Virginia GOP state delegate and congressional candidate Bob Marshall is standing by his claim that disabled children are God’s punishment for women who have an abortion.
“Nature takes its vengeance on subsequent children,” Marshall said in 2010. “It’s a special punishment, Christians would suggest.”
Yesterday, Marshall insisted that he won’t be backing away from the comment as he campaigns for the House, and is similarly defending his suggestions that Justice Anthony Kennedy is secretly gay and that abortion should be banned in cases of incest because it could be “voluntary.”
Delegate Robert G. Marshall has said that disabled children can be God’s vengeance against women who have had abortions. He has described incest as sometimes voluntary, and he has questioned the sexuality of a Supreme Court justice who has favored marriage equality.
“For all I know, Kennedy’s a homosexual,” he said. “You can’t be doing some of these things without this kind of conclusion.”
Like many of his other comments, Mr. Marshall stands by it.
“Clearly, some of the people who are making these decisions must be rationalizing their own bad behavior,” he said Thursday.
In 2010, at an event calling for an end to state funding for Planned Parenthood, Mr. Marshall suggested that women who have abortions are more likely to face “vengeance” from “nature” in children with a greater likelihood of having developmental disabilities.
“The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion who have handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the firstborn of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children,” Mr. Marshall said.
The author of a 1989 Boston Globe column asked him about his opposition to all abortion — even in cases of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother. Mr. Marshall, then the research director for the American Life League, posed a baffling question of his own in response.
“What if incest is voluntary?” Mr. Marshall said. “Sometimes it is.”
Mr. Marshall has repeatedly introduced “personhood” bills to secure civil and legal rights for the unborn from the moment of conception. In 2012, he also introduced a measure that would require women to undergo ultrasounds before having abortions. The legislative effort created headaches for Gov. Bob McDonnell, who ultimately requested an amendment to water down the bill after the news went national and the state became the butt of jokes for late-night comedians.