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The Republican presidential nominee was once a strong supporter of Roe v. Wade, but underwent a just-in-time pro-life conversion to seek his party's nomination. Kowtowing to the GOP's evangelical base, he named a hardline social conservative who opposed abortion in all cases, including rape and incest. Then the week before the Republican National Convention made his nomination official, the drafters of the GOP platform ignored their presidential choice and instead enshrined his number two's view and the draconian Human Life Amendment as party orthodoxy.

If you guessed this was the tale of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, you'd be right. Then again, if you suspected this was a brief history of John McCain and Sarah Palin, you'd be right, too.

In response to Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin's "legitimate rape" outrage, Team Romney announced Sunday that "Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin's statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape." While a reversal of Paul Ryan's past positions, that sound bite was at least consistent with the 2012 edition of "My Pro-Life Pledge" in which Mitt Romney proclaimed, "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."

And then Republican Platform Committee said "no." As CNN reported, the draft text of the 2012 GOP platform will once again codify anti-abortion absolutism:

"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," the draft platform declares. "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."
That's little changed from four years ago, when the 2008 Republican platform similarly declared that fetuses are entitled to equal protection and due process of law:
Faithful to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence, we assert the inherent dignity and sanctity of all 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 we endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment's protections apply to unborn children.
That position represented quite a transformation for John McCain. After all, in 1999 he declared, "I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations." But in anticipation of his upcoming White House run, McCain reversed course in 2006. By May of 2008, McCain explained his new position, one he wanted to see reflected in his party's platform:
My position has always been: exceptions of rape, incest and the life of the mother," the senator said.

When asked if he would encourage the party to include them in the platform, he replied, "Yes," adding: "And by the way, I think that's the view of most people, that rape, incest, the life of the mother are issues that have to be considered."

As it turned out, not so much. Because in the interim, John McCain tapped Sarah Palin as his running mate.

(Continue reading below the fold.)

And she had a different view, one which became her orthodoxy during the Republican National Convention in St. Paul. As she explained to ABC's Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric of CBS:

"My personal opinion is that abortion [should be] allowed if the life of the mother is endangered. Please understand me on this. I do understand McCain's position on this."
But McCain's wasn't the position of the Republican Party. And that conflict produced one of the most memorable—and disturbing—moments of the 2008, when John McCain disastrously tried to adhere to the party line during a debate with then-Sen. Barack Obama. After Sen. Obama proclaimed, "I am completely supportive of a ban on late-term abortions, partial-birth or otherwise, as long as there's an exception for the mother's health and life," a sneering McCain used "air quotes" to mock women's reproductive rights:
"Just again, the example of the eloquence of Sen. Obama. He's [for] health for the mother. You know, that's been stretched by the pro-abortion movement in America to mean almost anything. That's the extreme pro-abortion position, quote, 'health.'"
Now history is repeating itself. But if 2008 was a farce, 2012 could be a tragedy for American women's health and safety. After all, in 1994 Mitt Romney declared his "unwavering support" for a woman's right to choose after revealing that "dear, close family relative that was very close to me who passed away from an illegal abortion." Having attended a Planned Parenthood fundraiser with his wife Ann that year, during his 2002 campaign for governor of Massachusetts Romney again pledged, "So when asked will I preserve and protect a woman's right to choose, I make an unequivocal answer: yes." But by 2007, Mitt promised Republican primary voters he would be "delighted" to sign a bill banning abortions nationally. By 2011, he went further by endorsing the notion of state "personhood" amendments and so-called "fetal pain" bills. Nevertheless, at the Republican Convention next week, Mitt Romney's calls for abortion exceptions for rape and incest and for policy-making to be left to the states will go unheeded by his party.

Such is the state of the Republican Party. When it comes to women's health and reproductive rights, across the United States the GOP's bad science and worse law is blessing mythical "post-abortion syndrome," false links between abortion and breast cancer, unproven claims of "fetal pain" and even malpractice in "wrongful birth" cases. And like John McCain before him, Mitt Romney is learning that his Republican Party doesn't care what he thinks.

Originally posted to Jon Perr on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 11:54 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  We have a pattern! (11+ / 0-)

    Nominate a faux centrist, pick a red-meat conservative to placate their hard-core base, and lose in the general.

    I hope.

    Romney economics: Feed our seed corn to the fattest pigs and trust them to poop out jobs.

    by blue aardvark on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 12:21:08 PM PDT

  •  What about "Leadership" Gov. Romney? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, Scott Wooledge

    Notice: This Comment © 2012 ROGNM

    by ROGNM on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 12:24:02 PM PDT

    •  leading the GOP right off the cliff.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ROGNM

      © grover


      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 10:20:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why Worry About Romney's Position Today? (7+ / 0-)

    Not to cut the GOP too much slack, but why should they try to tailor their platform to his position when he refuses to hold still long enough for anyone to take a snapshot?

    Romney has wandered all over the field, depending upon the political necessities of his situation. He went from firmly "pro-choice" to claiming "I never called myself 'pro-choice'."

