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Dems slam Sen. Marco Rubio for cosponsoring bill banning abortions nationally after 15 weeks

Florida Sen. Shevrin Jones held a rally to protest Sen. Marco Rubio's abortion bill
Florida Sen. Shevrin Jones held a rally to protest Sen. Marco Rubio's abortion bill 02:20

MIAMI - South Florida Democrats came together Thursday morning to criticize Republican Senator Marco Rubio for co-sponsoring a bill that would ban abortions nationwide after 15 weeks.

Unveiled by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham this week, the bill would allow for exceptions after 15 weeks in cases of incest, rape, or if the mother's life is in danger.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and other top party leaders have distanced themselves from Graham's bill, saying they believe the majority of Republican senators would rather leave the issue of abortion up to the states. 

Florida already bans abortions after 15 weeks, with exceptions if the procedure is necessary to save the pregnant woman's life, prevent serious injury or if the fetus has a fatal abnormality. It does not allow exemptions in cases where pregnancies were caused by rape, incest, or human trafficking.

Jones said Rubio needs to stay out of the doctor's office and let women handle their own medical concerns.

"We don't need Senator Rubio, we don't need Governor DeSantis, we don't need Senator Graham in the exam room with women. They are capable and qualified to make their own decisions for themselves," said Jones.

Pinecrest council member Anna Hochkammer agreed.

"Women are more than up to the task. We depend on them but for some reason, the right wing at the national level and local level has decided to not only demonize teachers and mothers, (but) declare us incompetent and unable to make decisions around health care," she said.

In an interview with CBS4's Jim DeFede last month, Rubio said he views abortion as "the killing of an unborn human being" but that he would back laws that allowed for some exceptions.

"I believe abortion is the killing of an unborn human being and that all human beings are entitled to the dignity and the protection of life. That said, I've also said that I will support bills that have exceptions -- I have in the past and I will in the future. I will support any bill that saves lives," he said.   

Rubio's office said the Democrats are speaking out in an effort to support Val Demings who is running against him in November.

Senator Rubio said, "Banning abortion after four months is consistent with Florida law and more permissive than all but two European countries. Why doesn't the media ask Val Demings why she doesn't support a single restriction on abortions? She is an extremist that supports abortion, for any reason, at any time up to the moment of birth and paid for by taxpayers."

Rubio's office said in a statement last week that Demings has repeatedly refused to say at what point she believes an abortion should no longer be legal. 

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