Sen. Marco Rubio is under attack by abortion activists because of his opposition to aborting unborn babies, including those with disabilities linked to the Zika virus.
The Tampa Bay Times reports NARAL Pro-Choice America bought $175,000 in television and online ads to attack Rubio, who is running for re-election in Florida.
In August, the pro-life Republican told Politico that he does not believe unborn babies should aborted even if they have birth defects linked to the Zika virus.
“I understand 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,” Rubio told Politico. “But if I’m going to err, I’m going to err on the side of life.”
Some studies have linked the Zika virus to the brain disorder microcephaly and other birth defects; however, newer research suggests that the virus may not be to blame. Still, abortion advocates have been using the virus as an excuse to push for more abortions on babies with disabilities. Some pro-abortion groups even have been scaring women into aborting their unborn babies without knowing if they have Zika or if their unborn baby has a disability.
Rubio also has supported federal aid bills to combat Zika in the U.S. However, pro-abortion Democrats have been blocking the bills because of a small measure prohibiting funding to a few Planned Parenthood facilities in Puerto Rico.
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Sasha Bruce, NARAL’s senior vice president for campaigns and strategy, blamed Rubio for putting women and families in Florida “at risk” by not supporting abortion.
“Women deserve a full range of health care options, including abortion, not options limited by Senator Rubio’s extreme and out-of-touch political beliefs. This is true always, but especially during a public health crisis,” Bruce told the Tampa newspaper.
Here’s more from Politico:
Rubio’s general election opponent, Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy, has attacked the senator as “extreme” on the issue. Rubio’s campaign counters that Murphy, by voting against the House Republicans’ Zika bill, has done nothing to break the partisan impasse.
“Marco was one of the first Republicans to support the president’s funding request and has supported every single Zika proposal that has come up in the Senate,” said Olivia Perez-Cubas, a spokeswoman for Rubio.
Rubio previously said of the federal aid legislation: “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. That’s what I mean by political volleyball. Both sides have played that game. I would have preferred the House just passed a clean funding bill and I’ll vote for that if it comes out.”
The Zika virus has become an increasing concern in Florida and other southern states. Currently, the Centers for Disease Control reports at least 624 pregnant women have been infected with Zika in the U.S. Five of their unborn babies died in miscarriages or abortions, while 16 other babies were born with birth defects in the U.S., the CDC reports.