Anti-abortion groups pushing Rubio on 20-week abortion ban bill
July 3rd, 2013
11:17 AM ET
9 months ago

Anti-abortion groups pushing Rubio on 20-week abortion ban bill

(CNN) – Sen. Marco Rubio is considering a request by anti-abortion groups to sponsor a bill in the Senate that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks, an adviser to the Florida Republican confirmed to CNN.

"I can tell you that the pro-life groups are asking Senator Rubio to sponsor the bill in the Senate. He's on a family vacation this week and will decide when he returns to D.C. next week," said the adviser, who asked for anonymity to speak more freely.

The story was first reported by the Weekly Standard, a conservative opinion magazine and website. The Weekly Standard's story included several sources saying that Rubio had agreed to be the lead sponsor of the bill.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said her organization's been leading lobbying efforts to recruit Rubio to sponsor the bill in the Senate. She told CNN, "He wants to and that's good news."

Susan B. Anthony List describes itself as a group "dedicated to electing candidates and pursuing polices that will reduce and ultimately end abortion."

Other anti-abortion groups are also urging Rubio to sponsor the bill.

"We think Rubio would be a wonderful chief sponsor, should he choose to," Douglas Johnson, legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee, told CNN.

If Rubio does sponsor the legislation, it would give the measure added media attention, as Rubio is one of the GOP's biggest stars and is considered a possible 2016 Republican presidential contender.

But the first-term senator has drawn criticism from conservatives the past couple of months over his big push for a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform package that includes a pathway to citizenship for most of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country.

The Republican-controlled House passed a similar late-term abortion ban bill last month, with only six Republicans voting against the measure and only six Democrats voting in support of it. The bill prohibits most abortions for women beyond their 20th week of pregnancy.

While the original House bill included an exception for cases in which the health of the mother is in danger, Republicans got strong pushback for not including exceptions for pregnancies that resulted from rape or incest. Republican leaders later added new language to include those exceptions.

The measure is expected to go nowhere in the Democratic-controlled Senate and the White House has threatened a veto on the legislation.

Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, who along with Rubio was elected in 2010, proposed similar legislation in May that would ban abortions after 20 weeks in the District of Columbia. It was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

The federal push comes after a number of states have passed such bans in recent years, including Nebraska, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Indiana and Alabama. Arkansas has a ban in place for pregnancies beyond 12 weeks, and North Dakota has the tightest restriction in the country at six weeks, when a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

Texas is among the latest states attempting to end abortions after 20 weeks.

Gov. Rick Perry called a special session to try and pass a controversial measure that would prohibit most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The bill was sidelined last week following a filibuster by a Democratic state senator that captured national attention. Early Wednesday morning a House committee passed the measure and sent it to the full House, which with the Senate is in recess until next week.

Forty-eight percent of Americans questioned in a United Technologies/National Journal poll conducted late last month said they supported a bill that would ban most abortions after 20-months, with 44% opposed. According to the national survey, by a 50%-44% margin, women supported the 20-week ban, with men divided 46%-45%. There was also an expected partisan divide, with 59% of Republicans and 53% of independents, but only 33% of Democrats supporting such a bill.

Meanwhile, North Carolina is also in the midst of a heated battle over abortion restrictions. The state Senate passed a second reading of a bill Tuesday and a final vote is expected Wednesday. The measure doesn't include a 20-week provision but would place increased standards on abortion clinics and limit health care coverage for abortions.

And a recent move by Ohio's Republican governor is also grabbing headlines. John Kasich on Sunday night signed into law the state's budget, which includes some controversial abortion provisions like requiring ultrasounds for anyone seeking an abortion and limiting clinics in which abortions are performed from transferring patients to public hospitals, if those patients need more medical care after a procedure. The budget will also make it more difficult for family planning groups in the Buckeye State to obtain funding for preventive care. And it puts Planned Parenthood behind clinics that don't provide abortions, when it comes to obtaining state funding.


Filed under: Abortion • Marco Rubio • Senate
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Sorry, but there will be no quid pro quo. The House needs to vote on the Senate immigration bill AS IT IS!!! No abortion amendments! I double dare you conservatives to try.

    July 3, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  2. Data Driven

    Oh go ahead, Rubio. You'll never be President, so no need for moderation any longer. Might as well go full Neanderthal, like the rest in your party.

    Meanwhile, interesting poll results: men are more supportive of later term abortions than women. I'll let some great philosopher explicate that one.

    July 3, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  3. Bill from GA

    The Dems don't want to budge at all on limits on abortion.
    The repubs don't want to budge at all on limits on gun ownership.
    It's that ol slippery slope thing.

    If the USA and Russia can agree to mutually reduce nukes, you'd think a compromise could be worked out on the abortion and gun issues. Chip away a little at a time on each.

    Most Americans want tighter background checks for gun purchases, and most want a limit on abortions after 20 weeks (exceptions for extreme cases, only). And don't load either part with extras. One bit at a time. Keep it simple, Congress.

    I don't really expect it to happen, but it makes sense to me

    July 3, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Cliarify: Are these 20 week late-term abortions being performed because the mother 's life is in peril?
    I don't otherwise understand aborting at 5 months of pregnancy.
    I'm not judging I just dont understand.

    July 3, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    This is the classic slippery slope.
    Republicans will keep chopping weeks off of the limit until there's nothing left but an full fledged ban.

    July 3, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  6. Bill from GA

    The CDC estimates that, since 1973, roughly 50 million legal abortions have been performed in the United States.

