Rubio: Babies Have ‘Right to Live Irrespective of Circumstances by Which They Were Conceived’

By Lauretta Brown | February 9, 2016 | 3:56 PM EST

Sen. Marco Rubio. (R-Fla.) (AP) 

( – Clarifying his position against abortion even in cases of rape, GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio told ABC This Week, “I believe a human being, an unborn child, has a right to live irrespective of the circumstances by which they were conceived.”

This Week host George Stephanopoulos asked Rubio about his lack of support for rape exceptions in abortion legislation, quoting Jeb Bush’s statement to CNN that, “It’s a tough sell to tell a pro-life mother that her daughter has been raped, that she would just have to accept that as a sad fact. This is not an easy decision. But Marco will have to explain that position.”

Rubio told Stephanopoulos, “Abortion to me is not a political issue, it’s a human rights issue. I have supported laws that have exceptions, the 20-week abortion ban.”

“I do require an exception for life of the mother because I’m pro-life,” Rubio continued. “If they pass a law in Congress that has exceptions, I’ll sign it because I want to save lives.”

“The broader point I’ve made, however, is I believe all human life is worthy of the protection of our laws,” said Rubio.  “That’s what I deeply and personally believe. And I’m not going to change my position on something of -- that is so deep in me in order to win an election.”

Rubio said that a crisis pregnancy is “a terrible situation” especially “as a result of something as horrifying as that.”

“I’m not telling you it’s easy,” he emphasized. “I’m not here saying it’s an easy choice. It is a horrifying thing what you’ve just described. It’s heartbreaking. It is unimaginable, quite frankly. I get it. I really do. And that’s why this issue is so difficult.”

“But I believe a human being, an unborn child, has a right to live irrespective of the circumstances by which they were conceived,” he said.

(AP photo.) 

“I know that that’s not a majority of Americans don’t agree with me on that,” he acknowledged, “and that’s why any law that limits abortions that passes will almost certainly have exceptions. And I’ll sign it with exceptions. But I personally believe that all human life is worthy of the protection of our laws.”

Rubio also emphasized his stance on abortion legislation at the GOP debate on Saturday night, telling the audience that he would sign legislation with rape and incest exceptions but believed “all human life is worthy of protection of our laws.”

“I would rather lose an election than be wrong on the issue of life,” he said at the debate.

Jeb Bush said at the debate that there should be exceptions in cases of rape, incest, and when the mother’s life is in danger.

“I’m pro-life, but I believe there should be exceptions: rape, incest and when the life of the mother is in danger.” Bush said, “That belief, and my consistency on this, makes me, I think, poised to be in the right place, the sweet spot for a Republican nominee. And others may have a different view and I respect it.” 

“I think we have to be cognizant of the fact there’s a lot of people that are concerned about having a pro-life position without any exceptions,” he emphasized.

GOP presidential candidate New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also came out in favor of rape exceptions in the debate.

“I believe that if a woman has been raped, that is a birth and a pregnancy that she should be able to terminate,” he said. “If she is the victim of incest, this is not a woman’s choice. This is a woman being violated.”

“The fact is that we have always believed, as has Ronald Reagan, that we have self-defense for women who have been raped and impregnated because of it, or the subject of incest and been impregnated for it,” said Christie.

“That woman should not have to deliver that child if they believe that violation is now an act of self-defense by terminating that pregnancy,” he said. 

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