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Trump Presses G.O.P. for Platform Draft That Softens Stance on Abortion

Trump Presses G.O.P. for Platform Draft That Softens Stance on Abortion

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Donald J. Trump told officials on Monday that he supports a draft of a new Republican Party platform, one that reflects the presumptive nominee’s new position on abortion rights and slims down policy specifics across all areas of government.

The draft platform, as described to The New York Times by people briefed on it, cements Mr. Trump’s ideological takeover of the G.O.P. The platform is even more nationalistic, more protectionist and less socially conservative than the 2016 Republican platform that was duplicated in the 2020 election.

Mr. Trump has had the draft for several days and called into a meeting of party officials on Monday and said that he supports it.

The abortion section has been softened. There is no longer a reference to “traditional marriage” as between “one man and one woman.” And there is no longer an emphasis on reducing the national debt, only a brief line about “slashing wasteful government spending.” The rest of the document reflects Mr. Trump’s priorities as outlined on his campaign website: A hard-line immigration policy, including mass deportations; a protectionist trade policy with new tariffs on most imports; and sections on using federal power to remove allegedly left-wing ideas from academia, the military and wherever else they may be found in the U.S. government.

Mr. Trump and his top aides have alienated some activists by shutting them out of the development of the platform. The former president was especially focused on softening the language on abortion — the issue he views as his biggest vulnerability in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.

A Trump campaign spokesman did not respond to an email seeking comment.

The section on protecting human life has been significantly watered down in the 2024 draft platform. In the 2016 and 2020 platform, that section included extensive specific details about what the Republican Party would do to limit abortions, including supporting a federal ban on abortion after 20 weeks. It stated that “the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed.”

The 2024 draft platform, as described to The Times, is called “America First: A Return to Common Sense,” and softens that abortion language and shifts the issue from one of conscience to a matter best handled by the states. “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,” the draft platform reads.

The document makes no mention of a federal abortion ban, which Mr. Trump has said he opposes. Instead, the new platform stresses that Republicans oppose “late term abortion” and emphasizes that the party supports “access to birth control, and IVF (fertility treatments).”

The new platform language also affirms Mr. Trump’s position on Medicare and Social Security as the Republican Party’s stance, saying that Mr. Trump “will not cut one penny” from either program. The 2016 platform, in contrast, stated, “We reject the old maxim that Social Security is the ‘Third Rail’ of American politics” and that “all options should be considered to preserve Social Security.”

The platform appears explicitly geared toward winning in 2024 rather than outlining a broader vision for the Republican Party. The first two chapters are devoted to the issues that Mr. Trump wants to make central to this race: inflation and immigration.

The platform committee is meeting in Milwaukee on Monday ahead of the full convention next week. The committee must vote on the new language. If the committee approves it, the platform go to a full vote next week.



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