Tag Archives: exceptions

Lamar Explicit on Abortion Exceptions; Others in TN GOP Not So Much

Sen. Lamar Alexander is pro-life, reports the Tennessean. But last week his staff made it clear that he disagrees with the platform his party is expected to adopt at the upcoming Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.
The GOP platform calls for outlawing abortion in all circumstances. No exceptions.
“Sen. Alexander is pro-life. He opposes abortion, with exceptions for rape, incest or to save the life of the mother,” spokesman Jim Jeffries said.
Alexander was among the few Tennessee Republicans last week willing to spell out exceptions to his otherwise unwavering support for outlawing abortion.
Normally a non-starter, the Republican Party’s pro-life plank this year has been thrust into a firestorm that started when Missouri Rep. Todd Akin told a television reporter he believed “legitimate rape” would not result in pregnancy. “If it is a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” the Republican representative said. Later he said he meant to say “forcible rape.”
Every Republican Party platform since 1984 has included this language: “The unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.”
This year, pro-life Republicans, who have held — with few exceptions — to a clear, consistent message about their position opposing abortion, are being asked to be more specific.
So far, those specifics from Tennessee’s Republican congressional delegation have been hard to come by.
Rep. Stephen Fincher of Frog Jump, Scott DesJarlais of Jasper and Sen. Bob Corker of Chattanooga did not respond to questions about whether they believed there should be any exceptions to an abortion ban.
…Rep. Diane Black of Gallatin also opted not to discuss whether she thought there should be exceptions to outlawing abortion.
“I believe that life begins at conception; that each life is given by our Creator,” she said in a statement. “I am proud to be a member of a party that stands for protecting all human life — both the born and unborn. States should have the ability to decide whether there will be exceptions made in cases of rape, incest or threat to the life of the mother.”
Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Brentwood, who is co-chair of the GOP Platform Committee, which wrote this year’s abortion ban in the party’s platform, did say that she believes there should be exceptions to abortion — but agreed with Black that it should be left up to states to decide them.
When asked about the “forcible rape” exemption she voted for last year, Blackburn ended an interview with a reporter, saying she wanted to look at the bill again and would respond later.
Her subsequent statement said: “The bottom line is that the language was clarified through the legislative process to end taxpayer funding of abortions with clear exceptions to rape, incest, and preserving the life of the mother.