New TV Ad Attacks Marco Rubio’s Anti-Abortion Stance For Zika-Infected Women
Marco Rubio is being criticized by a prominent abortion rights group for his anti-abortion views on women infected with the Zika virus. NARAL Pro-Choice America claimed that the senator from Florida is prioritizing his own agenda ahead of the health and safety of women and families.
Rubio said in August that it's "difficult" to decide whether women with Zika should be allowed to have an abortion but when it all comes down to it, the senator said that he would "err on the side of life," Politico reported. Rubio is anti-abortion in all instances even in incest and rape and has voted in 2015 for an abortion ban for women reaching the 20th week of their pregnancy.
Rubio stressed that he is "strongly pro-life" and that all human life "should be protected by our law, irrespective of the circumstances or condition of that life," Politico further reported. NARAL Pro-Choice America, a non-profit organization in the United States that opposes restrictions on abortion and expands women's access to it, is spending $175,000 for a TV ad that directly criticizes Rubio's anti-abortion stance.
Watch the ad below that is being aired in Orlando and West Palm Beach in Florida.
This is not the first time that NARAL attacked Rubio's anti-abortion views. They also released an ad targeting the senator's stance in June. Another NARAL ad accused anti-choice Republicans for inserting political play into the Zika funding issue.
Olivia Perez-Cubas, a spokeswoman for Rubio, said that the Republican senator has supported President Barack Obama's funding request to combat Zika and other Zika proposals that have reached the GOP-majority Senate. Despite this, the Senate hasn't approved new emergency spending to fight the Zika virus' spread.
Democrats in the Senate are trying to block a $1.1 billion measure that was already approved by the House, though it is lower than Obama's requested $1.9 billion. Rubio has voted for that bill that restricts women's health care funding. NARAL said Rubio voting for that bill is a sign that he is "putting his agenda ahead of the health and safety of women and families."
Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer blamed the Republicans in the Senate for the lack of a Zika funding bill. He warned that children born with the virus' complications such as microcephaly, hearing loss, eye damage, and developmental delays would incur a healthcare cost of around $10 million each, the Washington Examiner reported.
The Zika virus outbreak has already reached the U.S., with Florida currently having 577 people who got infected with Zika while traveling abroad, USA Today reported. There are 40 local Zika transmission cases over the past month as well.