    During the campaign, one week he would support exceptions for rape, incest and the mother's health, the next week he would support a "personhood" amendment to the Mississippi constitution which would outlaw all abortion.

    BTW, I hope someone smarter than me will dissect the GOP platform as we get access to it. And, if it doesn't offend some of my fellow Democrat on this site, I think we should dissect the Democratic platform as well, plank by plank.

    "... if I can lead you into the promised land someone else can just as easily lead you back out again." --Eugene Debs

    by Shliapnikov on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 05:18:28 PM PDT

  •  How do we know they are ignoring Romney? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999

    because the Romney position changes by the minute, whatever it is.

    Barack Obama for President '12

    by v2aggie2 on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 07:50:21 PM PDT

  •  You think Romney can think independently (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, Scott Wooledge, gchaucer2, cany

    of the Mormon church?

    Think again. This viewpoint of his echoes the LDS church verbatim:

    Members must not submit to, perform, arrange for, pay for, consent to, or encourage an abortion. The only possible exceptions are when:

    1. Pregnancy resulted from forcible rape or incest.
    2. A competent physician determines that the life or health of the mother is in serious jeopardy.
    3. A competent physician determines that the fetus has severe defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth.

    http://www.lds.org/...

    •  #3 is not allowed by HR3 or any of the current (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drmah, OjaiValleyCali, mrsgoo

      legislation.  Encephalic babies would have to be born to die.

      The Muslim said "I wished I had met Christ before I met the Christians" - Rev. Marvin Winins

      by captainlaser on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 07:57:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've been saying this all along (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      benthos, mrsgoo, cany, grover

      I have known Mormon women and girls who have had abortions and gone on to live normal Mormon lives.  They went to BYU, got married, had a bunch of other kids, not excommunicated or anything.  This has been the case, that each woman seeks counsel and treatment and if everyone is in agreement, she makes the call. One case was even for mental health reasons. These RNC extremists have to know this, and are just trying to ply their single issue voters into action, and the thing that pisses me off about Romney, is he is not out front of this telling them to shut up.  It's a sin of omission on his part, to not tell them where he and his dogma stand.  There are about a hundred reasons why I don't practice Mormonism anymore, but this asshole brings it to a whole new level for me.

      The intesity of your opinions is offensive...

      by SomeChic on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 08:30:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  LOL "normal Mormon lives". I know what you're (0+ / 0-)

        saying!

        202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

        by cany on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 09:25:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  rMoney didn't help himself with $10k bets and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, drmah, a2nite

    pummeling his primary rivals. The Mitt bot cares little about the GOP platform and its sops to the party's lunatic majorities like the Paulites and other fundies.

    And like John McCain before him, Mitt Romney is learning that his Republican Party doesn't care what he thinks.

    Don't roof rack me bro', Now the brown's comin' down; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 07:50:54 PM PDT

    •  As Norquist said... he just needs to be able (0+ / 0-)

      to hold a pen.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

      by cany on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 09:26:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Positions are nice for the Kama Sutra, but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli

    How about Governor Romney would you sign a Bill that says _________

    The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

    by JML9999 on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 07:51:06 PM PDT

  •  *Just not gay fetuses. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, indie17, captainlaser, grover
    fetuses are entitled to equal protection and due process of law*

    You're not being "oppressed" when another group gains rights you've always enjoyed.

    by Scott Wooledge on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 07:53:37 PM PDT

    •  And actually, they're not terribly fond (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cany, grover

      of endowing the poor and/or people of color with equal protection and due process of law either, are they? Particularly evident in voting rights this year.

      You're not being "oppressed" when another group gains rights you've always enjoyed.

      by Scott Wooledge on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 08:01:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •   female feti (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Scott Wooledge

        (who go on to be girls and women) aren't their favorite people either.

        © grover


        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 10:24:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Romney is willing to say or do whatever it takes (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrsgoo, sparkysgal, cany, grover, DSPS owl

    to get into the oval office. That's why the Republican party is so unnerving to me. I disagree with Mitt on just about everything, but we don't really know what we will get if he's elected, because like GW Bush, he's just a figurehead for the men behind the curtain.
    Foreign policy from the NeoCons.
    Tax policy from Grover.
    Who knows what horrors from the Religious Right nutcases.
    And Mitt is no job creator, he would have been dead last if Hurricane Katrina hadn't affected the employment situations in several states.
    The GOP Platform as released for the convention is what we would have to look forward to from Mitt. He will do whatever they want. He just wants the title.

    Everybody got to elevate from the norm....

    by Icicle68 on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 07:53:57 PM PDT

  •  Here's to hoping (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, mrsgoo

    that, in the ballot booth, the American voters will treat the GOP like the farce they are.

    28, white male, TX-26 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 07:54:57 PM PDT

  •  Does this mean that if the fetus is protected (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grover

    by the 14th Amendment, it will have the right to freedom of speech?

