Photo credit: Erik Drost via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Photo credit: Erik Drost via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

After the controversy surrounding the vote over the convention rules on day one of the 2016 Republican National Convention, delegates passed what some are describing as the strongest platform in decades.

“The pro-life wording of the platform is the strongest that it has ever been in the history of the Republican Party, calling for both a federal ban on abortions after 20 weeks and an end to Planned Parenthood funding. The platform also endorses the First Amendment Defense Act, calling for religious freedom protections for gay marriage dissenters,” Terry Schilling, executive director of American Principles Project said in a released statement.

“These critical planks in the platform signal to Republican candidates across the country — go on the attack. Highlight the Democrats’ heinous support for abortion up to the moment of birth. Showcase the Democrats’ willingness to discriminate against Christian businesses, organizations, and charities for the sake of staying in good graces with the most radical sections of the LGBT agenda. Ask the tough questions, and don’t give an inch. The Democrats aren’t often forced to play defense on the social issues. That’s about to change,” Schilling added.

“The Republican platform has always been strong when it comes to protecting unborn children, their mothers, and the conscience rights of pro-life Americans. The platform ratified (Monday) takes that stand from good to great. Firstly, it is reflective of Donald Trump’s pro-life policy commitments to appoint pro-life Justices, to advocate for and sign into law the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and to defund America’s largest abortion business Planned Parenthood,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of Susan B. Anthony List said in a released statement.

“The platform committee went on offense to call out Democrat extremism on abortion, adding language calling for both federal and state laws stopping late-term abortions after five months, abortions based on disability, and abortions for the purpose of sex-selection. The platform also seeks to strengthen protections for babies born alive after a failed abortion and addresses dismemberment abortions, the baby body parts trade, and informed consent issues raised by the undercover videos released last year by the Center for Medical Progress. Notably, Republicans moved to advocate for the codification of the Hyde Amendment, longstanding bipartisan legislation which protects the conscience rights of taxpayers by ensuring public funds are not used for abortion on-demand. The new Democratic Party platform, on the other hand, supports repeal of this consensus policy,” she added.

Below are some excerpts of the text of the platform:

It offered language on monetary policy:

Because the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decisions affect job creation, upward mobility for workers, and equitable prosperity, they should be transparent. Similarly, the Federal Reserve’s important role as a lender of last resort should also be carried out in a more transparent manner. The Republican Party will advance legislation that brings transparency and accountability to the Federal Reserve, the Federal Open Market Committee, and the Federal Reserve’s dealing with foreign banks.

The first step is through an annual audit of the Federal Reserve’s activities. Such an audit would need to be carefully implemented so that the Federal Reserve remains insulated from political pressures and its decisions are based on sound economic principles and sound money rather than political pressures for easy money and loose credit.

Determined to crush the double-digit inflation that was part of the Carter Administration’s economic legacy, President Reagan, shortly after his inauguration, established a commission to consider the feasibility of a metallic basis for U.S. currency. In 2012, facing the task of cleaning up the wreckage of the current Administration’s policies, we proposed a similar commission to investigate ways to set a fixed value for the dollar.

With Republican leadership, the House of Representatives has passed legislation to set up just such a commission. We recommend its enactment by the full Congress and the commission’s careful consideration of ways to secure the integrity of our currency. (pg. 7)

The fundamental role of government:

In a free society, the primary role of government is to protect the God-given, inalienable rights of its citizens. These constitutional rights are not negotiable for any American. We affirm that all legislation, regulation, and official actions must conform to the Constitution’s original meaning as understood at the time the language was adopted. (pg. 9-10)

Keeping judges in check:

We believe in the constitutional checks and balances and that the Founders intended the judiciary to be the weakest branch. We encourage Congress to use the check of impeachment for judges who unconstitutionally usurp Article I powers. (pg. 10)

Reclaiming power of Congress from the bureaucratic state:

We call on Congress to begin reclaiming its constitutional powers from the bureaucratic state by requiring that major new federal regulations be approved by Congress before they can take effect, such as through the Regulation Freedom Amendment. We further affirm that courts should interpret laws as written by Congress rather than allowing executive agencies to rewrite those laws to suit administration priorities. (pg. 10)

Reaffirm traditional marriage:

