Rubio is pro-life and supports the defunding of Planned Parenthood
CHUCK TODD: I want to just get this clarification. Will you support legislation that has exceptions for rape, incest, etc?
MARCO RUBIO: I’ll support any legislation that reduces the number of abortions. So that means a 20 week abortion ban. At 5 months a child, you’ll recognize it as a human being in an ultrasound image. I’ll support that, that doesn’t obviously cover the whole gamut but it reduces the number of abortions. I’ll support any legislation that reduces the number of abortions and there are those that have that exception in it. What I’ve never done is said I require that it must have or must not have exceptions.
TODD: Why not? Why don’t you think there should be a requirement for those exceptions?
RUBIO: Well a couple points. I think first of all the questions that people ask about those two instances are horrifying. A rape is an act of violence; it’s a horrifying thing that happens. And fortunately the number of abortions that are due to rape are very small, less than 1% of the cases. But they happen and they’re horrifying and they’re tragic and I recognize that. I also recognize that because of the existence of over the counter morning after not to mention medical treatment that’s now available immediately after the assault, that should be widely available to victims, we can bring that number down to zero. That being said I personally and deeply believe that all human life is worthy of the protection of our laws. I do and I believe that irrespective of the conditions by which that life was conceived or anything else and for me to be consistent on that belief that’s why I feel so strongly about it. That being said 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. That’s why I’ve supported those laws in the past as has every pro-life group in America.
TODD: Where is the constitutional line of protection between an unborn child and the mother?
RUBIO: That’s why this issue is so hard. There is no doubt that a woman has a right to her own body, has a right to make decisions about her own health and her own future, there’s no doubt. And then there’s this other right. And that’s the right of a human being to live. And these rights come into conflict when it comes to this issue and so you have to make a decision. And it’s hard. I don’t say it’s easy. Listen, you’re 15 years old and you become pregnant and you’re scared and you have your whole life ahead of you and you’re facing this. That is a hard situation. I tell people all the time don’t pretend this is easy. This is a difficult question. But when asked to make a decision between two very hard circumstances I’ve personally reached the conclusion if I’m going to err I’m going to err on the side of life.
10 August, 2015: Interview on NBC’s Meet the Press.
Rubio on Planned Parenthood
KCCI: Back to the de-funding of Planned Parenthood. How does that principal apply?
MARCO RUBIO: Well, that’s a different principal. Planned Parenthood is an organization. They do not have a right to receive federal funding. They receive federal funding because policy makers in the past believed that because of the services they provided they were worthy of federal funding. I believe they have lost that right. They have lost that privilege because of what these videos have revealed. And so what I’ve argued is let’s take the money that Planned Parenthood gets, let’s not cut a penny, and let’s take it from Planned Parenthood and give it to federally qualified health centers across this country who provide services to women, women’s health services, but do not provide abortions. There is a strong bi-partisan consensus in America that tax payer money should not be used to fund abortions. In the case of Planned Parenthood, number one it is very unclear how all that money is intermingled and number two they have now been exposed for being involved in the trafficking of fetal human tissue.
KCCI: What do you say to the people who have medical issues that that fetal tissue has helped provide medical research and has helped these people live better lives? What do you say to those people?
RUBIO: So there are cases, we’re now getting into the weeds on it but it’s an important question. There are cases where a child is miscarried or there’s some other natural end of a pregnancy and in those cases if there’s something that can be salvaged from it that could help someone else it’s no different than organ donation. Unfortunately someone who’s young and healthy dies in a car accident. I’ve had a relative who died an untimely death and his organs were harvested and it helped save people and provide organs for them. That’s different from saying we’re going to take the fetal tissue from aborted fetuses because now what you’ve done is created an industry, now what you’ve done is created an incentive, for people to be pushed into abortions so that those tissues can be harvested and sold for a profit.
KCCI: Don’t you think that’s a stretch? Pushing people into abortions?
RUBIO: Absolutely. If you go to one of these centers young women are provided very few options. In many places they’re not told anything about, for example, adoption services that might be available to them. In essence you come in and it’s already pre-determined this is the direction, this is what this place does, it provides abortions and we are going to channel you in that direction. And I just think you’ve created an industry where you create the situation where you’ve created an incentive for people to not just look forward to having more abortions but being able to sell that fetal tissue for purposes of making a profit off of it, as you’ve seen in some of these Planned Parenthood affiliates.
22 September, 2015: Interview with KCCI 8 Des Moines.