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My response to a comment left for me from Delegate Bob Marshall’s Staff (R-VA)

…Real quick, just wanted to mention something completely unrelated… Motley News passed the one million hit mark the other night! Look to the right here ——>>

The Scenario

Last week I had posted an article called “Republican Delegate: Disabled Children Are God’s Punishment for Abortions” in which I quoted this statement, as well as a few others, made by Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall in regards to defunding Planned Parenthood:

“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.”

I have often wondered if politicians google their name and read what is out there in the cyberworld about them. After all, to best serve the people of your state and/or country, I would think it’s best to know what they’re really thinking. No lip-service this way.

Yesterday, that question was answered with a resounding “YES!” Although, I am quite confident not all politicians search for themselves, I’m sure many do – at least their staffers. In this case, a staff member of Bob Marshall’s kindly commented on my article, and naturally, I responded back with mentions of what I, and millions of others, feel very strongly and very passionately about. Here I know have the eyes of the office of a delegate – and hopefully the delegate – pointed at me.

Several of our elected officials are ignoring all the benefits to women (and men) that Planned Parenthood provides. They are a thousand-fold over the number of abortions. But since some people, like Marshall – and Mitt Romney – are so opposed to abortion, they would rather selfishly see millions of women denied valuable health care just so they can stop a few thousand abortions (per year). (Statistics provided at the very bottom of this post.)

Nonetheless, things need to be said – and I said them.

First here is the comment left by a Bob Marshall staff member:

“Delegate Marshall never said, “Disabled children are a punishment from God for abortion.” This was a VCU student reporter’s opinion of what she thought Delegate Marshall meant in his statement with regard to defunding Planned Parenthood in a press conference almost THREE YEARS AGO! Think Progress then picked that up as fact at the time without verification and have refused to alter the title. The original article “broke” the story a week after the press conference when no other recognized paper did so. Her statement was based on comments he made which were taken out of context at the time and continue to be misconstrued.

You can read Delegate Marshall’s statement from February of 2010 and apology for hurt his actual words may have caused at

At the press conference Delegate Marshall was discussing studies showing that women who abort their first child are at higher risk for complications in subsequent pregnancies resulting in a higher rate of children born with disabilities in those pregnancies. (see the citations for the studies at by scrolling down.) He was not saying or implying that all disabled children are the result of previous abortion or that ANY child is punishment from God. Quite the contrary, Delegate Marshall is in part pro-life because he believes ALL children are a gift from God and deserve to be protected from conception to natural death.

Delegate Marshall was the first person to introduce legislation to require insurance coverage ABA treatment for children with Autism and though it was not his legislation that finally passed in Virginia guaranteeing that coverage he was thrilled that it finally passed. Even after the conference he was still supported by Autism groups and continues to work with them to raise awareness about Autism.

In addition over 20 years ago he and his wife adopted their third child who they were told would be likely to have Huntington’s disease. They were happy to adopt her and love her for as long as they could have her. As it turned out she did not have the disease. -Posted by staff”

To which I responded – and this is lengthy but I promise you will not be disappointed:

I do thank you for the timeline correction as I was under the impression that this was fairly recently – so I will be sure to correct that error in my post. I actually feel a bit embarrassed as I typically research my posts before I publish them – and having the timeline straight is important. Although I do like Think Progress for their liberal views, they are like any other publication out there, and many writers cannot separate their emotions and personal beliefs from the facts.

And many politicians are guilty of this, too, including Delegate Bob Marshall.

Anytime someone speaks publicly, there are many risks they take. There is a very dangerous line one may accidentally cross and that is difference between “exact words” and “implied meaning.” No, his exact words were not “a punishment from god” – however, the implied meaning is. After I read your comment (very well written and maturely stated – thank you for that) I listened to what Mr Marshall said over and over again in the video of that portion of his statement, and I am even more convinced that is exactly what Marshall means.