    I don't trust republican legislators to write laws to really help, but something needs to change. This should not be a common form of birth control.

    Maybe we need a better class of Americans.

    July 3, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  7. Steveo

    @Bill from GA

    The Dems don't want to budge at all on limits on abortion.
    The repubs don't want to budge at all on limits on gun ownership.
    It's that ol slippery slope thing.

    If the USA and Russia can agree to mutually reduce nukes, you'd think a compromise could be worked out on the abortion and gun issues. Chip away a little at a time on each.

    Most Americans want tighter background checks for gun purchases, and most want a limit on abortions after 20 weeks (exceptions for extreme cases, only). And don't load either part with extras. One bit at a time. Keep it simple, Congress.

    I don't really expect it to happen, but it makes sense to me
    ------------–
    Sounds good to me but there is too much "all of nothing going" on in DC. The other problem is EVERYBODY thinks they are always right and in no way can be possibly wrong!

    July 3, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  8. fred

    Rubio might as well convert to a dem – He is done as a repub – He just sold out the Country with his buddy McCain – I have no use for him

    July 3, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  9. Bill from GA

    Rudy NYC
    " This is the classic slippery slope.
    Republicans will keep chopping weeks off of the limit until there's nothing left but an full fledged ban. "

    That's exactly what repubs say about Dems and gun laws.

    July 3, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  10. Donkey Party

    If you don't want an abortion, don't have one, but stop imposing your damned beliefs on the entire country. Fight back against GOP Sharia law!

    July 3, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  11. OK

    Bill from GA

    Rudy NYC
    " This is the classic slippery slope.
    Republicans will keep chopping weeks off of the limit until there's nothing left but an full fledged ban. "

    That's exactly what repubs say about Dems and gun laws.

    ----
    It's just a matter of time before we have a national registery of pregnant women.

    July 3, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Bill from GA

    That's exactly what repubs say about Dems and gun laws.
    --------------------
    No, it's not. That's what confused people say. That's what people say who have their own home bunkers. That's what people say who know that they cannot pass a background check. That's what you've been taught to say.

    90% of The People want background checks. Almost 2/3 of Republicans want stronger background checks.

    July 3, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  13. Gennisis

    I'm pro-choice but who waits until HALF way through their pregnancy to decide against having the child anyway? Spare me any comments about not knowing you're pregnant because that's a bunch of crap in my opinion. I think 20 weeks is long enough to decide, because soon people will be like, "Oh a 8 month abortion is ok!"

    July 3, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  14. rs

    In their zeal to create a totalitarian state around birth control and abortion, the "pro-life" crowd is killing the GOP, and the GOP is helping. A remarkable death of a party based upon a twisted theocratic pipe dream by so-call patriots and "christians".

    July 3, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  15. just sayin

    Sniffit
    Nothing says "freedom" like "what you do with your womb is my decision."
    ---

    nothing says freedom like the murder of millions of innocent babies and calling it "healthcare choice".
    the woman made her decision when she conceived another human being when there are easy, free and readily available ways to prevent it. this isn't the 1800s you know. women need to accept responsibility for their actions and stop making their babies pay the ultimate price for their irresponsible behavior.

    July 3, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    just sayin wrote:

    ...nothing says freedom like the murder of millions of innocent babies and calling it "healthcare choice".
    the woman made her decision when she conceived another human being when there are easy, free and readily available ways to prevent it. ....
    -------------------–
    Contraception? You cannot possibly be talking about contraception. Republicans are against that, too. They've fought to keep it out of being covered by health insurance. They've fought to shutdown Planned Parenthood and women's health clinics everywhere they can, which is where you can obtain them or get a prescription.

    July 3, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  17. Wake up People!

    As a woman, mother, and a grandmother I'm having trouble understanding why ANY woman would want to abort their child after 20 weeks. That is 5 months. That's when your baby starts moving around and you start to really feel connected to him or her. Now if the mothers life is in jeopardy that's another story. But just waiting around 6 months and then deciding you want an abortion is wrong. And yes I do know all fetuses are not viable at 5 months. I went through that personally. My daughter delivered her first baby at 6 months, after being very ill for the first 5 months. She weighed less than a lb. and she passed away 6-1/2 weeks later.

    I have no problem with abortion as long as it is prior to 20 weeks.

    July 3, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  18. rs

    just sayin

    Sniffit
    Nothing says "freedom" like "what you do with your womb is my decision."
    -

    nothing says freedom like the murder of millions of innocent babies and calling it "healthcare choice".
    the woman made her decision when she conceived another human being when there are easy, free and readily available ways to prevent it. this isn't the 1800s you know. women need to accept responsibility for their actions and stop making their babies pay the ultimate price for their irresponsible behavior
    ________________________________
    You conveniently skirt the issue, JS. Abortion IS legal, and made so by the SC. It is the right of women, who need an abortion in consultation with a doctor to get on. THAT is the freedom the GOP is putting at risk. There will always be a need for abortion- death of the fetus in the womb, health of the mother and rape- the one thing the GOP has really gone off the ledge on.

    But here's the thing- NO MAN should have the right to tell a woman what to do with her body- not you, not me. Anything else is just pandering to the lunatic fringe Right, and their narrow little belief system based in a fundamental view of their religion. Nothing more, nothing less.

    July 3, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  19. CB FL

    If Rubio goes there that will be the point of no return to being a moderate which is the only way to win a national election.

    July 3, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |