On the debate stage Thursday night, Florida Senator Marco Rubio denied that he ever supported allowing rape victims access to abortions. After Fox News moderator Megyn Kelly noted that Rubio introduced a 2013 bill banning abortions after 20 weeks that included an exception for rape or incest victims, Rubio shot back:
I have never said that, and I have never advocated that. I have advocated that we pass a law that says all human life at every stage of development is worthy of protection.
Given a chance to clarify his stance on Friday, Rubio doubled down, telling CNN’s Chris Cuomo:
I think both of those instances [rape and incest] are horrifying, and fortunately, they’re extremely rare. It happens, and any time it happens, it’s horrifying, it’s a tragedy. But I personally and honestly and deeply believe that all human life is worthy of protection, irrespective of the circumstances in which that human life was created. I personally believe that you do not correct one tragedy with another.
Just to be clear, Marco Rubio’s position is that if a woman who is raped becomes pregnant, she should be compelled by the state to give birth to the rapist’s child. If an incest victim becomes pregnant, Rubio believes she should be required by law to carry her pregnancy to term.
Rubio’s extreme stance on abortion put him firmly in the Todd Akin-Richard Mourdock wing of the Republican Party. In Rubio’s opinion, rape and incest are awful things, but no so awful that a woman should have the right to choose whether or not to terminate her pregnancy. No, for Rubio and other Republicans like him, it is the state’s job to decide that the woman has an obligation to give birth to the rapist’s baby.
Rubio’s “anti-choice even for rape and incest victims” position can be dressed up in pious rhetoric and syrupy bromides about the “sanctity of life”, but that doesn’t change the fact that he favors state mandated compulsory childbirth for rape victims who become pregnant.
Despite all his rhetoric in favor of limited government, Marco Rubio supports government enforced childbirth for rape and incest victims who get pregnant through no fault of their own. Rubio’s position is extreme, but today’s Republican Party is an extremist party, so his position is probably in line with that of GOP primary voters. Just understand what his position is, because if he wins the GOP primary he will do his best to shift gears and hide his contempt for women in a general election.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.