RNC committee approves 2024 GOP policy platform, including abortion

The Republican National Committee’s platform committee adopted a new GOP platform Monday that addresses the issue of abortion, marking a shift in the party’s stance, which now aligns more closely with former President Donald Trump.

According to the platform, Republicans “will oppose late-stage abortion while supporting mothers and policies to improve prenatal care, access to contraception and IVF (fertility treatments),” the document, obtained by ABC News, said.

The abortion section also states that the GOP “believes” that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution “guarantees that no person may be deprived of life or liberty without due process of law, and that the states are therefore free to pass laws protecting these rights” — reinforcing Trump’s position that the issue should be decided at the state level.

It’s a change from previous GOP campaigns, which supported legislation that would impose a federal ban on abortion through 20 weeks.

According to an RNC spokesman, the entire RNC membership will vote to officially endorse the platform from the convention floor. The party’s convention is next week in Milwaukee.

Trump called into the meeting Monday morning and “described why some of the elements are in” the platform, the committee member said. Trump also approved a draft of the new Republican Party platform during the meeting, a source familiar with the matter said.

The new party platform could herald changes in the GOP’s positions on key issues such as abortion, gay marriage and immigration. Moreover, the reforms are likely to reflect Trump’s beliefs, platform committee members and Trump allies said.

The party manifesto clearly sets out its positions on foreign and domestic policy, but is not binding and has no direct influence on the work of elected officials or candidates.

The commission’s decision Monday comes as abortion remains a key issue for voters in an election year that is expected to see a neck-and-neck race between Trump and President Joe Biden.

In 2016, the Republican Party — en route to Trump’s first nomination — adopted a narrowly conservative platform focused on issues of gender and sexual orientation, over efforts by some more moderate factions of the party to soften the language. An identical platform was adopted in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult for party committees to meet and tweak the language. Trump was chosen as the party’s nominee for a second time at that convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

That platform, which Trump campaigned on in 2016 and 2020, supports legislation that would impose a federal 20-week ban on abortion. The Republican platform since the 1980s has expressed support for a constitutional amendment that would affirm the sanctity and protection of human life and extend that ban to unborn children.

Now, in 2024, the GOP will be working on finalizing a platform for the first time since the Dobbs ruling struck down the constitutional right to abortion more than two years ago. The plan could play a disproportionate role in cementing the ideals of a party reinvented by a former president who has been clear about his opposition to a federal ban and his preference for leaving the issue up to the states.

Trump’s position on reproductive rights has some anti-abortion activists and RNC members concerned that the call for a “right to life” amendment could be removed from this year’s platform.

A member of the platform committee who spoke to ABC News after the vote, which passed 84-14, said there was a lot of “unity” on the wording, even among some of the more socially conservative members who have spoken out loudly and clearly against a platform that reflects Trump’s views on abortion.

“A lot of people stood up and took the microphone [during a comment section]. And overall things were really positive. People were happy to see this document,” the member said.

After the vote, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA Pro-Life America and a leading anti-abortion activist who was one of the people who lobbied Trump’s team on the platform this year, issued a statement expressing her support for the document.

“Importantly, the GOP today reaffirmed its commitment to protecting unborn life through the 14th Amendment. Under that amendment, it is Congress that enacts and enforces its provisions. The Republican Party remains strongly pro-life nationally. The mission of the pro-life movement over the next six months must be to defeat the Biden-Harris extreme abortion agenda,” Dannenfelser wrote.

“The platform allows us to deliver the winning message to 10 million voters, who turned out four million times in key states,” Dannenfelser added.

ABC News’ Brittany Shepherd, Hannah Demissie and Lalee Ibssa contributed to this report.

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