Virginia Governor and Republican Convention chairman Bob McDonnell dismissed concerns that the pro-life plank in his party’s platform could lead to laws preventing women who became pregnant as a result of rape or incest from seeking abortions.
“I don't think it's any surprise that the Republican Party is the party that embraces the dignity and sanctity of life,” McDonnell said on ABC's This Week. He added, however, that the platform plank was a broad endorsement of pro-life principles, and not meant to specify what Congress and the states might do when writing legislation.
McDonnell was answered by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, chair of the Democratic National Convention, who said, “The idea that we put in our U.S. Constitution an amendment that says that women can't get an abortion even in the case of incest and rape is way beyond the mainstream.”
Ultimately, McDonnell said, the shift to focus the race on abortion was an effort by Democrats to steer away from a conversation about the economy and President Obama’s first term in office.
“This is the record, and it’s a record of [Obama’s] policies not working,” McDonnell said. “And so that’s why they want to talk about Bain Capital and abortion and tax returns.”