So, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is planning to introduce a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks. You know, just like the House bill that everyone knew would die in the Democratic-majority Senate. Productive move, Senator.
Rubio's proposal includes exceptions for cases of rape, incest, and if the life of the mother is at risk—but not if a woman's health is at stake.
Let's take a look at the many, many reasons it would be better if Sen. Rubio stayed away from the issue of abortion. Besides the obvious: He's a man who will never have to deal with (or come close to understand the nuances of) getting an abortion.
- Not to repeat myself, but this bill has no chance of passing the Senate. None. At. All. Unfortunately, we're in an age where political grandstanding occurs all to often, but this seems especially transparent.
- Which brings us to point two: I suspect Rubio's move is, at least in part, a response to the backlash he's received from the conservative base for being a proponent of immigration reform. But as The New York Times reported Monday, many of the most powerful and well-financed forces in the Republican party are moving to provide support for the Florida senator via pro-Rubio commercials and keynote speaker deals.
- Like the House bill, Rubio's legislation would be based on scientifically dubious claims that fetuses can feel pain after 20 weeks of gestation.
- If hypothetically signed into law, Rubio's bill would have very little impact. Abortions after 20 weeks are extremely rare, representing just 1.5 percent of all abortions. And as ThinkProgress explains, the women who seek out this type of abortion generally fall into one of two categories: economically disadvantaged women who have to wait to have an abortion until after they save up money for it, and women who discover serious fetal health issues only after the 20-week mark.
Bottom line: Sen. Rubio, there are better ways to throw yourself in the spotlight in order to get that 2016 Presidential nomination. Starting with: pretty much anything else.