Marco Rubio Panders to Extreme Social ConservativesPosted: July 25, 2013
Following weeks of speculation, Florida Senator Marco Rubio has stated that he intends to sponsor a new anti-choice bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The bill would be the counterpart to legislation passed by the House of Representatives earlier this summer. In the Democrat-controlled Senate, however, such a proposal is expected to go nowhere and will likely just serve as a political maneuver.
The move by Rubio is not unexpected, as politicians across the nation are already gearing up for the 2016 election. Sen. Rubio most likely hopes to appease the vocal extreme conservatives among the GOP, who are largely upset with him for his part in immigration reform. A number of other socially conservative politicians, such as Rick Santorum and Rick Perry, have also played up their anti-choice agendas in recent months, sadly sacrificing women’s rights and healthcare in the name of their own ideological crusades and political agendas.
While Rubio’s proposed bill may please extremists, there may be national consequences if he does attempt to run in the next presidential election. The extreme social crusade may play well for him now, and might even carry him through primaries, but will almost certainly come back to bite him and the party once he is forced to appeal to a broader, more moderate voter pool. As RMC’s own Kellie Ferguson recently told Politico, “The last presidential cycle should be a warning to any Republican considering entering the presidential race… When we start focusing on the social issues, we give the electorate a really bad taste for the Republican Party. We’re about limiting government in all aspects and we want to make sure it’s applied to social issues.”
In addition to directly contradicting the Republican ideal of small government, Sen. Rubio’s proposed bill highlights some of the many reasons that politicians should not be making personal medical decisions, as illustrated by his uninformed comments. Rubio was quick to deny that a 20-week ban would violate any constitutional principle, despite the fact that this restriction would be in direct contradiction to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade. As further evidence of the supposed legitimacy of his bill, Sen. Rubio then went on to cite abortion restrictions in a number of European countries as examples of even more restrictive laws. What the Senator failed to mention, however, is that while countries such as France do ban abortions at 12 weeks, the procedures are widely available up until that point from legitimate and safe providers, often paid for or subsidized in some way by the government. Most European countries also mandate sex education beginning at a young age and make birth control widely available to all citizens.
Unfortunately, it appears that Rubio is pandering to his extreme social conservative colleagues while ignoring the facts and the women that his legislation actually affects.
Read more on Rubio’s announcement here.