During Fox New's "America Live" on Tuesday, Megyn Kelly hosted a lively panel to debate whether GOP pressure would force Missouri Senatorial candidate Todd Akin to withdraw from the race.
While Akin has vowed to stay in the Senatorial race, Republican strategist Ed Rollins argued that he stands no chance to win and his support within the GOP will continue to fall in the wake of his controversial "legitimate rape" remarks. He added that Akin could also hurt Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's chances of winning Missouri in the 2012 election.
But the topic eventually raised the question: Are abortion exceptions, or a lack thereof, officially part of the Republican party platform?
Fox News contributor Julie Roginsky said that the Republican party has now "adopted a platform that says there is no exception for abortion, even in cases of rape and incest -- that is very far out of the mainstream." She also said it is fair to link Akin's comments to the Romney/Ryan ticket because Paul Ryan previously co-sponsored legislation with Akin that created different categories of rape by using the phrase "forcible rape."
Thus started the debate over whether the Republican party’s official platform included an exception on its abortion stance when it came to instances of rape, incest, or pregnancies that threatened the life of the mother.
"At the end of the day, our party has always had exception for rape, incest and life of the mother. And I, for one, am appalled that they’re trying to change that at this point in time," Rollins said.
"Let me just jump in on that," Kelly chimed in, "because I want to clarify. So, you’re right, it hasn’t been the official platform of the Republican party; it’s been suggested by a committee and then has to be approved. Same thing with gay marriage on the Democratic side."
Kelly went on: "But, what I was told was that this has been part of the Republican platform for like twenty years. That they are against abortion, and that John McCain, last time around, wanted to be more clear about the fact that the platform said 'except in cases of rape or incest.'"
Rollins then clarified that "it started with Reagan" who he says upheld the previously mentioned exceptions and did not attempt to differentiate between different "sorts" of rape.
Trying to act as a voice of reason, Kelly later explained that just as Obama supports same-sex marriage personally but not officially, Romney may have a personal belief when it comes to abortion that may not be his official campaign position. Either way, Romney's opponents will almost certainly try to tie him to Akin's comments, even though he has come out and strongly condemned his remarks.
Watch the entire Fox News segment via Mediaite here: