News (USA)

Republican Party approves platform: Ban all abortions and same-sex marriage

TAMPA, Fla. — In a convention dominated by the politics and policies of the conservative far right, the Tea Party and “family values” special interests, delegates to the 2012 Republican National Convention on Tuesday approved a platform calling for a ban on all abortions and same-sex unions, reshaping current Medicare benefits into a voucher-like program and tax code reform that would make it easier for businesses to generate more capital and create more jobs.

In language crafted by Tony Perkins, the anti-gay leader of the Family Research Council, the platform states that the party believes that it must honor the rights of states and the federal government not to recognize same-sex marriage, and backs a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

On the subject of abortion, specific and uncompromising language states that “the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.” It opposes using public revenues to promote or perform abortion or to fund organizations that perform or advocate abortions.

The platform also says the party would not fund or subsidize health care that includes abortion coverage.

The platform also pledges to move both Medicare and Medicaid away from “the current unsustainable defined-benefit entitlement model to a fiscally sound defined-contribution model.”

The GOP said it supports a Medicare transition to a premium-support model with an income-adjusted contribution toward a health plan of the enrollee’s choice, amend age eligibility in light of longer life spans, and transition services for low income recipients into a block grant program in which the states would be given the flexibility to determine the best programs for their residents.

While both Democrats and Republicans routinely approve platforms during their conventions that coincide with presidential election races that are meant to encapsulate each party’s policy initiatives and goals, historically, those same goals are normally sidelined once the victorious party takes power.

The latest poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, released Monday, showed a higher level of interest in the GOP platform versus people interested in watching Romney’s acceptance speech.

Fifty-two percent of the poll’s respondents were very interested in learning about the GOP’s platform, while 44 percent were interested in watching Romney’s acceptance speech, and 46 percent who were interested in watching Paul Ryan’s speech.

Overall interest in the Republican convention has been relatively flat — 44 percent of those surveyed say they are very or fairly interested — compared with 48 percent in 2008 and 46 percent in 2004 who were very or fairly interested in it.

“The Pew opinion survey showed that overall interest in both party’s conventions is virtually identical. That is, a majority of Americans say they aren’t interested,” reported the Los Angeles Times.

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