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Marshall Calls CNS Story ‘Slanderous’

February 24, 2010

In a seven-minute speech from the House floor, Delegate Bob Marshall on Wednesday accused Capital News Service of twisting his words in a story about his remarks last week linking disabled babies to prior abortions.

“If some want to make their own inferences, that is their prerogative. However, they should acknowledge that is what they are doing,” Marshall said. “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.”

Delegate Marshall’s floor speech

Marshall said he forgave CNS “for making this slanderous claim about me and my life.” He demanded a correction.

At issue are comments Marshall made last week at a press conference calling for the elimination of state funding for Planned Parenthood. According to a transcript on Marshall’s Web site, the legislator said in part:

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.

Jeff South, who oversees CNS, said the news service stands by its report “as a fair and accurate account of the press conference that Delegate Marshall held last Thursday.”

“According to that statement by Delegate Marshall, disabled children are a ‘special punishment’ under the Old Testament; this happens when the first born — a child dedicated to the Lord — is aborted; and disabled children represent nature taking its vengeance,” South wrote in a statement.

“At least, that is my reading of his statement. People are free to judge for themselves.”

Here are the full audio and video accounts of the press conference.