Pence calls RNC platform changes on abortion ‘a profound disappointment’

Former Vice President Mike Pence admonished GOP leaders Tuesday for approving a 2024 party platform that significantly shifted its stance on abortion, calling on delegates to restore the previous language during next week’s national convention.

“The RNC platform is a profound disappointment to the millions of pro-life Republicans that have always looked to the Republican Party to stand for life,” Pence said in a statement through Advancing American Freedom, his advocacy group.

“Now is not the time to surrender any ground in the fight for the right to life,” he continued. “The 2024 platform removed historic pro-life principles that have long been the foundation of the platform. I urge delegates attending next week’s Republican Convention to restore language to our party’s platform recognizing the sanctity of human life and affirming that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed.”

The Republican platform committee on Monday overwhelmingly approved the new platform, which echoes former President Trump’s positions on key issues including trade, immigration and foreign policy while also doing away with specific language about traditional marriage and enacting federal limits on abortion.

“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,” the platform on abortion reads.

Trump has faced relentless political attacks from Democrats since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022. Trump appointed three of the justices whose votes triggered the overturning of the landmark ruling that had protected abortion access.

The former president has said states should be left to enact individual laws on abortion via legislatures or ballot referendums, calling it a “beautiful thing to watch” as some states enshrine abortion rights and others enact restrictive bans without exceptions.

He has also argued Republicans must weigh the political ramifications of their approach on abortion.

Pence was staunchly loyal to Trump during his four years as vice president but has since broken repeatedly with his old boss on policy matters, including on abortion, entitlement reform and support for Ukraine.

The former vice president, who ran an unsuccessful 2024 bid of his own, described the GOP platform shift on abortion as “part of a broader retreat in our party, trying to remain vague for political expedience.”

“The GOP platform may be retreating, but we in the pro-life movement never will,” Pence said. “We will continue to be a people of life, and we will not rest or relent until the sanctity of life is restored to the center of American law in every state in our land.”