In a recent interview with theSkimm, Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio stated that while he opposes abortion, he supports the availability of the morning-after pill, especially for victims of rape.
Rubio was responding to a questionnaire that ranged from the economy and the Iran nuclear deal, to light-hearted matters such as what he would ask the White House chef to make for his first meal if elected as president.
“I have said repeatedly that I understand how difficult it is, a young 15-year-old girl who finds herself pregnant and she’s scared and she has her whole future ahead of her,” the Florida senator outlined. “And I don’t in any way diminish that and I do believe women have the right to choose what to do with their own bodies. But in the case of a pregnancy there’s a second person involved, and that’s an unborn human being.”
“When confronted with two competing rights, the right to live and the right to choose, I’m forced to make a choice. And I’m gonna choose the side of life,” he said.
Rubio then stated that he believes that the morning-after pill keeps a woman from pregnancy in the first place, and therefore, he supports its use as an alternative to abortion.
“In the cases [of rape or incest], they’re terrible tragedies, they’re horrifying. And luckily in the 21st century, we have treatments available early on after an incident that can prevent that fertilization from happening,” he explained. “And that’s why I support the morning-after pill being available over the counter and I certainly support them being made available immediately for rape victims.”
Rubio, a Roman Catholic, made similar statements in August to NBC’s “Meet the Press” when asked if he would be in favor of passing laws that block the availability of certain contraceptives.
“No. And I don’t want to ban any contraceptive efforts,” he replied. “Obviously, my faith has a teaching that governs me in my personal life on these issues. But I think our laws on those issues are different.”
But some pro-life leaders disagree, stating that the morning-after pill is actually an abortifacient.
“As all pro-life folks, and many politicians for that matter, have said for years: ‘Life begins at conception,’ not implantation. While the morning-after pill may prevent implantation, for a life that is already conceived (a fertilized egg) the morning-after pill (like many forms of birth control) makes the womb, the place God designed to be a place of life and safety, a hostile environment so that the baby can’t implant and continue to live and grow. This is by definition elective abortion,” Daniel Parks, the executive director of the Charlotte, North Carolina chapter of Cities4Life, told Christian News Network.
He explained that at the moment of conception, a person is already encoded with the unique DNA that makes them a special and separate entity.
“At the moment that the sperm meets the egg (which can be anywhere from a few hours to a few days) a brand new and unique human life is conceived,” Parks outlined. “23 chromosomes from Mom and 23 chromosomes from Dad. All the genetic information that makes that person distinct is present.”
Parks, the director of an organization that regularly conducts ministry at local abortion facilities and often assists women even after giving birth, said that while some situations that lead to pregnancy are certainly traumatic and sinful, killing an unborn child does not right the wrong.
“Although situations of rape are always very grievous and I can only imagine what a young lady in that situation is going through, this can’t be a reason for us to compromise our stance that all human life should be protected and ‘life begins at conception,'” he stated. “And if we’re going to be consistent and always ‘err on the side of life,’ then to stand on our convictions we can not support and most certainly can not champion things like the morning-after pill.”
Last year’s Hobby Lobby ruling before the U.S. Supreme Court centered on objections to offering employee coverage for drugs that are considered abortifacients, including the morning-after pill. While Hobby Lobby only contested covering certain types of contraceptives, some corporations and organizations that sued the Obama administration opposed the provision of birth control altogether.