Featured Image
 Wikimedia Commons

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 6, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio supports selling the morning after pill over the counter.

The Florida senator, a Roman Catholic, said he supports making the abortifacient available without a prescription, perhaps based on a misunderstanding of when conception occurs.

“In the cases [of rape or incest], they’re terrible tragedies. They’re horrifying,” Sen. Rubio said in response to a candidate survey by the news editorial site theSkimm. “And luckily in the 21st century, we have treatments available early on after an incident that can prevent that fertilization from happening. And that’s why I support the morning after pill being available over the counter – and I certainly support them being made available immediately for rape victims.”

However, one of the world's foremost authorities on the subject – Dr. James Trussell – said that the morning after pill may work as an abortifacient and that, for the sake of full disclosure, women must be told by taking the pill they may be aborting their unborn children.

Pro-life advocates have long said that all forms of so-called “emergency contraception,” like many forms of hormonal birth control, often thin the uterine lining and result in elective abortion.

In the remarks, Rubio made clear that he believes the unborn child is a human being deserving of legal protection.

“I have said repeatedly that I understand how difficult it is, a young 15-year-old girl who finds herself pregnant and she’s scared and she has her whole future is ahead of her,” Sen. Rubio said. “And I don’t in any way diminish that and I do believe women have the right to choose what to do with their own bodies.”

“But in the case of a pregnancy there’s a second person involved and that’s an unborn human being,” he continued. “When confronted with two competing rights, the right to live and the right to choose, I’m forced to make a choice. And I’m gonna choose the side of life.”

Sen. Rubio said at the first presidential debate that he does not believe in exceptions for abortion due to rape or incest – but that he was willing to vote for such laws.

His position on emergency contraception echoed a statement Sen. Rubio made in August during in an interview with Meet the Press, in which he said he supports the general availability of the morning after pill. He said that he supports the fact that Plan B is currently sold “over the counter, and it’s available to people.”

The Catholic Church teaches that abortion is gravely immoral, and that  the morning after pill – since it can induce abortion –  falls under the same sin as abortion. One Vatican prelate called it a “direct attack” on the unborn.

Asked by theSkimm if he would endorse laws to block certain forms of contraception, he drew a clear distinction between his Catholic faith and the law.

“No. And I don’t want to ban any contraceptive efforts,” Rubio responded. “Obviously, my faith has a teaching that governs me in my personal life on these issues. But I think our laws on those issues are different.”