CRP rejects abortion, readopts compromise platform

On February 24, 2008, in General, by Neil Stevens

The California Republican Party has again adopted “a strong, conservative pro-life, pro-family platform”, says Flash Report, but I think what really happened in San Francisco is that conservatives and moderates fought off an extreme pro-abortion fringe and joined to put in a moderate platform that reaches out in a reasonable way to a left-leaning state.

It has been my view for years that abortion, not opposition illegal immigration or any other issue, is the big reason California Republicans fail to win elections statewide. Some left-leaning Republicans agree with me on that, and tried to get the party platform changed to a platform more fitting of the San Francisco environment of the Spring convention this weekend.

Some portray our platform as an extreme right-wing platform far out of touch with a pro-abortion state. In my view though, our California party platform is fairly mild, and a good compromise without giving up our principles. Here is the Sanctity of Life portion of the CRP platform last adopted and apparently re-adopted this time:

We note Thomas Jefferson’s sentiment that “the care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government,” and that the United States Constitution guarantees no one “be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” The CRP affirms its support for the protection of innocent human life at every stage, from the pre-born to the elderly, the infirm and the disabled.

As the Party for Life, we stand with the overwhelming majority of Americans who oppose taxpayer funding of abortion and abortion for sex selection. We oppose the heinous practice commonly known as partial-birth abortion and urge the State Legislature, the Congress and President to pass legislation to ban this procedure. To restore to the states the right to determine the abortion issue, we support the reversal of Roe V. Wade. We oppose efforts to legalize assisted suicide.

We support and strongly encourage positive alternatives to abortion such as adoption, which we will promote through legal reforms. We support the existence of pregnancy counseling centers throughout California that offer a private sector alternative during a crisis pregnancy. As well, we support parental consent as a prerequisite for any minor receiving family planning services or having an abortion.

For all that this platform says, note what it does not say. The platform does not even call for a broad ban on abortion: its plan is not a ban except the save the mother’s life, not a ban with the three-exception rule, and not a ban after the first trimester. The state party platform actually takes the moderate position of only banning abortions on minors without parental consent, partial birth abortion, taxpayer funded abortion, sex-selection abortion, and reversing Roe v.Wade (and presumably successor cases such as Planned Parenthood v. Casey).

Contrast this with the opening of the 2004 national platform‘s statement on abortion:

As a country, we must keep our pledge to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence. That is why we say the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and we endorse legislation to make it clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. Our purpose is to have legislative and judicial protection of that right against those who perform abortions. We oppose using public revenues for abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life.

The national party goes as far as to call for a Constitutional amendment banning abortion. Now that is an extreme conservative position, one that notably a great many Republican members of congress and Presidential candidates will not even support without reservation. The California party, however, is right where it should be: refusing to give up on what is right, but focusing on the possible in a state out of touch with human decency on a vitally important issue.


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