Amazingly, instead of just apologizing for his claim that women who have abortions are subsequently punished with giving birth to children with disabilities, Virginia state Rep. Bob Marshall continues to insist that he never made any such comments and is instead lashing out at Capital News Service, a project of the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Mass Communications, for having reported his remarks:
Virginia Del. Robert G. Marshall took to the floor of the House of Delegates on Wednesday to dispute reports that he said women who have abortions run the risk of birth defects in later pregnancies as a punishment from God … Marshall denied saying that disabled children are a punishment from God or even having suggested such a thing. But that notion, he said, “has been repeated endless times in print and in the electronic media without anyone producing the smoking-gun tape.”
“Of course, if some wish to make their own inferences, that is their prerogative,” Marshall said. “However, they should acknowledge that is what they are doing. Furthermore, it is no one’s prerogative to claim I spoke words which never came from my mouth, have never been in my heart and have never been in my public record.”
Marshall also called for a correction from Capital News Service, which is produced by journalism students at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Mass Communications and whose report ignited the controversy. Jeff South, an associate professor who oversees the program, said the service stands by its report.
And Marshall has posted video of his statement on his website, which he somehow believes will exonerate him. In his accompanying statement, Marshall insists that he never made this comment, and then provides video and a transcript of his remarks that proves he said exactly what Capital News Service quoted him as saying (emphasis added):
A February 22nd Capital News Service story claimed, “Western Prince William Del. Bob Marshall (R-13th) says disabled children are God’s punishment to women who have aborted their first pregnancy.”
I never made this statement. I believe that all children, no matter their background are a blessing from the Lord, not a punishment. Capital News Service never called me about these alleged comments.
No other reporter who attended the same February 18th press conference regarding Planned Parenthood funding made the same claim for the simple reason that I never made such a statement about disabled children.
A video of the press conference bears this out. (May be accessed in its entirety at the end of this article)
Furthermore, my personal and public life show a respect for unwanted or disabled children, including our adoption of three children, my bills to provide for health insurance for autistic children, and my bill this year requiring that women be informed of possible problems in future pregnancies from abortion.
I acknowledge that my extemporary remarks could have been better chosen to explain the medical research findings which show a high incidence of complications following induced abortions.
I understand how disability groups could react, but they are reacting in part to words I never said, never meant, and don’t believe. But I apologize to all for the misuse of my words especially to disabled Virginians or others offended.
My purpose was to show how authentic medical findings demonstrate that abortion has consequences beyond the death of the child being aborted. That is why I have proposed HB 334, which passed the House of Delegates 95-2, and which requires women undergoing abortion to be offered medical articles concerning possible complications in future pregnancies.
I take my oath of office seriously, and believe it is important to protect my constituents by ensuring full transparency about a procedure that may adversely impact their future reproductive health. That is why I strongly believe that Planned Parenthood, which performs one-fourth of abortions nationwide and opposes protecting women with this vital information, should not be funded by Virginia taxpayers.
Children, whether wanted or unwanted, intended or unintended, “normal” or disabled, are blessings from a loving God, and I will continue to fight on their behalf and on behalf of the courageous families who care for these wonderful children.
Fighting for you,
Delegate Bob Marshall
13th District Delegate
Verbatim. The TRT is 2:05:
“Thank you very much for coming here today. We are dealing with an attempt to defund, frankly, a malevolent organization. And I say that because you know people by their fruits. In 1960, 65, the out of wed-lock birthrate for blacks was 25 percent. I think it was about 23 percent in 1960 – it was 5 percent for all races. Now it’s 40 percent. It’s 72% for blacks, 51% for Latinas. These are the fruits of planned parenthood. OK. Nothing else. More heartache. More guys who are completely irresponsible and think that women have one function and one function only for a few minutes. OK. But this just isn’t affecting our families, our inner cities, our communities and our state. This poison animates a world-wide population control program that the United States funds and which is unnecessarily making us enemies overseas. We are attacking traditional family structure in a way that no country should be doing. These aren’t my words. Go read a book by Denesh DeSouza [sic]. Ok. He’s looking at it from a cultural, historical perspective. This organization should be called Planned Barrenhood cause they have nothing to do with families, they have nothing to do with responsibility. One-fourth of all abortions are done by Planned Parenthood in the United States. Ok. The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion who have 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, and with the knowledge they have from faith has been verified by a study by the Virginia Commonwealth University. First abortions of the first pregnancy are much more damaging to the woman than latter abortions. None of these are good for anybody but this organization has had its time. They have failed in their efforts and we need to defund them and not have them receive a dime of public money.”
Marshall insists that he was making a point based on science and medical findings and that focusing on the “vengence,” “punishment” “Old Testament” and “Christians would suggest” language is taking his words out of context in order to make it look like he said something that he never said.
Of course, as Marshall’s own video proves, he did make these comments and, in fact, all the “science” stuff at the end is meant to bolster his central point that women who have abortions are subsequently punished with disabled children later on.
But instead of just admitting that that is what he said and apologizing, Marshall continues to insist that he never made this comment and is instead lashing out and attacking those who dared to report it.