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‘This Effort Falls Woefully Short’—Christian Leaders Denounce 2024 Republican Party Platform for Compromising on Abortion

Republican Party Platform
L: Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael Whatley, speaking with attendees at The People's Convention at Huntington Place in Detroit, Michigan. Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons. R: Co-Chair of the Republican National Committee, Lara Trump, in Duluth, Minnesota, June 20, 2018. DougCoulter, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The 2024 Republican Party Platform, which the Republican National Committee (RNC) adopted Monday, July 8, has drawn sharp criticism from Christian leaders for softening the party’s stance against abortion. The platform comes from presidential candidate and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump and has also received criticism for the process by which the RNC adopted it.

“Party platforms should be aspirational and communicate the highest principles guiding those who seek to lead our nation. This effort falls woefully short of that standard,” said Brent Leatherwood, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), in a social media post Tuesday morning.

In an July 8 op-ed for Religion News Service written prior to the platform’s adoption, Leatherwood said, “To abandon the party’s pro-life commitments just as the abortion regime has been knocked on its heels would be nothing short of political malpractice.”

2024 Republican Party Platform Makes Waves

In addition to publishing the platform of the Republican Party of the United States, the RNC presides over the activities of the party and organizes fundraising, campaign strategies, and the party’s national convention. 

The Republican National Convention will take place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from July 15-18, and at that event the party will officially select its nominee for president. Donald Trump is the presumptive nominee, and his newly-approved platform is expected to be adopted at the convention as well next week.

“Only President Trump can restore our economy, restore our Southern Border, and restore America’s standing in the world,” said RNC Chairman Michael Whatley and RNC Co-Chair Lara Trump in a press release about the RNC approval of the platform. “His 2024 Republican Party Platform is a bold roadmap that will undo the devastating damage that Joe Biden’s far-left policies have done to this country, power President Trump to a historic victory in November, and Make America Great Again.”  

The 2024 Republican Party Platform leads with Trump’s slogan, “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!,” and is dedicated to “the Forgotten Men and Women of America.” The document expounds on 20 points listed in the RNC’s press release. 

A section titled, “Republicans Will Protect and Defend a Vote of the People, from within the States, on the Issue of Life,” says the following: 

We proudly stand for families and Life. We believe that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees that no person can be denied Life or Liberty without Due Process, and that the States are, therefore, free to pass Laws protecting those Rights. After 51 years, because of us, that power has been given to the States and to a vote of the People. We will oppose Late Term Abortion, while supporting mothers and policies that advance Prenatal Care, access to Birth Control, and IVF (fertility treatments).

This is a major change to the Republican Party’s platform, which had remained the same since 2016 after the party skipped updating it in 2020. The 2016 platform said, “We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to children before birth.”