    Can feti form their own super-PAC's?

    I suppose they will be allowed to vote until they are born, and then they have to wait 18 years.

    The Muslim said "I wished I had met Christ before I met the Christians" - Rev. Marvin Winins

    by captainlaser on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 07:56:19 PM PDT

    •  well... (0+ / 0-)
      I suppose they will be allowed to vote until they are born, and then they have to wait 18 years.
      Depending where they live in Florida and Ohio... let's not take that whole "rights" thing too much for granted.

      © grover


      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 10:26:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As Frank Rich said last night, W. Mitt will just (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah, annieli, mrsgoo, True North, Templar

    roll over for these people. He ALWAYS backs down when confronted.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 07:59:10 PM PDT

  •  A little off-topic, but not much (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SomeChic, mrsgoo, valadon, grover, Templar

    On Fresh Air yesterday they discussed Ayn Rand. Apparently two lead female characters in two separate novels of hers wind up becoming partners/lovers with their [violent] rapists?!

    And as for Ryan abandoning Ayn Rand as an influence I don't buy it. At 15, 25, 35,  and 45 years of age my idols have never changed. The Kennedy family, Jimmy Page, MLK, my first boss, etc.- these provided influences to me that are are part of me. I could not simply "reject" them, and nor could Ryan reject Rand.

    No Jesus, Know Peace

    by plok on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 08:04:03 PM PDT

    •  It's bodice-ripper pseudo-"rape" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      plok

      The heroines really, really want those particular guys, but for various reasons they can't just walk up to them and say "Let's fuck". Dominique (who's a seriously warped character to begin with) thinks of it as and calls it "rape" - though what it really is, is Mr. Right read her body language correctly and heard the "YES YES YES" she was nonverbally shouting.

      Dagny isn't that twisted. She knows she's nonverbally shouting "YES YES YES", and she's actually leading him on to a private area where they can get on with it without being disturbed.

      Both incidents are more mutually consensual "rough and tumble" - especially Dagny and Galt, who seem to be in full telepathic rapport throughout - than what most people would call "violent". No knives, no guns, no beatings, just quick and hard screwing.

      I figured out a while ago that if Rand hand't decided to write politico-economic polemics, she'd have written bodice-rippers. Bad ones.

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 09:51:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Romney had advisors (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrsgoo, Carol in San Antonio

    who participated in developing the GOP platform.  Either they were told to go pound sand or they agreed with the abortion plank and Romney is for the mazillionth time a lying asshole.  Actually, I can see both as being true.

    So -- as a basic concept even a moran at CNN could pick up -- Akin rejected the alleged Romney plea to step down and the GOP rejected the alleged Romney stance on abortion.

    What a brilliant candidate!!!

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 08:04:14 PM PDT

  •  You really shouldn't call someone "Number Two" (0+ / 0-)

    even if it does describe what he is. Besides, as far as Willard is considered, he's his Number One (not that that is substantially better). On second thought, ONLY refer to him as Number Two - throw Granny off the cliff, bring out the coat hangars, lower Willard's income tax rate below 1%, cut off Medicaid when poverty is increasing, increase spending at the bloated Pentagon - he deserves it.

  •  I really thing McCain's "air quotes" (0+ / 0-)

    are what lost him the election.

    As of right now, I loathe all anti-choice politicians with an intensity greater than the radiation output of a thousand suns. 3.13.12

    by GenuineRisk on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 08:20:14 PM PDT

  •  I hate the goddamn slut test for abortion (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North, Carol in San Antonio

    I'm glad the RNS is being absolutist. And though I thought it couldn't happen, Romney is that much more of a contemptible sleezebag for being "tolerant" of exceptions in those cases where people are already suffering.

    So fucking evil.

    "There were questions that Governor Romney wanted to address to make sure people understood that he's not a felon" - Ed Gillespie (Romney supporter)

    by itswhatson on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 08:25:46 PM PDT

  •  way back in 1980 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North, grover

    GHW Bush made the same conversion just to become the VP nominee.

    That was when my mother changed her official voter registration from R to D. (She'd been voting D for decades.)

    (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

    by PJEvans on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 08:54:23 PM PDT

  •  It still baffles me (0+ / 0-)

    that the evangelicals don't see how they really are the same as any miltantly, religiously, overly zealous group of people they would proclaim is a threat to the American way of life. And they have been getting more and more violent. There is seemingly no sense for civil discourse as the have achieved an amazing cognitive dissonance.

    If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.

    by plato 451 on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 10:38:01 PM PDT

  •  why - and I don't (0+ / 0-)

    mean to sound enormously ignorant, which I fear I will - do some people accept that a rape is a valid "excuse" for an abortion but reject that being unable to afford a child, psychologically or physically, is likewise valid?  Is it because women are property, and so rape is really an attack on male property?

    Justice For Will Will spent his brief, courageous life fighting for the rights we all take for granted. Please share his story to support the fight!

    by KibbutzAmiad on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 05:01:33 AM PDT

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