August 21st, 2012
03:05 PM ET
(CNN) – Top Democrats on Tuesday pounced on news that Republicans adopted as part of their party platform a call for a constitutional ban on abortion and sought to tie the controversial policy plank to Mitt Romney’s campaign.
In a conference call with reporters, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz asserted that the measure, which does not provide an exception for pregnancies that result from rape and incest, “was written at the direction of the Romney campaign.”
“This is just another example of a Republican Party led by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan whose policies on women’s health are dangerously wrong,” Wasserman Schultz said.
“That is something that is important to a number of women and the people in their lives,” the campaign official said.
The language was, in fact, not written at the direction of the Romney campaign, though Democrats point out that the chairman of the platform committee that approved the language is Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia, a top Romney surrogate. But the presumptive Republican nominee has pledged that he favors a rape and incest exception to laws prohibiting abortions.
His running mate, Paul Ryan, has opposed exceptions for rape though the Wisconsin congressman now says he defers to Romney's position.
The vote among the GOP's official platform committee to endorse the so-called "human life amendment" took place earlier Tuesday in Tampa where Romney will be officially nominated next week.
While the policy plank is similar to that in previous Republican Party platforms, the Tampa vote is magnified given the this week’s controversy over Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin’s comments regarding rape and pregnancy that have Republicans calling for him to step aside.
“It’s time for Mitt Romney to stand up for women, he should unequivocally denounce the Human Life Amendment in the Republican platform,” said Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Keenan joined Wasserman Schultz on the media call.
- CNN's Dan Lothian contributed to this repot