GOP platform abortion stance could sway voters

6:15 PM, Aug 30, 2012   |    comments
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Clearwater, Florida -- During the last day of their convention stay in Clearwater, the Colorado delegation got some help rallying around Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan from Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, along with Governor Bob McDonnell (R-VA). He chaired the committee that helped create the Republican party platform approved this week. 

"I feel good," Gov. McDonnell told 10 News about the GOP platform being approved.

But a section of the platform, called "Sanctity and Dignity of Human Life", has generated some controversy. The section calls for banning abortion without exception in cases of rape or incest, supports adding a human life amendment to the Constitution, and endorses legislation that gives 14th Amendment equal protection rights to unborn children.

"It's easy to read two sentences out of a 50-page platform and say 'Aha, we don't like that'," says Gov. McDonnell. "It simply affirms that we are the party that embraces the sanctity and dignity of life."

But some protests, like one held by Planned Parenthood supporters on Wednesday, aim to show the Republican platform could hurt Mitt Romney come November.

"The exceptions of rape, incest, the health of the mother has always been the position where most Americans are in terms of exceptions. I think it's going to mobilize women," says USF St. Petersburg Professor Seth McKee.

Gov. McDonnell says the platform's section about abortion has read the same for decades. 

"We've left it very general, and it's really up to Congress and ultimately the states to determine what the specifics of those policies would be," he says.

But even Mitt Romney has said his view on abortion differs from the party platform. That contrast is where McKee points out that there could be room for questions.

"It's an inroad for President Obama to say, 'Why does your party take this position? You're trying to detach yourself. Where does the truth lie for you, the candidate?'" McKee says.

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