The one thing I absolutely cannot understand is why so many politicians want to pull funding from Planned Parenthood. A very small percentage of what Planned Parenthood does is abortions – very small. And even then, none of the gov’t funding is used for abortions. Millions of women rely on Planned Parenthood anywhere from cancer screening, to STD treatment, to birth control. Millions of women! They use PP because they are unable to afford women’s health care outside of PP. Planned Parenthood will never go away – there are far too many supporters and advocates. But if they lose their gov’t funding, then they’ll have no choice but to pass this burden (which was derived from personal beliefs) to the women, and men, who walk through their doors. I, myself, was very thankful that there was a PP clinic in my hometown when I went for the first time just over 30 years ago. You see, I was sixteen and having sex, like most kids in my day, in the days before me, and will continue in all the days to come. However, I did not want to risk becoming pregnant. Promoting abstinence really is a joke. For one thing, there is nothing vile nor wrong with having sex. I wanted to have sex, I chose to have sex, and I did have sex. But after a broken condom, I realized we (my boyfriend and I) were playing Russian Roulette. Sadly, my mother was “old school.” A wonderful, incredible woman who I am so thankful I had in my life – but not the kind of mother I could go to and ask to get on birth control. She couldn’t even tell me about menstruation. I had to learn in school (thank goodness we had those classes then – I believe that’s changed, or changing, too). But since there was a local PP clinic, I called, explained my situation, and no problem… scheduled an appointment and went on in.

Yes, I received my birth control and never got pregnant – all because of Planned Parenthood. There was also something else that happened when I went into their clinic for the first time, and that was a pap smear. I knew nothing about them and did not even know that women had such exams. My mother never talked to me about that. And the “birds and the bees” education in school didn’t go into this part of women’s healthcare. So, because of PP, I learned all about the deeper details of women’s health. Even after I started college and had student insurance, I still chose to go to PP even though I could have gone to the women’s health care doctor on campus. I trusted Planned Parenthood, I liked Planned Parenthood, and I believed (and still believe) in Planned Parenthood.

I understand that Mr Marshall is pro-life. That’s perfectly fine. And his belief that all children are a gift from god is fine with me, too…. so long as his belief stays within his own home and family and out of mine. I do NOT share the same beliefs as Mr Marshall. First of all, I am an atheist. I do not need a bible nor a man behind a pulpit to tell me right from wrong. But in being an atheist, every single one of these bills that are created in attempting to control women’s reproductive system is a direct violation of my rights of freedom of religion. And then to watch this video and listen to Marshall sound more like a preacher than a politician! How dare HE or any other political figure quote the bible to me, then attempt to pull funding from a long-standing organization that actually cares about women. Hypocrisy. Horrible! And this picking and choosing from the bible only what suffices one’s purposes is the ultimate in hypocrisy. The bible supports slavery, so where is my slave then? Now, I imagine you are thinking I’ve turned into a real smart-ass, but I haven’t. If someone is going to pull their religious beliefs into politics in order to pass laws that they want passed, then they better pull the whole damn bible into politics and the law – and we both know that would be utterly insane and lack any semblance of common sense. So what is the answer then? Leave religion out of politics. Create bills/laws because it is the right thing to do; because it is for the betterment of our people and country. Not because the “bible tells me so.”

I know very little about Mr Marshall, but just that 34 seconds I watched of him in this video here was enough. He is one of the most dangerous type of public figures – rather than placing his hand on the bible and swearing to uphold the constitution, Mr Marshall placed his hand on the constitution and swore to uphold the bible.

Wow… I’m becoming long-winding. I hope you are still hanging in here as I do have a few more very important items I would like to mention – but I’ll try to keep them as brief as possible.

Doctors and scientists cannot nor have not given a medical definition of when life begins. This is due to the many interpretations based upon one’s religious and spiritual background. Is it when conception occurs? Is it when a fetus can live outside the womb on their own? Or when a child is born from full-term pregnancy? In all reality, though… if the AMA cannot provide a medical definition at what point in time life begins, then how is any politician able to do so? What qualifies them to do what a medical doctor cannot do?

