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Southern Baptist President Slams GOP Over Abortion Backpedal: 'Platform May Be Subject to Change, But God's Word Is Not'

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The newly elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention was one of those raising an outcry after the Republican Party took a giant step away from the pro-life plank of its party platform Monday.

“I am disheartened by what’s happened in the GOP,” Clint Pressley posted Tuesday on social media platform X. “The GOP platform may be subject to change, but God’s word is not.

“Southern Baptists ‘contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death’ and will insist that elected officials do the same,” added Pressley, who has pastored Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, for 14 years.

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Pressley was elected president of the SBC in June.

With the Republican National Convention just one week away, the platform committee on Monday swiftly approved a streamlined platform that focused on securing the nation’s southern border, restoring energy dominance and rebuilding a strong military.

Notably absent, however, was any kind of strong statement in support of abortion restrictions.

Some complained that the platform had been decided upon before committee members even arrived at the session.

Should the GOP have taken a stronger stance on abortion in its 2024 platform?

“I’ve been coming to these conventions since 1992, and this is the first time we don’t have a pro-life platform,” Gail Ruzicka, an RNC platform committee member from Utah, told an interviewer.

“It’s never happened before,” she said. “There was no committees. We always had subcommittees, where we could go in and work on a section of the platform, we can propose amendments, debate them, and add them — always happens. I’ve done that many times.

“They didn’t allow any amendments. They didn’t allow any discussion.

“They rolled us. That’s what they did. You know, I spent thousands of dollars to be here, and everything they told us they were going to do … none of it happened.”

She added: “I’ve never seen this happen before. I don’t understand why they did it, and I’m extremely disappointed that we do not have any pro-life language.

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Ruzicka did acknowledge that “there are good things in this platform.”

“There are a lot things in there that I support, and that I would want,” she said.

But she said she didn’t vote for it because of its watered-down stance on abortion.

“The platform simply says that ‘we oppose late-term abortion.’ Well, what about before that? … It doesn’t even mention the unborn baby at all.”

Ruzicka also noted that the unprecedented nature of this haste: “It never happened before. And I’ve never been treated so badly, to have them force this vote on us before we even had a chance to read the platform.

“They gave it to us, but then they had a meeting, with people speaking, so we glanced through it. We didn’t have time to study it and read it, and then all of a sudden somebody made a motion to vote on the platform. That was it, and they sent us home, and said, ‘well, goodbye!'”

At least some pro-lifers said the GOP’s move could impact the way they vote.

“I have repeatedly stated, for years, that I wouldn’t vote for any politician who supports killing unborn children. Not even a dog catcher,” Pastor Mike Stone of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Blackshear, Georgia, said in a post on X.

“I have ZERO intention to start in 2024.”


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Lorri Wickenhauser has worked at news organizations in California and Arizona. She joined The Western Journal in 2021.
Lorri Wickenhauser has worked at news organizations in California and Arizona. She joined The Western Journal in 2021.




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