In a new op-ed for the Tampa Bay Times, Rachel Rapkin, a Tampa doctor specializing in reproductive health care, calls out Marco Rubio’s long record of opposing Floridians’ rights to make their own health care decisions.
When it comes to protecting Floridians’ rights to make some of the most important health care decisions of their lives, Republicans’ rhetoric about freedom rings hollow. Florida is one of the most restrictive states when it comes to access to reproductive health care
As the Supreme Court stands poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, opening the door to new restrictions on reproductive health care, some in our state are looking to go even further in the near future with a complete ban on abortion. Leading this charge against our rights to make our own health care decisions is Sen. Marco Rubio.
For years, Rubio has been one of the most outspoken politicians pushing for new laws and regulations that would allow people like him to interfere in the most private decisions women and their doctors have to make.
He has said he wants Roe v. Wade overturned and would support judges who would vote to do so. He doesn’t support exceptions in abortion bans that would protect victims of rape or incest, and he’s even introduced legislation that could throw doctors in jail for providing reproductive health care services that he wants to ban. Rubio’s abysmal record goes back to his time in the Florida House, where he voted to require women to take out ads in their local newspaper recounting their sexual histories in order to place their babies up for adoption.
As a doctor, my top concern is always the health of my patients. The last thing they need is a politician like Marco Rubio telling them what they can or can’t do with their own bodies. But for politicians like Rubio, respecting decades of Supreme Court precedent and listening to the clear majority of Floridians who oppose new restrictions on abortion is less important than advancing his own political agenda.
Rubio doesn’t care what trusted physicians and medical experts have to say, and cares even less for patients’ rights. He once said that he would continue to support laws banning abortion even if “100%” of Floridians disagreed with him. “I’m willing to lose elections over my principles,” he declared in the same speech. It’s time for Floridians to make sure that happens. If Marco Rubio won’t protect our freedoms to make our own health care choices, we’ll replace him with someone who will in November.