With special thanks to our intern Adreanna for her help with this post.
After Del. Bob Marshall brazenly referred to handicapped children as a “special punishment” for women who have previously had abortions, Governor Bob McDonnell stepped in to voice his thoughts on the situation:
“I think those are wrong and offensive comments. We should do everything we can for young children that are developmentally disabled and provide the best safety net that we can through state government.”
It’s nice that the Governor responded to Marshall’s hateful and hurtful comments, but it doesn’t mean he’s backing off from his commitment to defund Planned Parenthood. Instead, he continued in his campaign school of thought, stating that Marshall is a staunch advocate of pro-life values and legislation. We’re sorry but do you really think any of Marshall’s comments were pro-life, Governor McDonnell?
Before the Governor’s response to the Delegate emerged, Marshall issued this thinly veiled apology, sounding far more like a spiteful child who had been reprimanded:
“No one who knows me or my record would imagine that I believe or intended to communicate such an offensive notion. I have devoted a generation of work to defending disabled and unwanted children, and have always maintained that they are special blessings to their parents. Nevertheless, I regret any misimpression my poorly chosen words may have created as to my deep commitment to fighting for these vulnerable children and their families.”
This is an apology? Marshall continues to claim that his words were taken out of context. And yet, the media attention is clearly getting to him, as the Times-Dispatch quoted the Delegate stating that this controversy is “bull [expletive].”
When I was a child, my mother taught me that an apology is saying you are sorry, intending never to repeat that behavior. Parsing the language of this “apology,” it becomes apparent that Del. Marshall regrets only his word choice, not communicating the message itself. And he still insists that his logic and facts are correct. We continue to be appalled but sadly, not surprised.
This is nothing new for Delegate Marshall. Perhaps we can remind the General Assembly of his statements claiming that ‘incest is voluntary’ or that birth control leads female students to ‘become chemical love canals for frat boys?’ As NARAL Pro-Choice America said, it’s incredibly hypocritical for someone to be so staunchly opposed to abortion and also birth control, contraception, and preventative reproductive health sources. You’d think that with such an anti-choice record, Delegate Marshall would be thrilled with the pregnancy prevention Planned Parenthood does.
So who’s ready to challenge him in 2011?