(We wish Nancy Luther a speedy recovery from her recent illness. – promoted by Paul R. Ferro)
Last week State Committeewoman Nancy Luther published an op-ed in the Boston Globe concerning the 2014 MassGOP Platform. As others have said, she is certainly entitled to her opinion but not to her own facts. As such, I wrote a slightly shorter response and submitted it to the Globe. As expected, it did not see print but now that I’m finally back home from our Convention, here is a version of what I submitted last Monday.
Nancy Luther, my Republican State Committee colleague, has unfortunately recently misled your readers. Undoubtedly, Nancy had the best of intentions with her opinion but the facts contradict her assertions. Nancy wrote that the MassGOP State Committee voted “to insert language against safe, legal abortion and marriage equality into the party’s platform.” Nancy’s statement sounds ominous, but it is far from what was actually voted upon. The 2014 Massachusetts Republican Party Platform simply states that “Informed by the essential guarantees of the Declaration of Independence, we affirm the inherent dignity and sanctity of human life. We believe that every instance of abortion is tragic. We advocate policies that will assist a woman during a crisis pregnancy.” It’s disheartening to see one of our own sow the seeds of division ahead of what should be a united State Convention.
I’ve served on the State Committee since 2007 and I have worked closely with Nancy Luther on various subcommittees. We served together on the 2010 MassGOP State Party Platform. I was appointed by MassGOP Chairman Kirsten Hughes to replace Nancy upon the 2014 MassGOP Platform Committee upon Luther’s resignation. The Platform Committee voted 11-to-6 to adopt the language. Despite the dissenting votes, that wording had been negotiated and agreed upon as a compromise by members of the Platform Committee, prior to my appointment. During that meeting not a single member offered an amendment to either change or strike the statement that abortions are tragic. During the full State Committee meeting, no one – including Nancy Luther, as she was one of the 11 members absent – offered any amendment to the Platform. The document was adopted by a vote of 52-to-16. The Platform was supported by 76% of the MassGOP State Committee.
The MassGOP Issues Committee has not taken a position on abortion and I know of no anti-abortion bills being sponsored by the Massachusetts Republican Legislative Caucus. My memory of MassGOP Platforms extends back to 1998 but the document adopted that year was far more pro-life when it stated that the party “strongly supports and urges a ban of ‘partial-birth abortion’ at both the state and federal levels.” Nancy Luther writes of proudly wearing a “Republicans for Choice” pin, yet in at the 2006 MassGOP Convention it was those very same pro-abortion Republicans who were allowed access to our Convention when pro-life Republicans were literally locked out of Lowell’s Tsongas Arena.
No political party Platform will ever be accepted by 100% of its members. I have disagreements with some of the wording but I fully embrace Ronald Reagan’s “80% Rule” which states that someone who agrees with you 80% of the time is a friend and an ally. As I stated at last month’s meeting, a Platform is a statement of our Party’s principles and highest ideals and I can accept it well within Reagan’s 80%. Stating that all abortions are tragic is not revolutionary. Even Hillary Clinton said that abortion is a “sad, even tragic choice…” in January 2005. Nancy’s letter adopts a 20% Rule designed to ostracize those who dare disagree a radical view that believes not all life possesses inherit dignity and sanctity.
Nancy Luther has been a fixture in our party since almost before I was born. At 35, I am a member of the Abortion Generation with over 55 million lives lost since 1973. Nancy Luther is wrong to create a straw woman argument just days before our quadrennial State Convention that will do nothing but fray and splinter our Grand Old Party here in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Republican Party may risk the loss of voters but that will come to pass because there are those among us who are stoking the fires of fear and discord.
Brock N. Cordeiro
Massachusetts Republican Party Region Chairman
Massachusetts Republican State Committeeman,
Second Bristol & Plymouth State Senate District