The national Republican Party platform’s anti-abortion plank goes beyond what GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney would support.
And it goes beyond what top Idaho Republicans support.
As first reported by CNN, and repeated in various media outlets, here’s the wording: “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.”
The key in the language is its lack of exceptions.
Romney opposes abortion, except in cases of rape and incest, or pregnancies that threaten the mother’s life. Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch and 2nd District Rep. Mike Simpson hold similar views. First District Rep. Raul Labrador supports abortion only when a mother’s life is in jeopardy. (I also made repeated inquiries with Gov. Butch Otter, who will attend next week’s convention, but received no response.)
This plank is drawing increased scrutiny, of course, because of Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., the Senate candidate who said a woman’s body has mechanisms to prevent pregnancy in a case of “legitimate rape.” This became an Idaho talking point this week, when Democratic challenger Jimmy Farris called on Labrador to disavow Akin’s remarks. Labrador didn’t respond.
Of course, no candidate is bound to run on a platform, which is often written by a party’s hardliners. But no one can seriously question the Idaho delegation’s conservatism on social issues. It is telling, then, that the abortion plank outflanks even this quartet.