U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) during the primetime GOP Debate on Fox News last week gave one of the more poignant statements during the debate about the sanctity of life. Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly said to Rubio, “You favor a rape and incest exception to abortion bans, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York just said yesterday those exception are ‘preposterous.’ He said ‘they discriminate against an entire class of human beings.’ If you believe life begins at conception, as you say you do, how do you justify ending a life just because it ends violently through no fault of the baby?”
Rubio answered, “First of all, Megyn, I’m not that is a correct assessment of my record… I would go on to add…”
Kelly interrupted, “You don’t favor a rape and incest clause?”
Rubio continued, “I have never said that. I have never advocated that. What I have advocated is that we pass law in this country that all human life, at every stage of its development, is worthy of protection. In fact I think that law already exists. It’s called the Constitution of the United States, and let me go further. I believe every single human being is entitled to the protection of our laws whether they can vote or not, whether they can speak or not, whether they can hire a lawyer or not, whether they have a birth certificate or not, and I think future generations will look back at this history of our country and call us barbarians for murdering millions of babies who we never gave them a chance to live.”
Rubio has never advocated for exceptions, but he has supported legislation that has included exceptions language. He co-sponsored the Pain-Capable Abortion ban, along with 40 other Senators, that included exceptions in 2013, and a similar bill that died in committee that had slightly different language. Rubio has also supported legislation as a member of the Florida House that did not contain such language.
Rubio does not appear to be to be hung-up on a bill not having the language, but said he would vote for bills that had it if he believed it would reduce the number of abortions due to political realities in the Senate. “I recognize that in order to have consensus on laws that limit the number of abortions, a lot of people want to see those exceptions,” Rubio told NBC News on Sunday.
Rubio’s comments about the Constitution is noteworthy as two of his opponents – former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) and former Governor Mike Huckabee have suggested applying 5th and 14th Amendment protections for pre-born infants.
Watch Rubio’s answer during the debate: