Unlike any previous major party platform, the final draft of the 2016 Democratic platform explicitly calls for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion except in cases of rape, incest and the life of the mother.
A press release from the Democratic Party on Saturday proudly announced, “The platform goes further than previous Democratic platforms on women’s reproductive rights. It champions Planned Parenthood health centers and commits to push back on all Republican efforts to defund it.”
“The platform also vows to oppose, and seek to overturn, all federal and state laws that impede a woman’s access to abortion, including by repealing the Hyde Amendment,” the press release stated.
A statement from Clinton campaign senior policy advisor Maya Harris said: “for the first time, the Democratic Party platform explicitly calls for repealing the Hyde Amendment, which restricts access to women’s reproductive rights, particularly low-income women and women of color.”
For the first time, #DemPlatform explicitly calls for repealing the Hyde Amendment, which restricts women’s access to reproductive rights.
— Maya Harris (@mayaharris_) June 26, 2016
In 1996, when Bill Clinton successfully ran for re-election, the Democratic platform at the time said the party’s “goal is to make abortion less necessary and more rare.” The platform featured identical language in 2000, when Clinton vice-president Al Gore ran as the Democratic presidential nominee.
In 2004, the party platform said, “Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.” Current Secretary of State John Kerry was the party’s nominee that year.
In 2008, with Barack Obama as the nominee, the party platform dropped the word “rare” from it’s position on abortion, stating: “The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.” The 2012 platform featured identical language.
The final draft of the platform, which was written by the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee, will go before the full Platform Committee for final approval on July 8 and 9 before being presented for ratification at the Democratic National Convention later that month.
Follow Peter Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson