TAMPA, Florida — Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell defended the GOP platform committee for failing to specify an exemption for cases of rape and incest as part of an anti-abortion national right to life amendment.
The issue reached the forefront on Sunday after Rep. Todd Akin made controversial comments about "legitimate rape" not leading to pregnancy. McDonnell did condemn Akin's remarks, calling them "flat wrong."
"We have a general plank in there that affirms our belief in the God-given right to life, and that governments are instituted to protect that," McDonnell told reporters after the committee, which he chairs, completed its business on Tuesday. "The specifics, of course, are largely left up to the states."
McDonnell noted that the abortion amendment language dates back decades, in some cases, adding that the document is not designed to deal with small policy issues.
"This is a document that transcends time," he said. "It’s one that we look at to evaluate the core beliefs that the conservative party has and to try to spell those out in the document. Current events regarding who said what at any point in time don’t affect this document. Those are not related."