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Virginia Lawmaker: Disabled Kids Are God’s Punishment

Virginia Lawmaker: Disabled Kids Are God’s Punishment

It turns out that Virginia’s governor Bob McDonnell is not conservative enough for some Republicans in the state, and this is after McDonnell rolled back a state policy protecting gay and lesbian state workers against discrimination.

Right Wing Watch has documented how right-wing pastors like Pat Robertson are pressuring McDonnell to block Planned Parenthood funding because it provides abortion–an effort McDonnell reportedly supports. But Western Prince William Del. Bob Marshall (R-13th) has taken his support to a whole new level. In a press conference on Monday at the Virginia Assembly Building in the state capitol, Marshall claimed that disabled children are God’s punishment for abortions:

“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.”

“In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There’s a special punishment Christians would suggest.”

Rev. Joe Ellison, vice president of the Council on Biblical Principles, said he was declaring war against Planned Parenthood.

Although Marshall claimed Planned Parenthood receives about $500,000 from the state. However, Jessica Honke, director of public policy for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia, said Planned Parenthood received about $309,000 in FY 2009 in the form or Medicaid reimbursements.


After this story was published, Virginia delegate Bob Marshall backed off his statement above in a statement published on 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.”


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Photo courtesy of Washington Post

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12:57PM PDT on Apr 24, 2011

I am disabled and my mother never had any abortion and in fact was very pro-life. This man should be expelled from the Republican party. Thanks for posting this article--very informative.

2:30PM PDT on Jun 28, 2010

I heard that July 1, 2010 that he will be making cuts to medicaid for disabled persons. That means the disabled people will not get more than 1 case of health care supplies. 100/month :(

2:31AM PDT on Mar 18, 2010

So first he makes a really asinine statement about a hot topic like disabled children, making him a disgusting person. Then he claims that the people who are upset didn't understand him. First of all the church and the state should be separate. That was made explicit for a reason in the first amendment so that a secular rule could be established differentiating a country's laws from religious laws. Anyone who tries this BS where they tell other people that they don't understand his meaning, especially when many people are angry about it, should just be disbarred from politics. Start getting rid of the outright lying that is shoddily disguised as misquotes and is truly just bad mouthing a certain type of people or truth. Lets hold our politicians up to the magnifying glass.

8:44PM PDT on Mar 16, 2010

All it takes to get the votes of a lot of these Red State knee-jerk Christians is for a politician to use a few catch-words and phrases. Make a noise like a Christian, gee, you must BE a Christian. They just don't seem to look at anything else. This is an evil-minded man, and I'm sure his other actions reflect it if they'd only look! The god he worships - if any - isn't worth spitting on, much less worshiping!


4:24AM PDT on Mar 16, 2010

Scary part is that people elect him.

8:41AM PDT on Mar 15, 2010

Wow! The scary part is that he believes such nonsense.

9:12PM PDT on Mar 14, 2010

Hmmm I wonder how he explains handicapped children born to women who never had abortions? Like my Mom and my little brother.What a idiot.

11:27AM PDT on Mar 14, 2010

What a jerk!

10:29AM PDT on Mar 14, 2010

well it seems the christian taliban is the real enemy,muslim extremist or christian maybe its time to rethink religion and its place in the modern world.

4:11PM PST on Mar 13, 2010

McDonnell doesn't understand enough about the nature of God to ask for forgiveness. It is stictly by grace if he is saved because he has not "studied to show himself approved" as the Bible instructs. Jesus said very specifically that disabilties are not the parents' fault. Jesus was God. He should know if anyone does.

I can think of quite a few parents of special needs children who would refute McDonnell, particularly a devout Mormon one whose handicapped child was in the middle of 9, No abortions there. Fortunately the father was a college professor, special education, ironically, so they could sort of afford a big family.

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