Look, I don’t like abortion any more than the next person. No one likes abortion, and no little girl ever dreams of growing up and having an abortion. But they are a fact of life and these horrible laws are only putting more and more women at risk than they are helping. Oh, sure, save the fetus right? I hope soon some woman who wanted to get an abortion, but could not because of the state she lives in, sues for child support from the politician that passed the law which prevented her from having an abortion.

And these trans-vaginal wands? And allowing an employer to deny covering birth control because of their religious beliefs? For one, that, again, is infringing upon MY beliefs. Secondly, if an employer doesn’t believe in birth control, then don’t use it. But do not force beliefs upon others. Seriously, if you are a business owner and do not believe in contraception, but you know that your administrative assistance used “the pill,” how is that going to affect your spiritual life? Is her birth control going to damn you for all eternity? Come on…. have some common sense here. And some honesty… this law was passed in several states out of spite and nothing more. And who is the true victim?

Our country is literally going insane and down the drain very quickly. No longer am I proud of our country but horribly ashamed. Ashamed of this war on women – and yes, it is a war on women; ashamed that many politicians are attempting to bring religion into our government when our founding fathers clearly wanted religion to stay out of government; ashamed that our health care has been one of the worst as far as overall coverage in western countries – that is, until Obama passed the Affordable Health Care Act; ashamed that so many men are clearly deciding what a woman can and cannot do with an unwanted pregnancy when it is a medical decision to be made between the woman and her doctor.

And ashamed that the Republican Party has decided to play games with our Congress. And in doing so, they have made martyrs out of most of the citizens of our country. Obama’s Jobs Act was purposely set forth with items previously supported by Republicans in hopes that Congress would be more timely in passing it. Oh, but no. Boehner and his ilk turned it down in purely with the sole purpose in mind of making Obama look bad. “Our President hasn’t done anything!” Oh, I’m so tired of hearing that – and so are the majority of the people. You see, what Boeher, McConnell and the rest didn’t foresee was that citizens like me are smart. Probably smarter than they are. I’m purposely going through the voting history of several politicians to determine how many “yea” and “nays” voted on and what the sponsorship was of that bill, either Democrat or Republican sponsored. I’m in the middle of researching McConnell now, and so far for two years nearly every bill that was Democrat sponsored he voted “nay”. I have only counted two “yay”s. And the complete reverse is true for Republican-sponsored bills.

Why am I doing this? Because unlike so many people in our country, I base my decisions on what I find are the facts. I just don’t believe everything I hear. And I am also doing this because I firmly believe that Mitch McConnell should be tried for treason. When he said that the primary purpose was to make sure Obama was a one-term president, that was treason. No, everyone should NOT agree with everything he does, or any Congressman for that matter. But to predetermine how one is going to vote even before a bill is written due to the pact of voting no for anything Democrat and Obama-related, and yay for anything Republican-related. It could be the best bill in the world, but if it came from Obama’s desk, then there would be no discussion, they’ll lie that it would cost too much in taxes in order to justify their down vote. But when I’m looking at statistics that clearly show preferential voting as opposed to content voting, that is an act of hostility to the people of this country. The definition of treason is “The action of betraying someone or something” and “The crime of betraying one’s country.”

The citizens of this country have been betrayed.

Wow, I have really gone off on a tangent. To back up and summarize, Marshall’s statement does sound as though there is a punishment from god at hand. And for the study you provided the link for – that was compiled by Mr. Marshall. Of course he is going to only include facts and statistics to support his archaic beliefs. He isn’t going to put together a study that is against what he is promoting. That would be entirely stupid and completely antiproductive. Also, statistics are a very very dangerous thing to use. Interpretation of numbers varies depending upon what the desired outcome is. I have a Masters in Earth Sciences and one of my professors lectured about the false nature of statistics. I wish I could remember more details, but this was 25 years ago. My professor told of a study where there were several groups of researcher put together for this study. Each group was given the same set of statistics, and each group was also provided with a desired outcome which was different from the other groups. They all had the same statistics, exactly the same. Yet each group derived different results which, conveniently, happened to support what they were told the desired outcome was.

