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McDonnell calls Marshall's comments on abortion "offensive"

Anita Kumar

Gov. Bob McDonnell described Del. Bob Marshall's recent comments in which he suggested women who have abortions later risk having children with birth defects as a punishment from God as "wrong" and "offensive."

"I've known Delegate Marshall for nearly 20 years and I'm sure he regrets saying that,'' McDonnell said. "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."

McDonnell was asked about the comments of his longtime former colleague on his first appearance on the monthly "Ask the Governor" program on WTOP radio.

"Delegate Marshall, who has been a champion for the pro-life cause, I think made some very poor and offensive and wrong comments and he has now since apologized for them and it doesn't help the cause on the larger issue of the importance of protecting human life that I believe in,'' McDonnell said.

Marshall (R-Prince William) made the comments last week at a news conference calling for an end to state funding to Planned Parenthood. Calling the nonprofit group "Planned Barrenhood," Marshall joined the Virginia Christian Alliance, several African American ministers and others who blamed the abortion provider for a host of social ills.

Marshall apologized late Monday. "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."

McDonnell said he agrees with Marshall that state money should not be spent on abortions, including Planned Parenthood. "I just don't think the taxpayers ought to be providing their tax money for that service," he said.

Planned Parenthood, which serves 30,000 women in the state a year, is eligible for state money, but does not currently receive any. (In 2008 and 2009, attempts to make Planned Parenthood ineligible for funding were killed in the General Assembly.) But a change could mean the organization's clinics would not be reimbursed for providing healthcare to patients who receive Medicaid, a state-run program.

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia endorsed McDonnell's opponent, Democrat Sen. R. Creigh Deeds.

While on the radio program, McDonnell also said he plans to remain governor through his full four-year term and that he would not take on a job as chairman of the Republican National Committee or run against U.S. Sen. Jim Webb. "I am absolutely planning to serve four years,'' he said.

By Anita Kumar  |  February 23, 2010; 11:06 AM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , General Assembly 2010 , House of Delegates , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Comments

Planned Parenthood should be funded. Adoption is not a panacea.

Posted by: JohnRice | February 23, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Planned Parenthood is not just about the right to choose. It's also about contraception, healthy pregnancies and disease control. McDonnell is playing politics. We know his stance on choice.

Posted by: jckdoors | February 23, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

"I've known Delegate Marshall for nearly 20 years and I'm sure he regrets saying that,'' McDonnell said.

I think that McDonnell meant to add "in front of a microphone." Marshall's stand on this subject is pretty clear and, like many politicians, his only regret is that some damn hippie liberal news organization decided to put it out on the interwebs. These are the things that you need to say in the friendly environs of at TPN or CPAC meeting.

Posted by: Ebola_22039 | February 23, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

The Virginia Taliban is alive and well.

Anti-woman, anti-gay, actually anti-America.

Posted by: COWENS99 | February 23, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I heard McDonnell on Wtop. The question about Marshall's comment was turned into a rambling response on cutting money to Planned Parenthood. Do conservatives live to hate Planned Parenthood? You'd think it was the cause of all evil in this countryd.

Marshall's an idiot. In response to criticism he then made a comment about abortion damaging muscles thus causing birth defects. This moron is deciding public policy? It's outrageous!

Posted by: lmcrae24 | February 23, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

One of the biggest birth defects is being born to fundamentalist Christian parents.

Posted by: kenk3 | February 23, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Two points.

First, it is highly debatable whether "Marshall apologized late Monday." For starters, where are the words "I'm sorry?" Saying you "regret any misimpression" and that words were merely "poorly chosen" - but that the underlying sentiment was completely correct - is the classic NON-apology "apology." Why is the Post accepting this at face value instead of doing its job as objective, questioning, skeptical media? Lame.

Second, Bob Marshall should resign. If you agree, please sign 10th CD Democratic Congressional candidate Rich Anthony's petition http://anthonyforcongress.com/bob-marshall-should-resign

Thanks.

Posted by: lowkell | February 23, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Where doed the Republican Party find these mean-spirited, narrow-minded people? At the bottom of which barrel?

Posted by: ceefer66 | February 23, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

You can send a message by donating $13 to the Prince William Democrats in our continuing effort to change our representation in Richmond. We will not give up!

Bob Marshall is an embarrassment to Prince William and Virginia. Please donate $13 to the the PW Dems to help us unseat this anti everything person.
http://bit.ly/cBz5iR << This is our ActBlue Page!

bruce roemmelt, PWC Dems Vice Chair

Posted by: bruce_roemmelt | February 23, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Where does the Republican Party find these mean-spirited, narrow-minded people? At the bottom of which barrel?

