VA Wingnut: God Punishes Women Who Have Abortions

VA Wingnut: God Punishes Women Who Have Abortions January 18, 2012

A Republican state legislator in Virginia, Bob Marshall, is a serious wingnut. The kind of wingnut that embarrasses other wingnuts. His latest bit of stupid is to declare that God punishes women who’ve had abortions by making sure their subsequent children are handicapped.

“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.

“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.”

I wonder what Sarah Palin thinks about that. The Bible seems to have a bit of trouble on this question of punishing the child for the sins of the parents, sometimes being against it:

“Yet you say, ‘Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father?’ When the son has done what is just and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live. 20 The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. — Ezekiel 18:19

“Fathers shall not be put to death because of their children, nor shall children be put to death because of their fathers. Each one shall be put to death for his own sin. — Deuteronomy 24:16

And sometimes being all for it:

‘The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.’ — Numbers 14:18

Keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” — Exodus 34:7

Sane people, of course, find the idea absolutely vile. Which is why Marshall likes it so much.

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  • davidct

    Since god is probably imaginary, it can do anything you can imagine. That is except actually show up.

  • Zugswang

    I would be interested to hear Santorum’s reaction to this, given his wife had a septic spontaneous abortion, and she later gave birth to a child with Trisomy 18.

  • dochopper


    I am going to Borrow that quote.

  • Does this guy cite any actual scientific or medical data to support his claim?

  • eric

    If he were right, the rate of post-abortion handicapped babies would not be “increasing,” it would be 100% and would’ve been 100% for all of recorded history.

    But I question even his assertion about handicapped rates increasing. Show me epidemiological data, or I think you lie.

  • coragyps

    Is it possible that Marshall’s mom had an abortion in her teen years, and was punished with a son with an IQ lower than the number of teeth he has?

  • Aquaria

    Does this guy cite any actual scientific or medical data to support his claim?

    That would be a first for this crowd.

    Just like gays having an agenda or the war on Christmas or John Kerry not being a war hero or Al Gore saying he invented the internet. All of it pulled out of their gelatinous asses.

    This is what conservaslime do.

  • Larry

    Since god is probably imaginary, it can do anything you can imagine


  • ottomaniac

    I actually feel physically disgusted by this. It’s so morally repulsive that it’s nauseating.

  • dingojack

    Hey Bob – What about a women who has her first child then aborts the next one, god’s perfectly OK with that, right?

    What about women who have a number of children then decides to abort the subsequent ones, thus has no children to create disabled so as to ‘punish’ her, does god ‘punish’ some other women, just for fun, or what?

    Why, if god loves and cares for his creations (created after his own image, remember), would create a child who will suffer and die early? Are these children of a lesser god?

    So many questions, so few real answers.


  • slc1

    It should be noted that Delegate Marshall is also a two fisted gay basher. What a surprise.

    Marshall ran in the Rethuglican senatorial convention in 2008 against former Virginia Governor Gilmore, who barely prevailed. Marshall claimed that Gilmore was not sufficiently conservative. He’s also threatening to run again for the Rethuglican Senate nomination against former Governor George Macacawitz Allen on the grounds that the latter is not sufficiently conservative. Marshall is truly deranged.

  • dingojack


    After a momentary silence spake

    Some Vessel of a more ungainly Make;

    “They sneer at me for leaning all awry:

    What! did the Hand then of the Potter shake?”

    Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam [c 1120 ce]

    (As translated by Fitzgerald)

  • Same old story. God can apparently only act after people do something he doesn’t like, not stop them from doing it in the first place.

  • Tony

    , visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children

    , visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children

    -It’s interesting that Marshall says that god punishes the women, but in Ed’s quote’s from Numbers and Exodus, he punishes the men…

  • raven

    His latest bit of stupid is to declare that God punishes women who’ve had abortions by making sure their subsequent children are handicapped.

    If that is true, they don’t have to make abortion illegal anymore.

    Their master, god the all powerful ruler of the universe, has it all figured out and is administering the punishments.

    Or god is just a sockpuppet Marshall is using to babble on like a lunatic.

