Zika-infected women should not be allowed abortions - Rubio

Marco Rubio (Reuters)
Marco Rubio (Reuters)

Former US Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio has controversially stated that women infected with the Zika virus should not be allowed to have an abortion - even if the child is likely to be born with severe microcephaly.

Speaking to Politico, Mr Rubio defended his unpopular opinion, stating "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 deadly Zika virus has been spreading across the United States, with over 400 cases reported in the state of Florida alone.

Microcephaly, a birth-defect linked to Zika, can lead to severe physical abnormalities in new-born children and often causes impairments such as seizures and problems with vision and hearing.

Mr Rubio is a well-known pro-life advocate who has stated he would support legislation limiting the number of abortions.