GOP leader doesn't even know his party's official position on abortion


Kevin McCarthy mistakenly claimed that the Republican Party platform allows exceptions for rape and incest if abortion is banned.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Thursday that the Republican Party platform allows for abortion in cases of "rape, incest, or life of the mother."

It does no such thing.

"I defend my pro-life position for my whole political career," McCarthy said during his weekly press conference, responding to a question about the draconian first-trimester abortion bans recently passed in Alabama, Georgia, and Missouri. "But in my whole political career I also believed in rape, incest, or life of the mother. There was exceptions. That's exactly what Republicans have voted on in this House, that's what our platform says, and I believe that's the point of what you find, many of us, is where we stand."

But that isn't what the Republican Party platform says.

"We assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed," reads the platform, which was adopted at the 2016 Republican Convention.

The document does not call for bans on abortion to include any exceptions for rape, incest, or saving a pregnant woman's life, despite what McCarthy claimed.

In fact, the document also pushed for a so-called "human life" amendment to the Constitution, which would extend constitutional protections to fertilized eggs. This would not only undercut abortion rights, but could also outlaw in vitro fertilization (IVF) and many forms of birth control.

The Republican leader was also not telling the truth when he characterized abortion legislation that Republicans have supported in the House. In 2015, for instance, McCarthy's party proposed an abortion ban that only made an exception for rape victims if they reported their attack to the police.

Like Trump and other congressional Republicans, McCarthy also repeated the slanderous lie that Democrats want to legalize "infanticide."

"I've watched [Democrats] not stand up against infanticide," McCarthy said, mentioning women's health legislation in states like New York and Virginia.

That's not true. Legislation passed by Democrats in these states simply makes it easier for doctors to use their best medical judgment in dangerous circumstances when a woman needs to get an abortion late in pregnancy to protect her health.

The rhetoric used by McCarthy and his fellow Republicans is dangerous and inflammatory, and is likely to encourage extremists who threaten communities across the country.

McCarthy also scolded House Democrats for not supporting a bill he claimed would protect "born-alive" infants. In reality, however, it's an unnecessary bill that also threatens doctors with prison if they don't follow its vague and unscientific guidelines.

The Republican Party is determined to take away women's reproductive rights and criminalize doctors for doing their jobs. McCarthy's ignorance and double speak can't cover that up.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.