The Corner

Rubio on Life and Exceptions

Joe Scarborough said this morning that Rubio had not clarified whether he believes that abortion should be legal in cases where it is necessary to protect the mother’s life. I asked Rubio’s spokesman Alex Conant about this issue and he replied over e-mail: “Marco personally opposes abortion in all cases except life of the mother. Like all pro-life members of the Senate, he’s supported legislation that includes exceptions because he’ll support any legislation that reduces the number of abortions.” In August, Rubio said that he believes that unborn children have a right to life that should be recognized “irrespective of the conditions by which that life was conceived.”

To sum up, then, Rubio supports the life of the mother exception and accepts rape and incest exceptions. Agree or disagree, but it’s a comprehensible and coherent position.

(It’s also a politically risky one. My unsolicited advice to Rubio is to note that he wants to build a consensus on protecting life, which means starting with a ban on late-term abortion and not making a ban on abortion in the cases of rape and incest part of his agenda as president.)


Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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