Planned Parenthood Chief: GOP Platform Criminalizes Abortion Patients; Matthews Fails to Challenge

March 31st, 2016 8:50 PM

Donald Trump only said explicitly what his other GOP primary challengers think and what is already in the Republican Party platform, according to Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, who made the assertion to MSNBC's Chris Matthews on tonight's Hardball.

Matthews, who the night before said that making abortion illegal was "fascistic," failed to challenge Richards's assertion.



"Well, obviously what he said was outrageous," Richards noted of Trump, adding, "[w]hat's important to recognize is Donald Trump's position on making abortion a crime is the exact same position that John Kasich has, that Ted Cruz has, and frankly the Republican National Committee in their platform."

That's excellent fundraising-letter copy, of course, but it's overheated political rhetoric that is patently false. Here's the entire language from the 2012 Republican Party platform on the sanctity of life, check for yourself: 

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. 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. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion or fund organizations which perform or advocate it and will not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life. We oppose the nonconsensual withholding or withdrawal of care or treatment, including food and water, from people with disabilities, including newborns, as well as the elderly and infirm, just as we oppose active and passive euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Republican leadership has led the effort to prohibit the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion and permitted States to extend health care coverage to children before birth. We urge Congress to strengthen the Born Alive Infant Protection Act by enacting appropriate civil and criminal penalties on healthcare providers who fail to provide treatment and care to an infant who survives an abortion, including early induction delivery where the death of the infant is intended. We call for legislation to ban sex-selective abortions – gender discrimination in its most lethal form—and to protect from abortion unborn children who are capable of feeling pain; and we applaud U.S. House Republicans for leading the effort to protect the lives of pain-capable unborn children in the District of Columbia. We call for a ban on the use of body parts from aborted fetuses for research. We support and applaud adult stem cell research to develop lifesaving therapies, and we oppose the killing of embryos for their stem cells. We oppose federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

We also salute the many States that have passed laws for informed consent, mandatory waiting periods prior to an abortion, and health-protective clinic regulation. We seek to protect young girls from exploitation through a parental consent requirement; and we affirm our moral obligation to assist, rather than penalize, women challenged by an unplanned pregnancy. We salute those who provide them with counseling and adoption alternatives and empower them to choose life, and we take comfort in the tremendous increase in adoptions that has followed Republican legislative initiatives.

There's nothing in there about criminalizing patients who seek or obtain abortions, nor have Human Life Amendments proposed previously in Congress explicitly called for criminalizing patients seeking or obtaining abortions. 

What's more, there's nothing of the sort on either Ted Cruz's or John Kasich's websites.