Here is audio from a press conference last week at which Delegate Bob Marshall, R-Manassas, said: “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.”
CNS reporter Kelsey Radcliffe wrote a widely distributed story about Marshall’s remarks.
On Monday, Marshall said the story misinterpreted his words and took them out of context. He said he does not believe that disabled children are punishment for having an abortion. “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.”
In a telephone call to CNS on Tuesday, Marshall said he was referring to the medical consequences of having an abortion — an issue he addressed after the above quotation.
Here are two audio files reflecting everything Marshall said at Thursday’s press conference:
Listeners may judge for themselves whether the initial story unfairly represented the delegate’s quotes.
Kelsey has done a follow-up story about the controversy for WRIR (Richmond Independent Radio News).
The story received national attention from commentators such as Rachel Maddow:
Marshall has posted on YouTube this video of the press conference:
On his Web site, Marshall also provided this transcript of his remarks:
“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-wedlock 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. 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.”
On Tuesday, People for the American Way, a liberal advocacy group, also posted a video of Marshall speaking at Thursday’s news conference. The group said the video “speaks for itself.”
“Marshall explicitly stated that he believes God punishes women who have abortions by giving them disabled children,” Josh Glasstetter wrote on the organization’s Right Wing Watch blog. “And then he backed up his claim with what he evidently considered to be evidence.”