Ahead of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade this week, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) vowed to take action to further limit access to abortion domestically and abroad, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) used Martin Luther King Jr. Day to push his opposition to reproductive rights, and Carly Fiorina used preschoolers as props in an anti-choice rally.
Carly Fiorina Reportedly Borrows Preschoolers on Field Trip For Anti-Choice Rally
Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina allegedly hijacked the field trip of a group of preschool children this week, sweeping them into an anti-choice rally.
While speaking at a “Right to Life” forum during a campaign swing Wednesday at Iowa’s Greater Des Moines Botanical Gardens, Fiorina reportedly directed a group of preschool children to join her on stage.
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But according to one parent whose child attended the event, Fiorina’s campaign did not have permission for the class to attend. “The kids went there to see the plants,” Chris Beck, the father of one of the children, told the Guardian.
“I would not want my four-year-old going to that forum—he can’t fully comprehend that stuff. He likes dinosaurs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Transformers,” Beck said.
“I guess the kids must have thought [Fiorina] was pretty neat, because then their teachers and parents and the kids all followed Carly into the event,” Sarah Isgur Flores, Fiorina’s deputy campaign manager, said in a statement to Des Moines’ KCCI. She added that the candidate had encountered the kids at the venue.
A campaign spokesperson told the Guardian that the campaign was “happy that these children chose to come to Carly’s event with their adult supervisor.”
During the forum, Fiorina reasserted her support for the medically unsupported Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. She promised to continue to fight to defund Planned Parenthood.
“No one has been a louder speaker of the truth on this issue than Carly Fiorina,” Fiorina said of herself, according to the Quad City Times.
Ted Cruz Seized on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to Push Anti-Choice Agenda
Cruz kicked off the week by penning an article in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day suggesting King would have supported an anti-choice agenda, had he lived to see the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade.
“While we continue to conquer racial bigotry, we cannot neglect the current climb towards justice for all—especially for children,” wrote Cruz in a piece for conservative site the Resurgent.
“Just five years after Reverend King’s death, another grave injustice stained our nation. The Supreme Court ruled that unborn children have no right to life. That decision defied the very essence of freedom – without life, there is no liberty. Without life, there is no pursuit of happiness. Yet, since Roe v. Wade, that right has been snatched away from 56 million unborn children.”
Referencing a quote from Alveda King, anti-choice activist and niece of King, Cruz pointed to the upcoming March for Life, calling on readers to “remember [King’s] call: ‘Now is the time to make justice a reality to all of God’s children.'”
Anti-choice activists and leaders often claim that King would have supported their cause, but in truth, as Imani Gandy writes for Rewire:
We know that he wrote about the importance of publicly funded family planning programs. We know that in 1966, his wife accepted a Margaret Sanger Award on his behalf, bestowed upon him by Planned Parenthood “in recognition of excellence and leadership in furthering reproductive health and reproductive rights.” We know that he served on a sponsoring committee of a Planned Parenthood study on contraception in 1960 and wrote, “I have always been deeply interested in and sympathetic with the total work of the Planned Parenthood.”
Marco Rubio Vows to “Immediately” Work to Defund Family Planning Organizations
Rubio promised to “immediately” act to cut off abortion funding should he be elected president by re-instituting the Mexico City Policy during his first day in office.
“We must defund Planned Parenthood, and I have voted multiple times to do so. I have voted against budget deals that include funding for an organization that continuously demonstrates callous disregard for defenseless unborn children,” Rubio said during an interview with the anti-choice site Life News.
Rubio went on to assert that he would act to re-implement the Mexico City Policy, or the “global gag rule”—a Reagan-era law overturned by Obama in 2009 that had blocked international family planning organizations that offer abortion from receiving federal funding—should he win the race for the White House.
“As president I will work to make sure that taxpayer dollars are never spent on abortions at home or overseas,” Rubio asserted. The law already prohibits federal funding for the vast majority of abortion care.
Rubio this week announced the creation of an anti-choice advisory board to help guide his campaign on ending abortion access. The board consists of anti-choice activists, religious leaders, and legal experts who the presidential candidate claimed will act as “authorities on the dignity of human life.”