FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 12, 2016
NARAL Pro-Choice America held a press conference today outside of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s office in Doral, FL, to denounce his failure to trust women to make their own reproductive health care decisions during the Zika crisis. The group delivering the messages to Sen. Rubio included State Senator Dwight Bullard (D-39); Scott Fuhrman, candidate for U.S. Congress; Ivette Petkovich, candidate for Florida House District 103; Anne Bailey of NARAL Pro-Choice America; Sedoria Brown, international VP of AFSCME; and Florida Democrats. The group called out Sen. Rubio, who has used this public health crisis to play partisan politics with women’s reproductive health. NARAL is making calls to persuadable voters in Florida to alert them to Rubio’s outrageous comments and his focus on undermining women’s access to comprehensive reproductive health care. NARAL also delivered cans of bug spray and messages from Floridians and others to Rubio’s U.S. Senate office office to demonstrate his failure to stand up for women’s health during Zika crisis.
“Marco Rubio has decided to ally himself with extreme anti-choice groups instead of supporting a woman’s right to the full range of reproductive care they deserve,” said Anne Bailey, NARAL Pro-Choice America Deputy Field Director. “This is offensive from any U.S. Senator, but it’s even more outrageous given that he’s represents the state where Zika is currently spreading. The healthcare choices we make in response to this global health crisis are personal and can only be made by ourselves in consultation with our doctors, not by politicians like Marco Rubio. His work to undermine a woman’s access to reproductive health care shows his priorities in the Senate are all wrong.”
“I am furious that our political leaders like Marco Rubio and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen would endanger a whole generation of children because they refuse to drop their obsession with denying women reproductive health care,” said Scott Furhman, candidate for congress in Florida’s 27th congressional district. “Instead of standing up for the contraceptive and reproductive resources women need, Sen. Rubio and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, actually supported a flimsy GOP bill that restricts funding for women’s health clinics. It’s clear that they refuse to trust women to make their own decisions. If given the honor of representing the 27th district in Congress, I will fight as hard as I can for Florida women and families who are concerned for health and the health of their future children. And I’ll always trust women.”
“The people of Florida – especially Florida women – deserve so much better than Marco Rubio: an absent senator who doesn’t even stand up for us in times of crisis like we are facing today. Instead of using his platform to make sure this country responds to Zika in a comprehensive way, Senator Rubio is interfering with a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions. He’s got the wrong priorities for our state and he has to go,” said State Senator Dwight Bullard (D-39).
Just last month, Rubio voted for legislation in the U.S. Senate that restricts family planning funding at a time when women desperately need reproductive health care. This week, he openly refused to trust women to make their own healthcare decisions in wake of the Zika crisis. Previously, Marco Rubio has stated he does not believe survivors of rape and incest should have access to abortion care.
Marco Rubio’s extreme comments on Zika are reflective of his long record of pushing anti-choice policies in Congress and his commitment to rolling back the progress made for women’s reproductive freedom. As Senator of Florida, Rubio has vocally expressed his extreme, anti-choice stance, supported multiple partisan efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, and fought to implement a nationwide 20 week abortion ban.