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Trump proposes scaled-back platform that softens language on abortion, same-sex marriage

The 2024 Republican convention platform that aides to Donald Trump have drafted stops short of explicitly calling for a constitutional amendment to give embryos or fetuses constitutional rights and does not call for any national bans on abortion, confirming the concerns of antiabortion activists.

The document, with a long introduction in the voice of Trump, the presumptive nominee, says that existing constitutional rights to due process grants states the power “to pass laws protecting those rights.”

“After 51 years, because of us, that power has been given to the states and to a vote of the people,” the document says, according a copy of the document obtained by The Washington Post. “We will oppose late term abortion while supporting mothers and policies that advance prenatal care, access to birth control, and IVF (fertility treatments).”

The document was presented Monday to members of the Republican convention platform committee, a group handpicked by leaders of the Trump campaign that includes some members who want stronger language around abortion. The 2016 platform, which Trump used in his 2020 reelection campaign, called for a constitutional amendment to affirm the constitutional due process rights of embryos and fetuses, and a national law that would ban abortion, with some exceptions, after about 20 weeks of gestation.

Trump has changed his position on the issue since that Supreme Court overturned the fundamental right to the procedure in earlier stages of pregnancy. He now argues that each state should come up with its own regulations.

The 16-page document will be discussed by the platform committee at meetings in Milwaukee before a scheduled Tuesday evening meeting, where votes on amendments will be allowed. That meeting, which has been open to the press in the past, will take place behind closed doors. Members of the Republican National Committee who are not on the platform committee will be allowed to attend.

The platform reflects a full Trump takeover of the party and reads almost like one of his rally speeches. It officially enshrines mass deportations of millions of undocumented immigrants as the platform of the Republican Party; proposes ending the Department of Education; calls to “deport pro-Hamas radicals”; build a “great Iron Dome” over the country; “end the weaponization of the Department of Justice”; cancel the electric vehicle mandate and “FIGHT FOR AND PROTECT SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE WITH NO CUTS, INCLUDING NO CHANGES TO THE RETIREMENT AGE.”

“We will implement measures to secure our elections, including voter ID, highly sophisticated paper ballots, proof of citizenship, and same day voting,” the platform reads.

The platform also shows how far the party has moved on trade issues under Trump. The party now supports tariffs, according to the platform.

The 2016 document was far more extensive, with 54 pages of tightly packed text. Trump advisers have signaled that they wanted the new document to directly reflect the views of Trump, a break from past tradition where Republican activists are empowered to shape the document in consultation with the presumptive nominee’s campaign, often resulting in language that was different in emphasis and detail than the candidate’s own public statements.

Vincent Haley, a former deputy assistant to the president during Trump’s first term, largely wrote the document presented Monday, according to people familiar with the process, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private activities. Trump later reviewed and edited the document, the people said. The former president called in Monday to a meeting of the platform committee, a person familiar with the meeting said.

“For decades, our politicians sold our jobs and livelihoods to the highest bidders overseas with unfair trade deals and a blind faith in the siren song of globalism. They insulated themselves from criticism and the consequences of their own bad actions, allowing our borders to be overrun, our cities to be overtaken by crime, our system of justice to be weaponized, and our young people to develop a sense of hopelessness and despair. They rejected our history and our values. Quite simply, they did everything in their power to destroy our country,” now reads the Republican Party’s official platform.

Eight antiabortion and social conservative leaders wrote a June 10 letter to Trump demanding that the platform include support for federal legislative limits on abortion, and contain the following sentence: “We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to children before birth.”

The new platform draft also removes language from 2016 condemning the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 decision to grant same-sex couples the right to marry. The new language does not weigh in on same-sex marriage at all. “Republicans will promote a culture that values the sanctity of marriage, the blessings of childhood, and the foundational role of families, and supports working parents,” it says instead. “We will end policies that punish families.”

The 2016 platform endorsed the idea that parents could seek conversion therapy for children because of their sexuality. “We support the right of parents to determine the proper medical treatment and therapy for their minor children,” it read.

The new platform stops short of seeking to bar parents from seeking medical treatment for minor children, while condemning any taxpayer funding of such procedures. “We will keep men out of women’s sports, ban taxpayer funding for sex change surgeries, and stop taxpayer-funded schools from promoting gender transition, reverse Biden’s radical rewrite of Title IX education regulations, and restore protections for women and girls,” the new platform says.

The full passage in the new platform draft on abortion reads, “We proudly stand for families and life. We believe that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees that no person can be denied life or liberty without due process and that the states are, therefore, free to pass laws protecting those rights. After 51 years, because of us, that power has been given to the states and to a vote of the people. We will oppose late term abortion while supporting mothers and policies that advance prenatal care, access to birth control, and IVF (fertility treatments).”

This post appeared first on The Washington Post

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