The 2024 Republican National Convention’s Platform Committee has adopted former President Donald Trump’s GOP platform, the Trump campaign announced on Monday, including new language on abortion and the protection of the unborn.

That new platform’s abortion language is a significant departure from the party’s life messaging in 2016, since it no longer calls for federal protections for unborn babies and instead suggests that the matter is up to the states. The 2016 platform included the word “abortion” 35 times, while the 2024 platform merely includes abortion once.

The new language, under the subhead, “Republicans Will Protect and Defend a Vote of the People, from within the States, on the Issue of Life,” reads:

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).

Conservatives and pro-life activists received the draft language with mixed feelings.

Trump’s attention to the pro-life movement has previously caused him to be heralded as the most pro-life president in American history, with the lasting legacy of appointing three of the Supreme Court justices who in 2022 overturned Roe v. Wade.

Trump also made history as the first president to attend the national March for Life in person, for appointing a slew of pro-life federal judges throughout his four years as president, for signing an executive order protecting infants born alive through botched abortions, and for significantly cutting Planned Parenthood’s federal funding.

According to polling released Monday by WPA Opinion Research, 62% of Republican voters said that the Republican Party platform position on life, the family, and religious liberty would affect their vote, The Washington Stand reported. Thirty-seven percent of those polled said it would impact their vote “a lot,” while 25% said it would impact the vote “just some.”

In the 2016 RNC platform, which was recycled in 2020, Republicans had emphasized the “Constitution’s guarantee that no one can ‘be deprived of life, liberty or property’” and said that this “deliberately echoes the Declaration of Independence’s proclamation that ‘all’ are ‘endowed by their Creator’ with the inalienable right to life.”

Then-President Donald Trump speaks at the 47th March for Life rally on the National Mall on Jan. 24, 2019, in Washington. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

“Accordingly, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental
right to life which cannot be infringed,” 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.”

It continued:

We oppose the use of public funds to perform or promote abortion or to fund organizations, like Planned Parenthood, so long as they provide or refer for elective abortions or sell fetal body parts rather than provide health care.

We urge all states and Congress to make it a crime to acquire, transfer, or sell fetal tissues from elective abortions for research, and we call on Congress to enact a ban on any sale of fetal body parts.

In the meantime, we call on Congress to ban the practice of misleading women on so-called fetal-harvesting consent forms, a fact revealed by a 2015 investigation. We will not fund or subsidize health care that includes abortion coverage.

Pro-life organizations appeared to cautiously celebrate the new draft GOP abortion stance in statements issued Monday.

SBA Pro-Life America said it is “important that the GOP reaffirmed its commitment to protect unborn life today through the 14th Amendment.”

“Under this amendment, it is Congress that enacts and enforces its provisions. The Republican Party remains strongly pro-life at the national level,” the organization’s president, Marjorie Dannenfelser, said in a statement. “The mission of the pro-life movement, for the next six months, must be to defeat the Biden-Harris extreme abortion agenda.”

“The platform allows us to provide the winning message to 10 million voters, with four million visits at the door in key battleground states,” she added. “We are educating voters on the Biden-Harris promotion of abortion for any reason even in the seventh, eighth, or ninth month. We contrast that with protecting the states’ ability to create consensus pro-life laws and provide compassionate options for women and children.”

Students for Life President Kristan Hawkins issued a similar statement, highlighting enthusiasm for the GOP platform’s mention of the 14th Amendment while mentioning a “new deal” with Trump.

“From the day that Roe v. Wade’s corrupt legacy came to an end, the Pro-Life Generation has called for acknowledgment that the 14th Amendment protects all lives—in and out of the womb,” Hawkins said. “The most significant contribution that the GOP platform makes for LIFE comes in celebrating the fact that the 14th Amendment ‘guarantees’ legal protection for the preborn.”

“While it’s true that state legislators are now welcomed into this fight for life, the end of Roe actually means that all our elected leaders—local, state, and federal—can now engage on the human rights issue of the day,” she added. “Next up: We are still waiting for President Trump’s new deal with the Pro-Life movement, but given the state focus of this platform, we are asking President Trump to call for Republican voters to reject the extreme, late-term abortion ballot initiatives across the country, beginning in Florida where he visits tomorrow.”