EWTN News: Republicans’ History on Abortion

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EDITORIAL: For the past 40 years, it’s the Republican Party that has made the right to life of the unborn child a vital part of its vision and policy for the United States.

At the recent Republican National Convention, the position of President Donald Trump’s party on the right to life of the unborn child stood in dramatic counterpoint to the abortion-rights stance on display the previous week at the Democratic National Convention that formally nominated Joe Biden.

This partisan polarity was far less evident, however, when abortion first became a significant political issue in presidential contests, beginning with the 1972 campaign, which concluded just two months before the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion nationally, courtesy of its Jan. 22, 1973, Roe v. Wade decision.

Abortion wasn’t mentioned at all in either the Republican or the Democratic Party platform in 1972. But, whereas Democratic presidential challenger George McGovern supported the right of individual states to set their own abortion policies, President Richard Nixon in May of 1972 rejected the recommendation of his President’s Commission on Population Growth for liberalized state abortion laws. He also sent a letter, drafted by his Catholic speechwriter, Pat Buchanan, to Cardinal Terence Cooke of New York, which linked the president “personally” with the cardinal’s efforts to repeal the 1970 statute that legalized abortion in the Empire State.  …

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