I strongly encourage all politicians from both sides of the ticket start working together for a more desirable positive outcome for this nation. We can see through the lies, and we’re tired of this bullshit. It’s like watching a bunch of schoolyard children fighting on the playground “he said this. she said that. he did this. she did that.” You know what, agree that you disagree – THEN START WORKING ON A COMPROMISE! And I don’t mean a compromise that is one-sided, like Boehner has a knack of doing, but a true compromise where they are thinking of me, of my neighbor, and the millions like us. Make a decision based upon what is best for this country before you make a decision which you think will help you get Obama out of office.

Religion MUST remain separate and in one’s home. Never brought into the government. If Marshall doesn’t like abortion, then don’t have one. Simple. Did our country not learn a lesson from the Prohibition? Making something illegal doesn’t make it go away. Abortions will go into the back room, just like they were before Roe v Wade. And thousands of women a year will either become sterile or die. Just like my decision to go on birth control – I was going to have sex. Well, women will still get abortions. So let’s keep it legal and safe because they will continue to happen.

You closed your comment with the autism and adopted child information. Each of these items are very honorable and very noble. But I do not appreciate when this information was used in the manner it was – to give Mr Marshall kudos in hopes that the good he’s done will outweigh his “punishment” statement. There was no other reason to mention these two things as neither pertain directly to the debate at hand. In fact, I’m actually rather disgusted with Marshall… he obviously is very aware of autism – and I wish more people in office were – but to me, it appears he is using his support of autism in a personal way in order to justify his desire to do away with abortion.

I am glad his adopted child did not have Huntington’s.

[End of my reply]

Statistics of Planned Parenthood Services


Motley News:  Republican Delegate: Disabled Children Are God’s Punishment for Abortions

Planned Parenthood by the Numbers
Planned Parenthood Services
Fact Check on Planned Parenthood abortions
The Washington Post: Repost: What Planned Parenthood actually does, in one chart


  1. Great article, I especially liked that you included the American people are aware of what these congressional Republians are doing to PBO and hurting us for politicial games. The are suppose to keep separation of church and state, and they should be impeached for violation of the constitution. Imposing their religious beliefs on Americans is no different than the Taliban (IMO). I am glad that you reminded them that we remain informed. Great article must be RT as many times as possible. MSM cover up people like Marshall, and it takes many post as yours to expose them. Bring the truth to light great job.

  2. Dear Michelle, I listened to the babel from from Bob Marshall’s speech, which I have filed away. It appears that he may have made a feeble, though calculated effort to divert his words on to the backs of certain unspecified “Christians”. I feel that he tried to distance himself from his mouth by saying “Christians would suggest”. Since he is adamant about his Christianity; I just don’t see how he can avoid saying that “Yes, I said it”. He is just another lying political weasel. I am sure that he is most welcome with the Republicans, but there are some Democrats who would have him over for dinner too. Many of my species disappoint me.

    Sincerely, Phillip

    • He can say he didn’t say that because he didn’t use those exact words. Hell, even when someone DOES use the wrong words, they still won’t admit it. Like Santorum did during the candidacy… he clearly said, “black” then denies it by saying he stumbled on his words or some shit like that, and said “blah.”

  3. It’s nice to know that some politicians and their staff actually read what average people are saying about them. Beats me why Marshall’s staff would care about something that was said halfway across the country, though. Perhaps they’re feeling particularly vulnerable on this subject?

    • I wondered, too. I’m just guessing that they occasionally run a search and saw mine post come up. Now, even though I still feel that is what Marshall meant, the title is pretty harsh. Plus with cyberworld, saying something here goes back to Virginians, too.

  4. What a great article.We are a lot of people here in Denmark,who are very worried about what is going on in America these days.I’ve never seen a presidential campaign being so ugly so filled with lies and dare I say,hate from the GOP.The war on women is something we don’t recognize here in Denmark,we are far to mature.For many republicans to let religion dictate politics is so,so dangerous to a democracy(as far as I know,religion has nothing to do with democracy.) You know we adopted a lot of great ideas and ideologies from America,but may I be blunt and say,may we never adopt the ideology the GOP stands for,cause that is shameful.P.S.I do still thing America is a great country!

