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The RNC’s proposed abortion language is the same as it’s been since 1984. But this year, it comes as GOP officials called on Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., to quit his Senate bid after he made inflammatory comments about rape. Akin, asked in a local TV interview aired Sunday if he opposes abortion in cases of rape, said a woman’s body is able to prevent pregnancy in what he called a "legitimate rape."
The party’s platform says members of the GOP "assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution."
Romney’s abortion decision is also at odds with Ryan, who opposes abortion except in instances where the life of the mother is at risk. That’s closer in line with the Republican Party’s official position.
A Ryan aide downplayed the difference. "He knows he is joining the Romney ticket and the Romney administration will reflect the views of the nominee," Ryan spokesman Michael Steel told reporters traveling with Ryan from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia.
Ryan has voted for legislation that has included exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother, another spokesman said.
The decision might have passed with little notice if not for Akin, whose comments drew intense criticism and quick calls for him to step aside.
Romney called for Akin to withdraw from his race for the Senate, but not until just two hours before a state-imposed deadline and after several GOP officials, including leading social conservatives, did first. Akin said he would stay in the race, and he now has until Sept. 25 to seek a court order to take his name off the ballot.
Associated Press writer Kasie Hunt and deputy polling director Jennifer Agiesta in Washington contributed to this report.
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