Marshall: Controversial comments were ‘misimpression’

Story by Chris Graham

One-time GOP Senate nomination candidate Bob Marshall has come under fire for comments that he made last week to the effect that he believes that God punishes women who have had abortions by giving birth defects to later children born to them.

“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,” Marshall said at a Thursday press event in which he delineated his opposition to state funding for Planned Parenthood.

“In the Old Testament, the firstborn of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord,” Marshall said at the press event. “There’s a special punishment Christians would suggest – and with the knowledge that they have in faith, it’s been verified by a study from Virginia Commonwealth University – first abortions, of a first pregnancy, are much more damaging than later abortions.”

The remarks were not reported in the mainstream news media, but they were featured in a report by a Virginia Commonwealth University student writing for the VCU-run Capital News Service.

Marshall took the familiar tack for a politician caught with his foot in his mouth. “A story by Capital News Service regarding my remarks at a recent press conference opposing taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood conveyed the impression that I believe disabled children are a punishment for prior abortions. No one who knows me or my record would imagine that I believe or intended to communicate such an offensive notion,” Marshall said in a statement.

“I have devoted a generation of work to defending disabled and unwanted children, and have always maintained that they are special blessings to their parents. Nevertheless, 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,” Marshall said.

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