Walking the Abortion Plank

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: As the GOP convention draws nearer, pro-life Republicans are determined that the anti-abortion plank in their party platform will not change. But many Republicans oppose the abortion ban. An Associated Press poll discovered a wide moderate streak on abortion among Republican National Convention delegates. About 34 percent want to remove the plank supporting a constitutional amendment to outlaw abortion, while fewer than half of the delegates want to retain the controversial language. A full quarter of the delegates do not know how they stand, or didn't answer the question. The moderates may have a highly placed friend. Presumptive presidential nominee Bob Dole wants it both ways. He favors adding new language to the plank acknowledging that the issue is divisive, and welcoming both pro-life and pro-choice voters. TIME's Michael Duffy says pro-life activists like Pat Buchanan and his allies need not fear. "When abortion is concerned, the Republican right wing will get its way on both the platform and the selection of Dole's running mate." Terence Nelan