    • Thank you so much, Robert, for your comment. Having eyes that look in from the outside is a great thing to have. I adore hearing from other countries on what their thoughts are. With the attitude of the Republican Party these days, I have a feeling that they would not respect any outside opinions. They’d make some nasty comment about socialism – which is NOT a bad thing! Just as you have adopted some ideologies from us, it is important for our country to learn from the successes of other countries.

      Robert, this GOP is not what they used to be. I was never a Republican fan, but at least they used to be more civil towards Democrats and our President. But not any more. It’s as though a malevolent presence has spread it’s way though the party. Many long time Republicans have become disgusted with their party and are voting otherwise.

      This religion thing has gone way too far. Christianity in the United States is now a curse to this country. Again, thanks SO MUCH taking the time to read this and for commenting.

  5. Congrats on over a million hits to begin with! Now on with your response, THANK YOU! My first gynecological exam was also at PP. I also started on the pill at that time as well. Without these services I don’t know what I would have done either. So thank you again for standing up for those of us who found PP before it was too late!

    • With Planned Parenthood I may very well have become pregnant as a teenager and end up sucking off of the government – which is one thing that Republicans hate! Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Basically, they all just want to boss everyone else.

  6. All well said Michelle.. I too abhor the way he has used Autism and his adopted child.
    He clearly said in the Video “When you take the 1st born of any Nature takes it’s vengeance on these subsequent children” seems pretty clear what he thinks to me..

    • Thanks! Sometimes it is amazing what a politician will say in order to “get out of” something stupid they previously said. Like when Santorum said “black people on welfare” – that was as clear as a bell. He was hyped up and carrying on and I’m sure it slipped out without him even thinking about it. So normal for him. But the media caught it. Then Santorum argued explaining that he said “blah.” Oh, puuuhhhlleeez

  7. Well said, M! Well said! Haven’t we had just about enough of the GOP trying to use the Bible as our Constitution? How did this all become so warped? They’re trying to cram down our throats exactly what the Founding Fathers made sure we wouldn’t put up with in this country – religious influence. The misinterpretation of history is baffling. The great GOP spinning wheel. . .
    I know a Right-Wing, Christian Repub who continually insists, “This is a Christian country, like it or not!” (He lives in a very small world that does not allow for the exploration of ideas outside his indoctrinated mindset.) He sends along every idiotic, fraudulent, made-up “opinion” e-mail, chock full o’ God and American flags, that comes down the pike and claims the are fact. Almost all are divisive and blame Mr. Obama personally for everything wrong on the planet. I debunk each and every one with, wait for it, FACT, and still, he thinks the facts are some sort of conspiracy by the “liberal media!” (A lot like the entire staff of the State Department of Hawaii – or at least those in the records area – are all conspirators over the birth certificate. Good grief!)
    My point is – I have, thus far, blown him off as a fringe freak but have come to realize the Republican party has been taken over by zealots. The mindless drivel that flows from the mouths of some of these morons, and the lack of progress, is a waste of time. The media attention they seem to crave (extension of their pulpits) and the conniving to perpetuate their religious agendas takes up real work time that could be spent actually solving issues and improving life for everyone in America.
    Let’s hope that there are enough caring Americans who can put a stop to this trend, that will surely go down in history as some of our loud and crazy years, by voting intelligently.

    • LOL… thank you! Aarrrgghhh! Birthers!! They will never give up. And they’re all hanging on by a weak thread of the article from Kenya that says, “Kenyan born Obama” (back when he was senator). And the author of that article has clearly stated that he did not put that in there but someone else came along afterwards and did it. Hell, any good hacker can easily get into a site and insert a word.

  8. Excellent, EXCELLENT response, Michelle. You said a mouthful, and I DON’T mean the length of the response you wrote but rather the content. You really laid out some home truths there and I for one thank you for doing so. *applause*

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