“Political volleyball”

As Zika spreads through Florida, Rubio says pregnant women with virus should not abort

Sen. Marco Rubio (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

With the Zika virus making its way through Florida, Senator Marco Rubio reaffirmed his pro-life stance on Saturday, saying that pregnant women infected with the virus should not have the right to an abortion — even if doctors say that the child will be born with microcephaly. “I understand a lot of people disagree with my view,” said the senator. ” … But if I’m going to err, i’m going to err on the side of life.”

Rubio, who during his failed presidential campaign told voters that he opposed abortion even in cases of rape and incest, was the first Republican to co-sponsor President Obama’s $1.9 billion bill to battle the Zika virus. Although the bill failed, Rubio has said he voted for every version of the law he could.

U.S. Representative Patrick Murphy, a Democratic rival for Florida’s senatorial seat, said on Saturday that Rubio was not entirely honest with his intentions in pushing the bill, accusing the senator of “[exploiting] the Zika crisis to attack women’s health funding and Planned Parenthood.” Rubio has rebuffed that criticism, accusing Democrats of playing “political volleyball” with the issue and arguing that “the words Planned Parenthood don’t appear anywhere in the law.” Rubio acknowledged that the bill would have limited federal Zika money to “Medicare providers,” but said that in the end he also “voted for laws that don’t have that condition, either.”

There are now over 422 cases of Zika in Florida — the most cases of any US state.

Read the full story at Politico.

Related:

Pregnant women in Miami’s Zika-infected neighborhood are taking precautions but staying put

Zika mystery baffles doctors after caregiver became infected with virus

In 1st known case, woman transmitted Zika to man in New York City

Zika virus becoming a “silent epidemic” in the U.S., CDC chief says

Reports find women are far more likely to contract Zika than men

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