want to ban abortion by whatever means are available.

The platform gives Trump credit for the Supreme Court decision overturning the Roe v. Wade abortion rights ruling, but also reflects the former president's concern that the issue could hurt him and other Republican candidates at the ballot box in 2024.

Jun 27, 2024; Atlanta, GA, USA; Former President Donald Trump during the debate at CNN's studios in Atlanta. CNN Anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash are moderators of the debate. Mandatory Credit: Jack Gruber-鶹ý

“After 51 years, because of us, that power (over abortion) has been given to the States and to a vote of the People,” the proposed platform says. "We will oppose Late Term Abortion, while supporting mothers and policies that advance Prenatal Care, access to Birth Control, and IVF (fertility treatments).”

Conflict among abortion rights advocates

The way the platform was crafted and approved angered some committee members focused on pursuing a more aggressive policy on abortion access, who said the debate was discouraged more than had been the case in previous platform draftings.

"Normally, people fly in and they're working for two or three days on the platform, and it's great. This time, it was a very controlled thing. And sadly, there was no opportunity for the actual delegates to impact the platform," Kris Ullman, president of anti-abortion advocacy group Eagle Forum in Washington, D.C., said.

Gail Ruzicka, RNC platform committee member from Utah, said officials squashed debate on the abortion item.

"They didn't allow any amendments. They didn't allow any discussion. They rolled us," Ruzicka said. "We only spent thousands of dollars to be here, and what they told us they were going to do isn't what happened. None of it happened. I've never seen this happen before. I don't understand why they did it, and I'm extremely disappointed that we do not have any pro-life language."

While some anti-abortion groups complained, others said they were okay with the new platform language. 

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA Pro-Life America, said "the Republican Party remains strongly pro-life at the national level," and "the mission of the pro-life movement ... must be to defeat the Biden-Harris extreme abortion agenda."

Next week's convention must ratify the full platform, which the party says is dedicated to "the forgotten men and women of America."

The policy document includes a litany of Trump proposals, including mass deportations of migrants in the country illegally, the replacement of career civil servants with Trump loyalists, and tariffs on foreign goods that critics say would fuel inflation.

Allies of President Joe Biden noted that Republicans closed the platform hearings to the media. They said the GOP wants to hide the fervor by which the party wants to ban abortions, either by the states, the courts, or the federal government.

Trump has made clear "what he will do if he regains power - rip away women’s freedoms, punish women, and ban abortion nationwide," said Sarafina Chitika, a spokesperson for the Biden campaign.

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