Traditional marriage and family, based on marriage between one man and one woman, is the foundation for a free society and has for millennia been entrusted with rearing children and instilling cultural values. We condemn the Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Windsor, which wrongly removed the ability of Congress to define marriage policy in federal law. We also condemn the Supreme Court’s lawless ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which in the words of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, was a “judicial Putsch” — full of “silly extravagances” — that reduced “the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Storey to the mystical aphorisms of a fortune cookie.” In Obergefell, five unelected lawyers robbed 320 million Americans of their legitimate constitutional authority to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The Court twisted the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment beyond recognition. To echo Scalia, we dissent. We, therefore, support the appointment of justices and judges who respect the constitutional limits on their power and respect the authority of the states to decide such fundamental social questions. (pg. 11)

Protecting religious liberty:

We pledge to defend the religious beliefs and rights of conscience of all Americans and to safeguard religious institutions against government control. We endorse the First Amendment Defense Act, Republican legislation in the House and Senate which will bar government discrimination against individuals and businesses for acting on the belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. This Act would protect the non-profit tax status of faith-based adoption agencies, the accreditation of religious educational institutions, the grants and contracts of faith-based charities and small businesses, and the licensing of religious professions — all of which are under assault by elements of the Democratic Party. We encourage every state to pass similar legislation. We likewise endorse the efforts of Republican state legislators and governors who have defied intimidation from corporations and the media in defending religious liberty. We support laws to confirm the longstanding American tradition that religious individuals and institutions can educate young people, receive government benefits, and participate in public debates without having to check their religious beliefs at the door…

…We support the right of the people to conduct their businesses in accordance with their religious beliefs and condemn public officials who have proposed boycotts against businesses that support traditional marriage. We pledge to protect those business owners who have been subjected to hate campaigns, threats of violence, and other attempts to deny their civil rights.  (pg. 11-12)

Protecting human life:

The Constitution’s guarantee that no one can “be deprived of life, liberty or property” deliberately echoes the Declaration of Independence’s proclamation that “all” are “endowed by their Creator” with the inalienable right to life. Accordingly, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to children before birth.

We oppose the use of public funds to perform or promote abortion or to fund organizations, like Planned Parenthood, so long as they provide or refer for elective abortions or sell fetal body parts rather than provide healthcare. We urge all states and Congress to make it a crime to acquire, transfer, or sell fetal tissues from elective abortions for research, and we call on Congress to enact a ban on any sale of fetal body parts. In the meantime, we call on Congress to ban the practice of misleading women on so-called fetal harvesting consent forms, a fact revealed by a 2015 investigation. We will not fund or subsidize healthcare that includes abortion coverage…

…The Democratic Party is extreme on abortion. Democrats’ almost limitless support for abortion, and their strident opposition to even the most basic restrictions on abortion, put them dramatically out of step with the American people. Because of their opposition to simple abortion clinic safety procedures, support for taxpayer-funded abortion, and rejection of pregnancy resource centers that provide abortion alternatives, the old Clinton mantra of “safe, legal, and rare” has been reduced to just “legal.” We are proud to be the party that protects human life and offers real solutions for women.

They also affirmed parental sovereignty in education, and rejected one-size-fits-all approaches for our nation’s classrooms:

Parents are a child’s first and foremost educators, and have primary responsibility for the education of their children. Parents have a right to direct their children’s education, care, and upbringing. We support a constitutional amendment to protect that right from interference by states, the federal government, or international bodies such as the United Nations. We reject a onesize-fits-all approach to education and support a broad range of choices for parents and children at the state and local level. We likewise repeat our longstanding opposition to the imposition of national standards and assessments, encourage the parents and educators who are implementing alternatives to Common Core, and congratulate the states which have successfully repealed it. Their education reform movement calls for choice-based, parent-driven accountability at every stage of schooling. It affirms higher expectations for all students and rejects the crippling bigotry of low expectations. It recognizes the wisdom of local control of our schools and it wisely sees consumer rights in education — choice — as the most important driving force for renewing education. It rejects excessive testing and “teaching to the test” and supports the need for strong assessments to serve as a tool so teachers can tailor teaching to meet student needs. (pg. 33)

They also addressed President Obama’s redefining of Title IX.

We emphatically support the original, authentic meaning of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. It affirmed that “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” That language opened up for girls and women a world of opportunities that had too often been denied to them. That same provision of law is now being used by bureaucrats — and by the current President of the United States — to impose a social and cultural revolution upon the American people by wrongly redefining sex discrimination to include sexual orientation or other categories. Their agenda has nothing to do with individual rights; it has everything to do with power. They are determined to reshape our schools — and our entire society — to fit the mold of an ideology alien to America’s history and traditions. Their edict to the states concerning restrooms, locker rooms, and other facilities is at once illegal, dangerous, and ignores privacy issues. We salute the several states which have filed suit against it. (pg. 34)

The entire platform can be read below:

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