VA legislator Bob Marshall says children with disabilities are God’s punishment for abortion

Virginia State Delegate Bob Marshall said Thursday at a press conference opposing funding for Planned Parenthood that children with disabilities are a punishment from God for women who have previously had 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,” said Marshall, a Republican.
“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.”

What a disgusting statement in so many ways, from the cruel ableism of saying children with disabilities are a punishment at all to the false claim that there is a link between abortion and disability in subsequent pregnancies.
This was just one part of the lies and offensive statements from Marshall’s press conference. Speakers also perpetuated the black genocide conspiracy and Marshall claimed Planned Parenthood received about $500,000 annually from the state, when in fact the organization receives about $35,000 a year in Medicaid reimbursements.
Marshall issued a sort of apology/retraction on his website, one of those “I regret it if you took my words badly” statements. I’m not buying it given his history of incendiary comments about abortion and gay rights.
You can sign a petition calling for Bob Marshall’s resignation here.

Boston, MA

Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

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