Rubio Declares Intent to Sponsor Anti-Abortion Bill

Image: Rubio Declares Intent to Sponsor Anti-Abortion Bill

Thursday, 25 Jul 2013 10:08 AM

By Lisa Barron

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Sen. Marco Rubio says he wants to take the lead in sponsoring a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks, according to Politico.

"If someone else would like to do it instead of me, I'm more than happy to consider it. But I'd like to be the lead sponsor," the Florida Republican said Wednesday. "I feel very strongly about this issue. And I'd like to be the lead sponsor on it if we can find language that we can unify behind."

Rubio's interest in shepherding an anti-abortion measure in the Senate was first reported three weeks ago by The Weekly Standard.

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But in the time since, Rubio said questions have arisen about how the bill could be implemented constitutionally nationwide.

"What we have among pro-life supporters in the Senate is a difference of opinion. ... We just have not yet been able to come to a consensus on that."

Rubio and more than two dozen other GOP senators reportedly signed onto a bill offered in 2011 by Sen. Tom Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma, that would require legislators to identify which part of the Constitution allows government expansion on the issue.

A measure similar to the one Rubio is backing passed the House last month, and a state version banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy was signed into law by Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry last week.

Rubio and supporters, however, could have a tough time getting a bill to the floor.
According to Politico, aides to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have said the Democratic leader has no intention of allowing a vote on a 20-week measure, even though he told NBC recently he was not opposed to taking a look at the issue.

"The majority leader's opposition to this puts him outside the mainstream of the American public," Rubio said.

"They love to cite polls all the time ... but polls indicate that the vast majority of Americans believe that after 20 weeks, abortion should be limited," he added, referring to the Democrats who control the Senate.

A Gallup survey in January found that 64 percent of Americans think an abortion in the second three months of pregnancy should be illegal, and 80 percent feel an abortion in the last three months should be banned.

"We have a vast majority of support among Americans, irrespective of how people may feel about the issue of abortion," said Rubio. "We're talking about five months into a pregnancy. People certainly believe there should be significant restrictions on that."

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