Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on February 21,2010
RICHMOND – Western Prince William Del. Bob Marshall, R-13th, says
disabled children are God’s punishment to women who have aborted their first
He made that statement last Thursday at a press conference to oppose state
funding for 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,” 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
Marshall was among more than 20 people, mostly Christian pastors and clergy,
who gathered for the press conference in the General Assembly Building.
They called on Virginia officials to eliminate state funding for Planned
Parenthood because the organization provides abortions.
“We are gathered this afternoon to draw attention to the unethical,
immoral and racist practices of the largest abortion provider in America,”
said Dean Nelson, executive director of the Network of Politically Active
Delegate Brenda Pogge, R-Williamsburg, has joined Marshall in co-sponsoring a
budget amendment to eliminate state funding for Planned Parenthood.
“I think that the reason it’s gone on so long is that most people
don’t have a clue what’s being paid for by taxpayer dollars,”
The press conference was held by a group called Virginia Christian Action. Its
members presented a petition calling on Gov. Bob McDonnell, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling
and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to stop funding for Planned Parenthood. All
three top officials are Republican.
The petition was signed by a number of prominent Christian leaders, including
the Rev. Jonathan Falwell of Lynchburg and the Rev. Pat Robertson of Virginia
McDonnell has publicly supported calls to cut off funding for Planned
Parenthood. His predecessor, Democrat Tim Kaine, supported funding for Planned
“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.
Nelson suggested that the organization be called “Klan Parenthood,”
saying that the group’s founder, Margaret Sanger, made racist comments in
the 1930s and that the organization has shown a “willingness to take
donations from people who are racist.”
According to Marshall, Planned Parenthood receives “about $500,000 a
year” from the state.
But Jessica Honke, director of public policy for Planned Parenthood Advocates
of Virginia, said the only state funding Planned Parenthood receives is from
Medicaid reimbursements. That amount was about $35,000 in the 2009 fiscal year,
according to the Department of Medical Assistance Services.
Planned Parenthood provides a wide range of gynecological and other health
services, from cancer screening and HIV prevention to birth control for low-income
women. Honke pointed out that abortions represent a minority of the group’s
At the press conference, the Rev. Joe Ellison, vice president of the Council on
Biblical Principles, said that when he was in college, he paid for girlfriends to
get abortions. He said he still feels guilty about that today.
Ellison said he was “declaring war against Planned Parenthood.”
“We’re asking pastors to shut them down in the community.
We’re asking pastors to pray them out. And we’re asking Planned
Parenthood to leave our children alone,” Ellison said.
In 2008, the Senate approved a budget amendment to eliminate funding for
Planned Parenthood. However, that proposal was not included in the final state
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