On Life and Political Party Platforms

Political party platforms matter.

Once the product of smoke-filled backrooms, they cast vision, identify opportunities and problems, and suggest practical, legislative, and executive solutions.

Given that a right to life is a fundamental truth, both the Republican and Democrat party platforms should reflect a national commitment to innocent preborn life.

Support for life first appeared in the 1976 Republican Platform and included a call for a human life amendment, which would have banned abortion and saved the nearly 60 million lives that have been lost since that bicentennial year.

That same year, the Democrat Platform was deliberately vague on the subject, only stating that such an amendment was “undesirable.” It also stated party members “fully recognize the religious and ethical nature of the concerns which many Americans have on the subject of abortion.”

In the nearly 40 years since that summer, the Democrat party platform has grown increasingly hostile to preborn life. In addition to calling for the codification of abortion rights, it has called for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment and opposition to any measure that restricts the killing of preborn children.

GOP debate this week over the best course forward in this post-Roe era has devolved into unfortunate and unprincipled pragmatism geared toward a belief that abortion is best left to the states. While the Platform makes clear that third-trimester abortions are unacceptable, it remains silent regarding the first two trimesters. This should disappoint all who defend the sanctity of life.

A child’s fate should never be subject to their geography nor the political affiliation of his or her parents. When it comes to preborn life, a respect for personhood, not party politics, should protect and defend every child, everywhere. 

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