Republican Marco Rubio fails in bid to restrict pregnancy programmes to ‘biological’ women

Marco Rubio wears a blue shirt, blue tie and matching blue suit jacket

Senator Marco Rubio’s plan to restrict federal pregnancy programmes to “biological” women has been shot down by Democrats on the US Senate floor, labelling his amendment “outrageous”.

The Florida Republican wanted the Senate to vote Sunday (7 August) on an amendment containing a definition for the term pregnancy that would stop people who aren’t “biological females” from accessing federal maternal and infant-related programme resources. 

The amendment vote came during a lengthy debate and vote on the Inflation Reduction Act – a Democratic bill on tax policy, healthcare and climate change.

Rubio attempted to derail the discussion by sharing his views on pregnant people and if they should be able to access federal funding.

“The only people who are capable of being pregnant are biological females,” Rubio said on the Senate floor. “And therefore, I think federal pregnancy programmes should be limited to biological females and that’s what this would do.”

He was called out by Democrat senator Patty Murray for trying to “talk about pregnancy when in this country right now” Republicans are “forcing women to stay pregnant” and pushing “extreme abortion bans”. 

Murray slammed Rubio on the Senate floor for trying to “derail” attempts to get the Inflation Reduction Act “across the finish line and deliver for families in our country”. 

She continued: “You know, it’s actually outrageous that Republicans are trying to talk about pregnancy when in this country right now they are forcing women to stay pregnant, no matter their circumstances, pushing cruel and extreme abortion bans. 

“Republicans are now resorting to tactics like this to distract from the fact that they don’t have any serious concerns for working so hard to oppose this bill that lowers costs, lowers emissions and lowers the deficit.”

Marco Rubio responded by claiming that only “biological” women have gotten pregnant when he “looked back across 5,500 years of human history”. 

“And so, therefore, the only thing I’m trying to do is make sure that federal law is clear that since every pregnancy that’s ever existed has been in a biological female, that our federal laws reflect that,” Rubio said. 

Marco Rubio wears a white shirt, dark blue tie and dark suit jacket as he stands at a podium. He is gesturing with both hands as he speaks to a crowd off camera

Marco Rubio claimed to have “looked back across 5,500 years of human history” when considering his amendment. (Getty/Joe Raedle)

But Rubio’s amendment failed to make it past the Senate floor after it received an even 50-50 vote. 

The Florida senator whined on his website that his amendment was shot down because “Senate Democrats Insist Men Can Get Pregnant”. He also clarified that his statement on the Senate floor reflected his studies of the “5,500 years of recorded human history”. 

In July, openly gay senator Tammy Baldwin confronted Marco Rubio after he said voting on same-sex marriage protections was a “stupid waste of time”.

Baldwin explained the recent Supreme Court decision overturning the right to abortion “eroded a constitutional right to privacy”. 

She said there are a “whole bunch of cases that have been decided on a constitutional right to privacy that are in jeopardy”, which she said Rubio ‘disagreed with’. 

Rubio said in a separate interview that he believed efforts to codify same-sex marriage were trying to fix a “fake problem”, and he doesn’t “vote to solve problems that don’t exist”. 


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