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He’s already spoken against abortion in cases of incest. He even wants to force women impregnated by rape to give birth. But now Marco Rubio is claiming that women infected with a virus known to deform fetuses, resulting in horrible disabilities, should not be allowed access to abortion, either.

But his argument seems to be based more on politics than on faith.

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This past weekend, the U.S. Senator from Florida spoke to media about the Zika virus, saying that any pregnant woman infected with the disease should be denied the right to abort and be forced to carry to term.

The rare mosquito-borne virus had a recent upsurge in Brazil and other South American countries, where approximately 4,000 were recently born with virus-caused microcephaly. Caused by prenatal Zika infection, the disorder results in babies born with abnormally small heads and brains that are not fully developed. These children are not only affected mentally, but physically, too, including lack of balance, hearing impairment, and vision problems.

Those conditions, which threaten the life of the child after birth, don’t matter to Rubio, though. He said told Politico on Saturday:

“I’m strongly prolife. I believe all human life should be protected by our law, irrespective of the circumstances or condition of that life.”

But Rubio’s argument might not actually be pro-life, but pro-politics, instead – and even pro money-where-he-wants-it.

Consider the last bill that U.S. Senate reviewed regarding Zika. A request from the Obama Administration for funding to prevent the infection from spreading in the U.S. was cut by $800 million. It also included irrelevant factors that Republicans added, including removing regulations on water safety, reducing Obamacare funding, and imposing restrictions on Planned Parenthood. The bill even called for public display of the Confederate flag on federal property.

Rubio complained about it, too, but only because the funding went to “community health centers and hospitals, basically Medicare providers” instead of the private companies Rubio wanted to get the money.

The result was that the last bill, heard by the Senate in June, failed with a 52-48 vote. And Republicans have refused to reintroduce any other bill on the topic.

And the end results on Rubio after his recent statement don’t look too good, either. For example, his opponent in the Senate race was quick to criticize him for the statements. Said U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy:

“Zika is most dangerous for women who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, yet Marco Rubio still opposes a woman’s right to make her own health decisions.”

Criticism shook social media, too, including this classic from actress Sarah Silverman, which requires some editing due to wordage:

rubio silverman

The disease now has small presence in the United States, including 16 cases in Miami in Rubio’s home state of Florida. None of these known cases involve pregnant American women.


Featured image by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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