August 22, 2012

MEMO TO REPORTERS: Tommy Thompson Wrote The "Akin Plank" Into The 2000 GOP Platform, Will He Still Support It?

This week, Tommy Thompson reversed himself and called on Missouri senate candidate Todd Akin to drop out of the race over his comments on women's health. Yet Tommy Thompson has a history of supporting the same absolutist view on women's health that Akin was arguing for when he made those comments.

In 2000, in fact, Thompson helped author the Republican Party Platform including a Constitutional amendment banning abortions including cases of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is at risk. Will Thompson go to the convention in Tampa next week and endorse the platform that contains the "Akin" plank or will he try to run away from his record of supporting the most extreme views on women's health?

"Next week, Tommy Thompson will attend the GOP convention, where they will endorse an anti-choice platform almost identical to the one he wrote in 2000, and Tommy is going to face questions over whether or not he still supports his original position that abortion should be banned with no exceptions," Democratic Party of Wisconsin Executive Director Maggie Brickerman said Wednesday. "It is not enough for Secretary Thompson to distance himself from Todd Akin's political future. For the sake of Wisconsin's women, he must also distance himself from the extreme views he helped write into the Republican Party's platform and which exist to this day."

BACKGROUND

Monday: Republican Tommy Thompson, who is running for the U.S. Senate in Wisconsin, said whether Akin drops out of the race is up to him and voters in Missouri.

Tuesday: Thompson initially said it was up to Akin on whether to stay in the race, but Tuesday he called on him to step down.

Will Thompson take “moral responsibility” to oppose Republican Platform?

Monday: "Regardless of gender or party, we all have a moral responsibility to come together in opposition to crimes against women and support an exception for abortion in the abhorrent situations where rape is involved," Thompson said.

Tuesday: Republicans drafting their party's official policy platform on Tuesday ratified a call for a Constitutional ban on abortion that makes no exceptions for rape or incest.

Has Thompson’s position changed since he drafted the 2000 GOP platform?

Thompson Included A Constitutional Amendment Banning Abortions Even In Cases Of Rape, Incest, And Life Of The Mother While Drafting The 2000 Republican Party Platform. The Capital Times reported that Thompson moved away from his more moderate pro-life stance in 2000: “Not long after he uttered those words, Bush made Thompson the idea man  tapping the four-term governor to chair the committee charged with drawing up the 2000 Republican platform…The current plank pledges Republicans will appoint only judges opposed to protecting reproductive rights, who favor blocking any taxpayer funding of abortions and who will punish doctors who perform abortions. It also supports a constitutional amendment banning abortion even in cases where rape, incest and a threat to the life of the mother are involved.” [Capital Times, 7/29/2000]