Voters should be wary of Republican stance on abortion
Published: Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 00:08
Although the platform of the Republican Party will not be finalized until the Republican National Convention, held Aug. 27-30 this year, the Republican platform committee approved a severe anti-abortion plank in their platform Tuesday in Tampa, Fla.
This proposed component of the Republican platform calls for an amendment to the Constitution that would prohibit abortion in every case.
According to CNN the platform states, "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."
While it comes as no surprise that the typically conservative-leaning Republican Party would be opposed to abortion, as they were before each of the last two presidential elections, it is surprising they would be unwilling to allow for exceptions such as cases of rape or incest to an anti-abortion law.
This is most confusing because the leading hopeful for the GOP nominee, Mitt Romney, has said "I am pro-life and believe that abortion should be limited to only instances of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother." While he is clearly not advocating abortion, he sensibly realizes that there are some practical, medical reasons for terminating a pregnancy.
Additionally, the GOP recently showed its disdain for the outspoken Republican Representative Todd Akin, who claimed that "legitimate rape" does not lead to pregnancy. Republicans from all over the United States called for Akin to halt his bid for a Senate seat in Missouri. And even though Tuesday he announced his refusal to bow out of the race, The National Republican Senatorial Committee and a Republican nonprofit called Crossroads GPS have both rescinded their financial support for Akin – support that totaled nearly $10 million.
This year, the U.S. has seen an onslaught of ever-stricter abortion laws implemented by individual states. For example, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed a new law requiring three doctor visits for women requesting a drug-induced abortion, with the punishment of jail time for physicians who fail to meet this qualification. Other states, including Mississippi, Arizona, Illinois, and Virginia, have also tried (some succeeding) to enact laws that would greater limit women’s access to abortions.
Considering all of the concern for women’s reproductive rights, the most pressing question left to be answered is: Why now?
The simple answer is that this is an election year. Big issues like same-sex marriage, immigration, the economy and abortion are obviously going to be in the front of policymaker’s minds, as they scramble to implement their own agendas before they possibly have to turn over the reigns to another.
Citizens of the U.S. cannot be swayed by these politician’s last-ditch efforts to hamper women’s reproductive rights.
The public must take the initiative to make themselves aware of what their politicians are lobbying for in their state and local governments. The kind of public outcry that came after Rep. Akin "misspoke" should be reinforced by our choices at the polls this Election Day.