Ren's Ramblings & Writings

Contemplations on things tangible and intangible

Monday, September 10, 2012

me email/FB msg to Virginia delegate Robert G. Marshall

re: Virginia lawmaker: Children with disabilities are God’s punishment to women who previously had abortions.

I just read in an article from 2010 that you believe that "“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,” said Marshall, a Republican."
First, you disgust me and your idea of being a Christian man is truly just hate-mongering that Christ would be offended by.
Second, Disabled children are a GIFT, not a punishment. They are given to us to TEACH us and people like you valuable life lessons.
Third, what is the reason that Rick Santorum's daughter was born with a disability similar to Downs Syndrome. How do you explain the children born with disabilities who are first born or are born to a woman who has never had an abortion? And I wonder why, pray, tell, Ann Romney was born with MS?
I have an Aspergers son whose IQ is off the charts-he could put you to shame.  I also ADOPTED my youngest, who is cognitively delayed BECAUSE he is my disabled nephew (1st born to my deaf sister, who never had any abortions; my sister was born to my mother, who never had any abortions. I am the first born. My deaf sister is the 2nd born).
You are a disgrace and a shame and an embarrassment to America. You need to learn first hand the compassion and lessons that disabled children have to offer. Look in the mirror, and judge not lest ye be judged. 

Reverend Renee L. Ten Eyck
Fountain, CO

Contact this monster at 

Robert G. Marshall
Delegate of 13th District
P.O. Box 421
Manassas, VA 20108
703 – 361 – 5416 (office and fax)
703 – 853 – 4213 703 – 853 – 4213 (cell) (preferred)

 I received this email response from Del. Marshall's office:

Re: Contact [#2487]

Monday, September 10, 2012 12:18 PM

  The press conference and related article cited in the Think Progress article circulating on Facebook occurred almost 3 years ago.  The original article that "broke" the story the week after the press conference when no other recognized paper did so is in part a college reporters opinion which she infered Delegate Marshall actually said.  Her statement was based on comments he made which were taken out of context at the time and continue to be misconstrued.

If you re-read what you quoted you will see that he was discussing studies showing that children born to women who have aborted their first pregnancy have a higher risk of premature labor and low birth weight resulting in a higher incidence of children born with special needs.  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 becuase he believes ALL children are a gift from God and deserve to protected from conception to natural death.  Because of his beliefs he did not support an amendment which allowed Medicaid funding in Virginia for abortions for "fetal deformity.". He did use the words "nature's vengeance" but he meant the natural consequences of an action in the same way that if you smoke heavily for 40 years you are more likely to have lung cancer if a woman aborts her first pregnancy she is more likely to have complications in subsequent pregnancies.  He did not mean that the children born in those circumstances or any other circumstance are a punishment for anything.

You can read Delegate Marshall's statement and apology for hurt his actual words may have caused at

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 Speaks 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.

I hope that this information will clarify Delegate Marshall's position.

I would also like to ask where you saw a FB post or internet post about this recently?  We would like to chance to contact the poster to give Delegate Marshall's side of the events.


Claire C. Gardner
Legislative Aide 
my email response to the email from Del. Marshall's office:

Thank you for taking the time to respond to me promptly. Here are links you can go to that show video of what Del. Marshall said.  In this video, he very poignantly states his religious beliefs, which are, RELIGIOUS beliefs, over and above the atrocity of stating such a thing about handicapped children. There is no mistaking what he stated, no misunderstanding what he stated. He can try to back track and apologize for his religious beliefs and misstatements.  Furthermore, last time I checked, this country was governed by a Constitution and we are not supposed to be in the business of legislating religious beliefs.

Marshall's beliefs are based on religious ideology, and do not reflect truth or science.  Medicine has told us that the embryo doesn’t begin to develop a brain, spinal cord or heart until week 5.  Religious beliefs should NOT be legislated.  In addition there does not seem to be any intention to preserve the sanctity of life of those who are already living, breathing, and contributing to life. Take for example the person who is raped. No compassion for that person, especially since the rapist has been taught that he’s not a rapist and it’s not his fault.  How about the mother whose life is in danger with the pregnancy and who already has living children who need her, and who, along with her doctors, believe it better for her to terminate the pregnancy.  No compassion for those who suffer from crippling and disabling diseases and maladies that have the potential to be cured through the efforts of stem cell research.  There is no compassion for the military lives that are carelessly thrown away to frivolous and unpaid wars.  There is no compassion or sanctity for the lives of the poor women and children of our country who, through no fault of their own, know only lives that lack: they are left with schools that have less funding yet are among our nation’s neediest.  They cannot go to doctors unless it is to emergency rooms, and those who work cannot afford the employer’s health coverage for their families.

In addition, regarding his comment "Looking at it from a cultural, historical perspective, this organization should be called ‘Planned Barrenhood’ because they have nothing to do with families, they have nothing to do with responsibility,” Marshall said.

Family planning has EVERYTHING to do with responsibility and economics, from family economics to country economics:

In the United States of America, motherhood is just about the absolute worst financial decision a woman can make in her lifetime:

The highest earning window for women, practically the only time they are not subject to the gender wage gap, is when they are single and childless, usually in their twenties. They have to live in cities and have gone to college.

More than 50 percent of children born to women under 30 are born to single mothers.
When a woman has a baby, her chances of being hired go down, compared to a childless woman, by 44 percent.
When a woman has a child her pay drops by 11 percent.
Women make up the majority of workers in the nation's lowest paying jobs

A recent Goldman Sachs study revealed that getting rid of our gender wage gap, de-sex-segregating the workforce, and cultivating women in leadership roles are necessary for economic growth and transformation. Doing these things would boost American gross domestic product (GDP) by as much as 9%.

If you are in the self-contradictory "live with your choices, I shouldn't pay for someone else's birth control, our nation is in economic peril" camp: Unplanned parenthood -- which is what happens when you get rid of Planned Parenthood -- costs taxpayers $11 billion dollars a year.,b=facebook

Just because you act to protect cells that haven't developed a brain or nervous system or a conscience, you are not pro-life.  When you wantonly waste the lives of service members in make-believe wars to protect money in your pockets and jeopardize the lives of service members, taking advantage of their desire to serve something greater than themselves-you are NOT pro life because you are wasting those living and breathing lives! And when you protect the cells but do not protect the life of the mother who IS living and breathing (or her children if she has living/breathing children)-then you are NOT pro LIFE.  You are pro RELIGION.

Also (separate email response):
in addition, these more current references to his statements are noted here:

this is just more of the same old rhetoric that the fundamentalist right is trying so hard to legislate.
“Politics, is not religion. We make a big mistake when we try to equate the two or argue politically as if religious truth were at stake. Politics are important – this professional would not diminish that truth – but it is not religion. If we can keep the two separate, we will be better able to make the compromises necessary to hold our country together – together, under God.” When government becomes the means of carrying out a religious program, it raises obvious questions under the First Amendment. But even in the absence of constitutional issues, a political party should resist identification with a religious movement. While religions are free to advocate for their own sectarian causes, the work of government and those who engage in it is to hold together as one people a very diverse country. At its best, religion can be a uniting influence, but in practice, nothing is more divisive. For politicians to advance the cause of one religious group is often to oppose the cause of another.
-former Republican Senator and Episcopal minister John Danforth

Former Senator Danforth also mentioned in his book, "Faith and Politics" that his constituents hired a politician, not a minister.
Rev. Renée Lynn Ten Eyck

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