    Nietzsche might be right. God is dead. Sockpuppets don’t last forever you know, especially with hard use.

  • Abby Normal

    Lets pretend for a moment that the Marshall is correct. Does that mean that in developing countries like Ethiopia, where childbirth is the leading cause of death among women of child-bearing age, God is telling them to have more abortions? If God is killing women for carrying a fetus to term, that would seem a fairly clear indicator he wants them stop doing it.

  • cactusren

    Abby Normal–you assume that God cares about brown people. We all know he only cares about patriotic ‘murkins and the outcomes of football games.

  • dan4

    “His latest bit of stupid…”

    Uh, “latest?” Mr. Brayton’s own link suggests that Marshall made his offensive comments nearly two years ago.

  • Francisco Bacopa

    Yeah, where’s the evidence?

    I have an ex-girlfriend who has a now deceased severely disabled child. She never had an abortion. I know others who had an abortion and now have healthy broods.

    I realize this is just anecdata, but anecdata completely refutes shit claimed without evidence.

    Seriously, where are the studies? Did the studies account for confounding factors such as that women who lived higher risk lives in general might have both more abortions and more disabled children? Or is it what I really expect, that there are no studies at all.

    My anecdata beats the crap out of that.

  • spamamander, hellmart survivor

    This one had me tearing my hair out. There’s stupid, and there’s weapons-grade asshole. We know which category this one falls under.

    Women who have a disabled child already get a shit-ton of judgement as it is. From themselves, “What did I do to deserve this? What did my child do to deserve this?” and from outsiders, “what did you do to cause this?” (I had a woman ask me what was “wrong” with my daughter’s eyes when she was about 18 months old. When I explained she had Down syndrome, she then asked, “What did you do during the pregnancy to cause it?” It’s the only time I almost cold-cocked someone in my life.) One of the funniest yet saddest things I ever read on the FSTDT site was someone claiming mentally disabled people “sinned in the womb” and if they found god and begged forgiveness they would become normal. I wondered if somehow, despite my lack belief in any kind of deity, I gave up my chances to have ‘normal’ babies because of my abortion. Irrational, yes. People like this asschapeau only serve to feed those kinds of depression and irrationality in people who need strength and support.

    My own personal demons were only compounded when I was pregnant with child number three (my daughter with DS was my second born) and there was a possibility of trisomy 18. Thankfully the amnio showed him to be fine and he’s now a perfectly healthy 12 year old boy, in other words a pain in the behind. Logically I know that my daughter’s DS is a fluke. I was in the lowest risk age group (23), I had a healthy child already, and her trisomy is a translocation (a piece of 21 stuck to another 21, Robertsonian type), which makes it even rarer. It simply was one of those things that happens in that great complex dance of meiosis, the one really survivable trisomy in humans apart from sex chromosome duplications. Still, though, the questions are there, the guilt is there now and again… and this pathetic excuse for humanity spouting off can use a saguaro as a suppository with my blessing.

  • concernedjoe

    Oh omnipotent Lord, Creator of all that exists and all that will be

    Oh omniscient One, from whom no secret past, present, or future is or can be hidden, and to whom no mystery or unknown exists

    Oh omnipresent Master, who resides in all things, places, times, and spaces, and who is with us always and who shines in Your omnibenevolence

    Please oh most powerful, most merciful, and most wise One show your righteous justice by acting just like the shithead I am and dump on those who need you most; I ask this in the name of your Son and my Savior and my Lord Jesus


    Your prayerful servant, Bob M

  • interrobang

    As a disabled person, I find this even more offensive (if that’s even possible). I’m no longer a human being, I’m just the spanking God gave to my mother… Thanks heaps, asshole.

  • abb3w

    As dan4 noted, this bit of stupid is from almost two years back. His latest bit of stupid is an embryonic personhood law of the sort Mississippi shot down.

    (He’s also planning to challenge George Allen for the GOP nomination for Virginia’s US Senate seat this cycle. I can’t count that as stupid per se, since it looks like he could at least get the nomination.)

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