News Politics

A Pro-Choice GOP Voice at the Convention?

Robin Marty

While most of the attendees embrace a no exceptions abortion plank, some Republicans find themselves left out in the cold.

It’s a lonely time to be the co-chair of Republicans for Planned Parenthood, but Nebraskan Randy Moore felt his voice was imperative at this year’s Republican National Convention, at the very least to remind the party of where they once stood.

Via the Omaha World Herald:

Nebraska Republican Randy Moody came to Tampa this week to offer a voice of dissent to the strong anti-abortion rights platform the Republican National Convention adopted.

Moody was among the speakers at a protest rally today held close to the convention hall. Moody said that when a woman seeks birth control or cancer screenings at a Planned Parenthood clinic, she’s acting on Republican principles of personal responsibility and that the government should have no role in a woman’s decision of how to respond to an unintended pregnancy.

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To Moody, reproductive health care is something both parties should be concerned about. “I really think women’s health is not a partisan issue, and I think it’s very important that there be another voice,” he told the paper.

Moody spent his time at the convention trying to add a pro-choice plank to the GOP platform, one that would reaffirm a woman’s right to an abortion as well as access to other reproductive health care. Some of his neighbors, however, weren’t impressed by his claims that he represented the “majority of Republicans that still believe in personal freedom and individual responsibility.” One local letter writer admonished his statement, saying:

I am a Republican and I most certainly am not “out of step” with the majority of Republicans and American people on this issue. Planned Parenthood is a despicable organization, which makes money from killing unborn children….I am thoroughly disgusted that this person thinks he is representing me or any of my Republican friends or family at the Republican convention.

Is there a silent majority out there of Republicans who believe in reproductive rights and are they beginning to recognize this as a watershed moment to prod the GOP back into believing government should limit its involvement in personal lives? Or will partisanship continue to cloud the issue? The recent Republicans for Choice endorsment of Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown is a signal that could be interpreted either way. 

The group has announced their backing of the incumbent senator, despite the fact that he was endorsed as a “pro-life vote” by Massachusetts Citizens Concerned for Life,” claiming that Brown’s decision to urge the GOP to be more accepting of pro-choice Republicans outweighs his votes against health care reform or letting employers veto providing no co-pay contraceptive coverage.

“We commend Senator Brown for bravely calling on the Republican Party to promote a big tent platform that welcomes the pro-choice point of view,” said Susan Bevan, co-chair of the group. “From standing up for fiscally responsible Planned Parenthood funding to protecting the Title X family planning program, Senator Brown has been a strong advocate for the pro-choice perspective in Washington.”

Perhaps more Republicans are verbally standing up for reproductive rights, but how many will be just as willing to put their actions behind their words?

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