Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio said Wednesday he supports the so-called morning-after pill as a way to prevent abortions. Rubio, who has long opposed abortion rights even in cases of rape and incest, said he understood that some women may not want to become pregnant, but that he would ultimately choose “the side of life.”
“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 said in an interview with theSkimm, an email newsletter. "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.”
Rubio said cases of rape and incest are “horrible tragedies” and are compelling reasons why he supports emergency contraception being made available over the counter. Emergency contraception differs from abortion in that it does not end a pregnancy where the embryo is already implanted. Instead, it blocks fertilization, prevents ovulation or keeps a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus, depending on where a woman is in her menstrual cycle.
Rubio continued: "And luckily in the 21st century, we have treatments available early on after an incident that can prevent that fertilization from happening. 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."
Most types of morning-after pills are available over the counter, although some brands require a prescription for girls under 16, according to Planned Parenthood. Morning-after pills are available at drugstores and at health clinics like Planned Parenthood.
After videos were released alleging that Planned Parenthood profits from selling tissue from aborted fetuses, Rubio said the organization’s practices encouraged women to get abortions.
"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," Rubio said in an interview with an Iowa television station.
Rubio also answered questions about his views on a variety of other policy issues in his interview with theSkimm, as well as what his first White House meal would be (“something Tex-Mex”) and how many times he hits snooze in the morning (he doesn’t).