Ad hits Rubio on Zika, abortion

The pro-abortion group NARAL Pro-Choice is launching a new ad targeting Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioHillicon Valley: Lawmakers worry as 'deepfakes' spread | New intel strategy sees threats from emerging tech | Google fined M under EU data rules | WhatsApp moves to curb misinformation Tlaib: 'Right wing media is now targeting my little sister' Airbnb is doing the Democrats' dirty work MORE (R-Fla.) for opposing abortion, including in cases when a mother has contracted the Zika virus. 

ADVERTISEMENT

The group is putting about $175,000 behind the TV ad, which will run in the Orlando and West Palm Beach markets, as Rubio is locked in a reelection battle against Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.). 

“Marco Rubio continues to be against a woman’s right to choose an abortion, even if they’re infected with the Zika virus,” the ad states. “Tell Marco Rubio to stop putting his agenda ahead of the health and safety of women and families.”

Abortion is now linked to the Zika discussion because the virus can cause severe birth defects in the babies of women who become infected while pregnant. 

"I understand a lot of people disagree with my view — but I believe that all human life is worthy of protection of our laws. And when you present it in the context of Zika or any prenatal condition, it’s a difficult question and a hard one,” Rubio told Politico in August. "But if I’m going to err, I’m going to err on the side of life.” 

Rubio, though, was one of the first Republicans to break with his party and support the full $1.9 billion in Zika funding requested by the White House. 

Rubio’s campaign countered that Murphy has voted against Republican-backed bills to fund Zika research and prevention, including a $1.1 billion measure that Democrats opposed because it limited Planned Parenthood funding and was paid for with ObamaCare and Ebola funding cuts. 

"Patrick Murphy is the only candidate to have voted against every measure to fund Zika — once again putting himself and his political aspirations before Floridians,” said Rubio campaign spokeswoman Olivia Perez-Cubas. “Marco was one of the first Republicans to support the president's funding request and has supported every single Zika proposal that has come up in the Senate. Meanwhile, Murphy continues to exploit this public health and economic emergency in order to score political points."