(This is part two of a series of posts that will highlight the records of anti-choice incumbents in the House of Delegates. We hope reading about their records will inspire you to take action and help us elect pro-choice candidates instead!)
Today we’ll examine Delegate Robert Marshall’s egregious attacks on women’s health and rights by considering just a few of the pieces of anti-choice legislation he has sponsored over the past few years…
Marshall repeatedly introduces legislation that would grant constitutional rights to fertilized eggs (see HB2797 from 2007 and HB1639 from 2009). If passed, this legislation would threaten not only access to legal abortion, but many forms of birth control, including oral contraceptives. For more on the far-reaching consequences of this kind of legislation on women’s health and privacy rights, see our previous post on Personhood USA.
Marshall continues to push divisive attacks a woman’s right to choose but refuses to support any initiative that would help prevent unintended pregnancies and reduce the need for abortion. In fact, he goes out of his way to lead the fight to block women’s access to contraception. In 2004, he sponsored legislation to prohibit college health centers from distributing emergency contraception, claiming that the availability of EC would turn women into “chemical love canals for frathouse playboys.”
Finally, and it’s quite the laundry list, Marshall voted in 2009 for 1) mandatory ultrasounds for women considering abortions, 2) defunding Planned Parenthood and subsequently, low-income women’s preventative health services, 3) the Choose Life license plate bill which generates money to crisis pregnancy centers, and 4) a budget amendment that would have placed onerous and medically unecessary restrictions on abortion clinics. The list goes on and on, and each piece of Marshall-supported legislation goes further in pushing government interference in the personal, private medical decisions of the women in Virginia.
Before his election to the House of Delegates, Marshall was the former Research Director of the American Life League (seriously, you have to Google this organization), and as such, promoted many extreme anti-choice positions. When Marshall was questioned about women’s access to abortion, even in the case of rape and incest, he said, “What if incest is voluntary?” and then added, “sometimes it [incest] is.” (Boston Globe, 07/12/1982, “Equal Rights Gone Wrong”). His voting record proves that he is no less extreme now than he was back then.
It’s time the residents and voters of the 13th District have a delegate who can represent their needs, and protect their families’ and their own health. Not only does Marshall continue to push anti-family, anti-woman legislation, but he’s wasting tax payers’ money and legislators’ time.
That’s why the NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia PAC is thrilled that there is a great, pro-choice alternative for 13th District voters this year! John Bell is running against Marshall this year, and we couldn’t be more proud to endorse him. Click here to read our press release about the endorsement, and if you live in the 13th District, run–don’t walk–over to the Bell campaign and do everything you can to help him defeat the extremely anti-choice Bob Marshall.
Visit his website to learn more about this great candidate, and sign up to volunteer, donate, or spread the word if you can!