On Friday morning, following his evening on the stage in Cleveland for the GOP presidential debate, Florida Senator Marco Rubio defended his pro-life record – and the pro-life position as a whole – while speaking to CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
After being asked a question Thursday night about supporting a rape and incest exception for abortion, Rubio made it clear that he has “never said that” and “never advocated for that.” Yet Cuomo, bringing up the 2013 version of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, claims that the presence of the exception language in the bill equates to Rubio’s advocating for that position. “… [S]o it seems that you had your own record wrong,” asserts Cuomo, with Rubio responding that he supported the bill not because it included exceptions but “because it prevents abortions.”
When Rubio tried to illustrate that point by mentioning that just because he supports a 20-week ban on abortion doesn’t mean he supports abortion at 19 weeks, Cuomo dismissed him by saying “I don’t think it’s an analogy.”
When given the chance to answer why he did not advocate for exceptions, Rubio touched upon the point that “the value of every human life… is a timeless principle.” Cuomo called the refusal to openly advocate for rape and incest exceptions as “something that seems very backward”:
It’s interesting that you draw distinctions about the old and the new in certain regards, but in this one you say ‘it’s timeless.’ Because as you know, uh, cultural mores in this country, certainly the opinions of women, are not in step with what you’re saying right now. You’re comfortable with that?
Cuomo may say “certainly”, but the truth is that many Americans, including women, actually have polled pro-life, even more so than men.
When Rubio stuck to his answer that “the value of life is timeless,” Cuomo insisted that Rubio was “deciding when it is human life.” While Cuomo then tried to move on, the segment was dominated by a debate over when human life begins, as Rubio did not shy away from this, during which there included cross-talk.
Part of Rubio’s response included:
Science has decided that–science has concluded, absolutely it has. What else can it be? What–what, it cannot turn into an animal. It cannot turn into a donkey.
While Cuomo said he “understand[s] the logic,” he did also say “it’s a little too simple” and “that’s oversimplifying it a little…” He also tried to claim it wasn’t his argument, but an argument from science:
Cuomo: This is not my argument. This is a presented argument of science. It having the DNA map, so does a plant. It’s about when it becomes a human being. I’m not saying what I think in answer to that question, that’s not my position. But don’t you think, if you want to be a leader of the future, that’s a question that deserves an answer that is definitive beyond your faith? When does life begin? None of you are calling for any type of panel for consensus… That’s your faith. That’s your faith. That’s not science.
Rubio: No it isn’t. It’s science.
Cuomo: It’s not definitive science… I will have scientists on this show all morning, from all walks of life, who will all say ‘we cannot say it is definitely human life at conception.’ So it is your faith than it is science….
I’m not saying what my position is on it, I am also a Catholic.
Such a question from Cuomo (which assumes that Rubio is pro-life solely because of his faith) is not new, but it is tiring, and risks misunderstanding the debate. Cuomo accuses Rubio of “oversimplifying it a little…” but by boxing in all pro-lifers as religious, he is doing the oversimplifying, as well as stereotyping. It is also a strange point for Cuomo to raise, because in all of Rubio’s detailed responses, none of them mentioned his Catholic faith.
This is especially noteworthy because Rubio’s statements are true without question, as life begins at conception regardless of one’s religious beliefs. For one to be pro-life because of religious faith is only one reason of many. Such an assumption from Cuomo also ignores the existence of entire groups of non-religious pro-lifers, like Secular Pro-Life.
Chris Cuomo may claim to be a Catholic – as does his pro-abortion brother, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo – but if he is a Catholic, it’s worth wondering why he is either unfamiliar with Church teaching on abortion, or why he will not proclaim and adhere to it.
And as for those scientists Cuomo could have on his show, they would be wrong, regardless of their varied “walks of life,” especially if they were to be guided by any pro-abortion views over science, a field in which they claim expertise.
Further, no such panel is necessary because again, as Rubio points out, the question has already been decided.
If Rubio does want to be “a leader of the future,” he would do well to ignore Chris Cuomo’s advice.
Check it out: Here’s the science that proves Rubio is exactly right. At the very beginning of a preborn child’s life, a new, unique, living human life has begun – according to mainstream embryology, biology, and genetic textbooks. There’s even more scientific evidence here and here.