The Slatest

Marco Rubio: Pregnant Women With Zika Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Have Abortion

Sen. Marco Rubio walks out on stage during a primary election night party at the Radisson hotel on February 9, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire.  

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Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said that women infected with the Zika virus shouldn’t be able to have an abortion, despite the risk that the baby would be born with severe microcephaly. “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 in an interview. “But if I’m going to err, I’m going to err on the side of life.”


Florida has been the worst affected state in the United States with the mosquito-borne Zika. Although New York has seen the most infections, Florida is the only state where there is evidence of local transmissions rather than among people who traveled to affected areas, according to the CDC.

Rubio said he was well aware that Zika poses a risk of severe birth defects, but that doesn’t change how he feels about abortion.

“Obviously, microcephaly is a terrible prenatal condition that kids are born with. And when they are, it’s a lifetime of difficulties,” he said. “So I get it. I’m not pretending to you that that’s an easy question you asked me. But I’m prolife. And I’m strongly prolife. I believe all human life should be protected by our law, irrespective of the circumstances or condition of that life.”