(CBS NEWS) -- Florida Sen. Marco Rubio does not believe a pregnant woman with the Zika virus should be able to get an abortion despite concerns about microcephaly and birth defects resulting from the virus, he said Saturday.
"I understand a lot of people disagree with my view - but I believe that all human life is worthy of protection of our laws," the senator and former 2016 hopeful said in an interview with Politico. "And when you present it in the context of Zika or any prenatal condition, it's a difficult question and a hard one. But if I'm going to err, I'm going to err on the side of life."
Florida, Rubio's home state, has been hardest hit in America thus far by the mosquito-borne disease that is known to cause severe microcephaly and other birth defects. It's also one of the first places where the virus has been transmitted locally, with 16 known cases in the Miami area. More than 1,800 cases have been reported in the U.S. thus far, largely from travel to foreign countries where the virus is prevalent.
Rubio acknowledged that Zika does pose a significant risk of birth defects, but said that does not affect his position on abortion.
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