Christian conservative groups launch effort to keep pro-life planks in GOP platform

A well-known evangelical advocacy group has established an initiative designed to preserve the pro-life planks of the Republican Party platform as the Republican National Convention is set to get under way in less than two weeks.

The Family Research Council, a socially conservative advocacy group, launched the Platform Integrity Project ahead of the 2024 Republican National Convention, scheduled to take place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin later this month. The initiative, announced Tuesday, aims to keep issues of “life and family values” in the party platform ahead of the expected coronation of former President Donald Trump as the Republican nominee for president.

As explained on the Platform Integrity Project website, the initiative encourages the public to encourage and pray that Republican National Committee delegates maintain the “strong pro-life, pro-family and pro-liberty” elements of the Republican Platform as they meets to draft a new platform in Milwaukee from July 8-9.

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The Platform Integrity Project is a partnership between the Family Research Council and several other conservative activists including WallBuilders, the American Principles Project and Eagle Forum.

“Party platforms matter,” said FRC President Tony Perkins in a statement published to coincide with the launch of the initiative. “They state the principles and priorities of a party. According to research by Dr. Lee Payne, the parties actually follow their platforms. Between 1980 and 2004, Republican lawmakers followed their platform 82 percent of the time.”

According to Perkins, “As Ronald Reagan noted, 'There are cynics who say that a party platform is something nobody bothers to read, and it doesn't very often amount to much.'” But he said that “a banner of bold unmistakable colors without pale pastels” will reveal the difference between Republicans and the other party.”

“America is an unprecedented place of moral and cultural confusion and is in dire need of leadership and moral clarity,” he added. “The Republican Party must once again communicate a clear and hopeful contrast between the parties by painting a message for voters about the fundamental issues – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – not in pale pastels but in bright, bold colors.”

Insisting that “voters need to see a contrast between the two parties on their policy priorities,” Perkins stated “voters want and need a choice.” He summarized his message to the Platform Committee as “preserve life and families in the platform of the Republican Party so that social conservatives can continue to find a home in the GOP.”

Perkins, who is an RNC delegate from the state of Louisiana selected to serve on the Platform Committee, wrote a letter to Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Whatley on Monday that highlighted his concerns about the possible omission of pro-life principles from the Republican Platform and the process behind its creation at all.

In the a letterPerkins specifically expressed opposition to “the RNC Gag Rule,” which he explained “limits access to the deliberations of various committees and subcommittees only to the accredited delegates of those committees.”

Characterizing the “Gag Rule” as an “unprecedented” apparent violation of RNC rules, Perkins warned that “based on the limited communications that delegates have received, it appears that neither guests nor the press will be allowed to observe the platform committee or subcommittee decisions of the principles and political priorities of the Party.”

“The RNC Gag Rule increases speculation that the GOP platform will be watered down to a few pages of nonsensical, polled talking points,” he lamented.

Perkins cited such a scenario as an unwelcome contrast to “Ronald Reagan's call for a party platform, a 'banner of bold, unmistakable colors without pale pastels,' challenging the nation with a clear vision for the future.” He identified “bold principles on life, family and liberty” as positions that “served the GOP well for more than half a century, standing in stark contrast to the other Party and attracting many God-fearing Americans to the GOP.”

“It is of great concern that the foundational efforts of patriots like Phyllis Schlafly and countless others who have built the Republican Party into a majoritarian, pro-life, pro-family, pro-orderly liberty party will be undermined by these unprecedented changes in the process. ,” he wrote.Recalling his attempts to “address these concerns privately” and characterizing the responses he has received so far as “stalling tactics,” Perkins asked for a formal response by 10:00 a.m. Tuesday.

Perkins informed Whatley that “If the RNC Gag Rule is not removed and the committee and subcommittee process is made open and fair by 10 am tomorrow, I will be forced to escalate this issue to all stakeholders in the GOP platform.”

“I understand that raising these concerns could make me the proverbial skunk at the wedding. However, I cannot remain silent and silent forever when the Party that so many patriots sacrificed to build is about to adopt a process that is unbecoming of the Big Oil Party. This process will likely result in an outcome that jeopardizes the Party's ability to continue to be a stabilizing force for freedom in this nation, as it has been for nearly 175 years.”

Perkins finished by formally requesting the rejection of the “Gag Rule”. He indicated that if the Committee decided to “proceed,” he would like to see “the RNC meeting minutes that recorded the motion and the vote that allowed this unprecedented Gag Rule to be implemented.”

Perkins elaborated on his concerns about the direction of the Republican Party platform in an interview with The Christian Post. “The voice of the conservative movement has been pushed back more than ever before,” he claimed. He indicated that he remains committed to ensuring that the Republican Party does not do “self-harm” by loosening its pro-life positions.

The concerns about the Republican Party's position on abortion stem from Trump's insistence that abortion be left up to the states after the 2022 US Supreme Court ruling. Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization a decision that determined that the US Constitution does not contain a right to abortion and enabled states to decree restrictions or almost total bans on abortion. Pro-life advocacy groups have repeatedly countered that the federal government has an obligation to pass pro-life laws.

Perkins noted to CP that “What's being declared now is different than what was being declared in 2016, because that's simply a state issue.” He suggested that this position supported by Trump differs from the one traditionally accepted by the pro-life movement, namely that all human life deserves to be protected. Moreover, Perkins rejected the idea that abortion can only be a state issue in light of the prevalence of the abortion pill, which is often sent across state borders.

The Family Research Council is not the only advocacy group to express concern about the Republican Platform and the possible omission of pro-life principles. In statement published on Tuesday, Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser asserted that a decision to “remove national protections for the unborn in the GOP platform” would constitute “a miscalculation that would damage party unity and destroy pro-life enthusiasm among now.” and the election.”

“For more than a month, the pro-life movement has sought assurances from the Trump campaign that it will not destroy the pro-life plank of the platform that for 40 years has asserted 14th Amendment justification to combat the human rights tragedy of our time. . We are now only two working days away from the platform committee meeting and no assurances have been made.”

Echoing Perkins' concerns that “every indication is that the campaign will muscle through changes behind closed doors,” Dannenfelser stated that “For decades, passionate pro-life activists have been the grassroots backbone of the Republican Party” because they believed it had “a must commitment to protect the unborn.” She claimed that “this alliance risks being seriously weakened next week in Milwaukee.”

Reuters reported Tuesday that in a letter to Trump last month, Perkins and Faith and Freedom Coalition President Ralph Reed requested that language in the Republican Platform calling for the establishment of a “fundamental right to life that cannot be infringed” for unborn babies remains in the platform. in addition to pushing for legislation granting rights to unborn babies under the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution and the passage of a Human Life Amendment banning abortion.

As emphasized in a comparison of the platforms of the two parties compiled by the Family Research Council, the Republican Party Platform currently contains language indicating that it is “[P]roud to be the party that protects human life and offers real solutions for women” and “strongly opposes[s] infanticide.” Examples of pro-life legislation supported in the Republican Platform include federal protections for babies who survive botched abortion attempts and bans on abortion based on gender or disability.

Additional pro-life protections embraced by the GOP include a ban on dismemberment abortions where “unborn babies are literally torn limb from limb,” safety regulations for abortion clinics, a ban on human cloning, and acts of experimentation on human embryos including triple-parents. embryos, a ban on the sale of aborted baby body parts and a law prohibiting the “use of public funds to perform or promote abortion or to finance organizations, such as Planned Parenthood.”


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