Quote of the Day: GOP candidate says disabled children are nature’s vengeance against people who have had abortions

Bob Marshall

(Photo credit: Steve Helber/AP)

Meet Bob Marshall, who wants to be the next representative from Virginia. Marshall is currently a member of the Virginia General Assembly and he has a 23-year record of saying jaw-droppingly offensive comments. In a 1989 interview, he explained that he opposes abortion without any exceptions because sometimes incest is voluntary. And more recently…

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.

While others might call these comments “gaffes,” Marshall, bless his unapologetic heart, stands by them. “I don’t care. I mean, if I say something in public, I say it in public,” he said when asked about a few of his more controversial views recently. This comment, however, was a rare case when he tried to backtrack, saying he didn’t intend to be offensive and he has “always maintained that they are special blessings to their parents.” Yeah, I’m not really sure how that could have been misconstrued.

To his credit (or something), Marshall isn’t all talk either. During his tenure in the state legislature, he’s co-sponsored a state amendment banning same-sex marriage, introduced multiple “personhood” bills, and was responsible for that transvaginal ultrasound bill that sparked national attention a couple years ago.

He’s a Republican even other Republicans think is too extreme. But if you believe in a vengeful God who views forced childbirth as a just punishment for voluntary sex and disabled children as just punishment for ending a pregnancy, apparently Marshall’s your guy.

(h/t Raw Story)

Maya DusenberyMaya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like Cosmopolitan.com, TheAtlantic.com, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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