Republicans Amend Party Platform in NH; Now They Support "Personhood"

Posted: Sep 23, 2014 3:15 PM

Granite State Republicans have officially taken a more hard-lined stance on the issue of abortion.

The Washington Examiner reports:

The New Hampshire Republican Party amended its platform this weekend with stricter abortion provisions, including support for "personhood," which defines life as beginning at conception. Personhood has become a hot-button issue in Senate races across the country this year, such as Colorado, where Democrats have successfully attacked Rep. Cory Gardner for having supported such a measure in the past.

Now, the issue could spread to New Hampshire, following the state party's decision at its convention. The platform now states: "Support the pre-born child's fundamental right to life and personhood under the Fourteenth Amendment, and implement all Constitutional and legal protections."

It added: "Support a Life at Conception Act guaranteeing the protections of Life and Personhood to the pre-born under the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution." The platform previously used the term "unborn" rather than "pre-born," and did not refer to personhood.

So how, exactly, will this affect Republican hopeful Scott Brown, the nominee for U.S. Senate in the Granite State, who is pro-choice?

Well, a veteran GOP campaign operative in New Hampshire told the Examiner the following: "I know very few Republicans that support every plank of the platform.” Nor, of course, can they be expected to. Still, if Democrats turn this relatively insignificant news story into a campaign issue, Brown could suffer the consequences.

For instance, read this press release from the Shaheen campaign about the state GOP’s platform change:

“The message from Scott Brown and his Republican Party is disturbing, alarming and clear: they believe they should make the decisions about birth control and health care for women in New Hampshire and around the country. They are dangerously wrong, and by signing on with Tea Party extremists, they’re showing just how irresponsibly out of touch they are with the needs and rights of women.”

This is a lie. The truth is that Brown actually disagrees with his party on the issue of abortion. But of course, that won’t stop Shaheen & Co. from lumping him in with the so-called “Tea Party extremists” for political gain. This relatively minor development, then, has the potential to become a much bigger issue if and when Democrats resurrect and revive their “war on women” rhetoric. Which they will.

Thus, it is up to Brown himself to deftly neutralize these specious attacks. If he does not, I suspect he will suffer the same electoral fate in New Hampshire that Ken Cuccinelli experienced in Virginia.