WASHINGTON – While chatter about a potential Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio vice presidency has reached a fever pitch in the aftermath of the GOP Florida primary, the rights of the unborn appeared to be the only thing on the mind of the Sunshine State’s freshman Republican senator on Wednesday night.
Rubio delivered red meat to a pro-life crowd of hundreds attending the Susan B. Anthony List’s fifth annual Campaign for Life Gala.
After taking a few digs at the age of his congressional colleagues and President Barack Obama’s teleprompter, Rubio jumped straight into the spiritual and philosophical foundations of ending abortion in America.
“The issue of life is not a political issue, nor is it a policy issue, it is a definitional issue. It is a basic core issue that every society needs to answer,” he said. “The answer that you give to that issue ends up defining which kind of society you have.”
Rubio criticized those who back away from the pro-life fight because it “makes us uncomfortable,” explaining that while other issues — like jobs, the debt, and the economy — are important, abortion is more than a political issue.
“This is an issue that, especially for those that enter the public arena and refuse to leave our faith behind, speaks to more than just our politics,” Rubio said. “It speaks to what we want to do with the opportunity we have been given in our life, to serve and to glorify our Creator.”
The Catholic senator explained that irrespective of an American’s view on abortion, the belief that Roe v. Wade was a bad legal decision should be universal.
“It is perhaps the most egregious and devastating example of a court that has decided that because a political branch will not deal with an issue they think is important, they’re going to step in and make a policy decision and literally create a Constitutional right,” Rubio said, reinforcing the point that Americans should reject Roe v. Wade “on legal grounds alone.”
The religious condemnation of abortion is central to Rubio’s pro-life stance.
“Virtually every faith condemns the practice of abortion, recognizes that life is a gift from the Creator and compels followers to believe that as well, as a basic tenet of their faith,” he explained.
According to Rubio, all the arguments in favor of abortion can be easily knocked down. The most common, he explained, is that of the right of a woman to do what she pleases with her own body.
“But there is another right, and that is the right to live. And so when you analyze this issue on a pro-life vs. pro-choice basis, what we basically have are two rights that are in conflict with each other,” he said.
“And we as a society must decide what to do when two rights are in conflict with one another.”
While the pro-choice community argues that the right to choose trumps the unborn’s right to live because it is not viable on its own, Rubio explained, the viability argument is a slippery slope.
“They say, ‘Well, they are not viable without the support of the mother.’ That also cannot be a good argument, because a newborn isn’t viable without the mother either. A 1-year-old child, a 2-year-old child — leave a 2-year-old child by himself, leave a 6-month-old child by himself, they are not viable either,” he said, joking that 19-year olds probably shouldn’t be left alone either.
Rubio insisted that in the struggle between the rights of the mother and the rights of the unborn, the deck is stacked against the unborn because they cannot vote. He urged the audience to be the voice for those who cannot speak.
“The way we look at [human rights atrocities] in history and condemn them — this era will be condemned for this, I have no doubt about it,” Rubio said. “Our job is to accelerate the process of getting there, to ensure that sooner rather than later — God willing, in our lifetime — we can arrive to a consciousness in this nation that this is wrong, that the right to life is a fundamental one that trumps virtually any other right I can imagine, because without it none of the other rights matter.”
Rubio compared today’s pro-life movement to abolitionism, the civil rights movement and women’s suffrage.
“At the end of the day our nation can never truly become what it fully was intended to be unless it deals with this issue squarely,” he said. “America cannot truly fulfill its destiny unless this issue is resolved. It’s that important.”
Rubio explained the importance of the task in religious terms, saying that he will one day need to answer to God for his actions and failing to fight against abortion — after all the gifts God has bestowed on him — is simply not an option.
“America is great because God has blessed America. And America has always honored that blessing by being an example to the world. … There is nothing that America can give this world right now more important than to show that all life — irrespective of the circumstances of its creation, irrespective of the circumstances of its birth, irrespective of the conditions of that they find themselves in — all life, in a planet where life is increasingly not valued, in a planet where people are summarily discarded, all life is worthy of protection. All life enjoys God’s love,” Rubio concluded to a standing ovation.