Virginia State Delegate Bob Marshall (R) “says disabled children are God’s punishment to women who have aborted their first pregnancy,” reports the News Leader.
Said Marshall: “The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children.”
The God I believe in is one who forgives us all our sins when we confess to Him that we are fallible and unworthy of His grace. But thanks to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who bore for us on His shoulders all the sins of the world, through faith in Him we are granted mercy and salvation.
Marshall has it wrong. We do not have an Old Testament God. We are saved from certain damnation and punishment by the suffering of Jesus Christ on Calvary.
Surely during Lent Marshall would remember this?
Regardless, many have received great joy and love from those very same disabled kids Marshall would condemn as “God’s punishment.”
UPDATE: The Staunton News Leader (who broke this story) has the audio clip. Marshall is expected to release a statement shortly. Meanwhile, a petition is being circulated online asking Marshall to apologize and resign.
UPDATE 2 (by Jason Kenney): As of 5pm EST 2/22 “Delegate Bob Marshall” is a trending topic on Twitter in the United States:
From his website:
A story by Capital News Service regarding my remarks at a recent press conference opposing taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood conveyed the impression that I believe disabled children are a punishment for prior abortions. No one who knows me or my record would imagine that I believe or intended to communicate such an offensive notion. I have devoted a generation of work to defending disabled and unwanted children, and have always maintained that they are special blessings to their parents. Nevertheless, I regret any misimpression my poorly chosen words may have created as to my deep commitment to fighting for these vulnerable children and their families.
Marshall insisted that his comments had been taken out of context. (Here’s the exact quote, which I read to him, and he said sounded accurate: “The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children.”) However, he said, he was discussing an increased rate of birth defects, not all birth defects in and of themselves.
Marshall cited articles in medical journals, which he claimed showed an increased rate of cerebral palsy, low birth weights and premature births among women who have had prior induced abortions.
UPDATE 4 (by Jason Kenney): Bob Holsworth talks about how defunding Planned Parenthood is about to go viral:
The stories circulated widely this morning among disability advocates across Virginia.
At this moment, it’s about to go viral.
Tomorrow, all the major papers will be following up on Kelsey Radcliffe.
And asking McDonnell, Bolling, and Cuccinelli what they think of Marshall’s comment.
The national media will surely follow. It’s grist for Olbermann’s mill.
But there is a remarkable twist to the story.