NEW YORK — The Republican Party is running a debate that has become one of the biggest test of its position on abortion.
The debate, hosted by CNN and moderated by Anderson Cooper, is a chance for the candidates to talk about their positions on abortion and contraception, but the GOP’s stance on both has been a subject of much debate.
The GOP’s position on both is a big topic of debate.
On abortion, candidates will be allowed to make their positions known on the debate stage, which is where debate moderators will ask questions.
“It’s a very important issue to have on the Republican side,” said Laura Rozen, who serves as co-chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s pro-choice caucus.
“We’re talking about abortion all the time, and it’s very important to us to be able to have this debate.
We’re trying to keep our pro-life caucus on the same page, which I think is really important.”
The first-in-the-nation primary is Aug. 5, with the winner picking up delegates at the Republican National Convention.
Ahead of the debate, candidates were allowed to participate in other debates, but none were televised.
GOP frontrunner Donald Trump was the only candidate who was allowed to attend the debate on Thursday night.
But a CNN spokesperson told NBC News that the network was not allowing the Republican Party to broadcast the debate because the candidates were not invited to participate.
While the GOP has had its abortion stance debated on the campaign trail, it has yet to make a final call on whether to back a ban on abortion after 20 weeks.
Several Republican governors and some Republican lawmakers have called for abortion rights to be restored to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the party’s stance has changed.
Republicans have been more vocal about abortion rights than Democrats in recent years, but they have generally maintained that they are pro-woman.
On the other side of the issue, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has made abortion a centerpiece of his campaign.
He supports the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding for abortions after 20-week, and he has proposed a number of new regulations that would allow abortion providers to use ambulatory surgical centers to perform abortions.
However, the Democratic presidential nominee has been less explicit about abortion and has also criticized GOP presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush.
In February, Sanders said abortion should be legal at 20 weeks if there is a viable fetus in the womb, a position that was later described by his running mate, Tim Kaine, as a contradiction of his platform.
Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul, who has said he believes in life before birth, has also called for ending abortion.