Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has always maintained a strong pro-life position. Recently however, his stance regarding Zika infected children has been garnering special attention.
Rubio told Politico on Saturday:
“A lot of people disagree with my view—but I believe that all human life is worthy of protection of our laws. And when you present it in the context of Zika or any prenatal condition, it’s a difficult question and a hard one, but if I’m going to err, I’m going to err on the side of life.”
This comment comes in the midst of a political firestorm surrounding Zika prevention funding. House Democrats recently refused to pass a Republican Zika relief spending package because it did not include funds for the abortion giant Planned Parenthood, which Democrats see as essential to the Zika response.
Rubio addresses this issue in his comments, calling the Democrat argument “political volleyball.” He claims that Democrats simply did not want to pass Republican spending measures, and fell back upon this issue to evade responsibility.
“The Planned Parenthood angle is something they basically made up to have a political reason not to pass Zika so they can come back in August and campaign on it,“ Rubio said.
According to a recent Harvard STAT poll, only 23 percent of Americans are in favor of abortion access after 24 weeks of pregnancy. However, 59 percent said they supported abortion beyond 24 weeks if the baby is infected with Zika, which heightens the chance of the child being born with permanent genetic defects.
But Rubio has earned high praise from pro-life organizations for his comments. American Life League (ALL) President Judie Brown told The Daily Beast, “We agree with Senator Rubio because regardless of the alleged condition confronting a preborn child, there is never a reason to kill that child.”
Conversely, Rubio has been attacked by Planned Parenthood for his comments:
The debate over Zika funding will continue when congress reconvenes in the fall.