Posted by: ceefer66 | February 23, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

...McDonnell said he agrees with Marshall that state money should not be spent on abortions, including Planned Parenthood. "I just don't think the taxpayers ought to be providing their tax money for that service," he said. ...
But they'll pay more tax money to support these unwanted children after they are born. Welfare IS tax money.

Posted by: mbrumble | February 23, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I do not expect anything better than Del. marshall's comment from a Virginia Law Maker. It is sad, but my expectatoins of those who represent the state of Virgina are very low.

Posted by: moralcompass1 | February 23, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Just spoke with Del. Marshall's priest at All Saints Catholic Church in Manassas.

(703) 368-4500

They thought the whole thing was funny!!!

Posted by: monklewis | February 23, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Just spoke with Del. Marshall's priest at All Saints Catholic Church in Manassas.

(703) 368-4500

They thought the whole thing was funny!!!

Posted by: monklewis | February 23, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

McDonnell said he agrees with Marshall that state money should not be spent on abortions, including Planned Parenthood. "I just don't think the taxpayers ought to be providing their tax money for that service," he said.

====================
I don't think my tax money should be spent subsidizing churches (tax free = burden on the tax payers), funding road projects outside of NoVA, and a host of other bunk my money is wasted on.

Posted by: Tiki79 | February 23, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

People need to realize that words are being put into Marshall's mouth left and right. His actions simply do not support the fallacious accusations being presented in these "do-nothing" bloggers "reports," or these comments. He's worked very hard to protect the rights of disabled children and adults in the community. His statements have been mis represented and misquoted so much that people don't even know what he said. He never said that disabled children were God's punishment for abortions. He did say that abortions can cause damage and lead to Low-Birth weight and premature births in subsequent pregnancies. Something he attempted to substantiate with scientific evidence. That should be the focus of these stories. Whether or not those statements are true, not the baseless accusations that are being flung around. This just goes to show how low the democratic party will sink (as evidenced by the fact that Bruce Roemmelt who so wonderfully lost to Bob Marshall is already soliciting these commenters for money), to try and win in 2010. The Democratic party does not trust the American people to look at the issues, because they know they have very little ground to stand on when we do. Instead they'll try and defame those in office and send the years of good work they've done down the drain. Keep trying Dems, but it still won't work come November you can be sure of that.

Posted by: amin723 | February 23, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

One of the Ten Commandments (Yes, they are COMMANDMENTS, not suggestions!) reads thou shalt NOT kill-the original text read "thou shall do NO murder- to differentiate killing on a battlefield from deliberate slaying of a human being -which is what abortion is. Which one of you geniuses with your snappy comments is looking forward to the Day of Judgement and YOUR opportunity to convince Jesus Christ that you are right and He is wrong?

Posted by: churchlionjudah | February 23, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

churchlionjudah said:

Which one of you geniuses with your snappy comments is looking forward to the Day of Judgement and YOUR opportunity to convince Jesus Christ that you are right and He is wrong?
-------------------------------------------

churchlionjudah,

1. Spending eternity with delusional, gullible, brainwashed whack-jobs (like yourself) would be a true hell.

2. Ohhh! judgement day, I'm so scared! Oooh!

Posted by: kenk3 | February 23, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

churchlionduah, Rise.

The Day of Judgment is Here and Now, and we officially pronounce you “Unworthy.” We further hope your imaginary command of Hebrew trumps your mangled English blather. Vengeance is mine; I shall repay. You are hereby declared a bad Christian. Your case is remanded to the test tube marked “Failure.” Go be with you, and take mercy on your soul.

Next?

Posted by: SydneyP | February 23, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

churchlionduah likes to follow a bronze-age middle-eastern religion where the god is a despotic savage, and if you don't worship him, you'll spend eternity in hell.

But he loves you.

Posted by: kenk3 | February 23, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I am in no way defending Marshall's comments, but I must ask where was your outrage when Rahm Emmanuel referred to mentally challenged individuals as "f&%@ing retards"??? Why have the same people calling for Marshall's resignation called for Mr. Emmanuel's resigation?? Could it be because Mr. Emmanuel is a black man, a Democrat, and a member of the Obama Administration and therefore gets a "pass"???

Posted by: mtaweigh | February 23, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

mtaweigh,

Sure you're not. It's good to hear you admit, though, that Republicans are "mentally challenged individuals".

And yes, it's because "Mr Emmanuel" [sic] is a black man.

Classic.

Posted by: SydneyP | February 23, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

And I ask again, how many "right to life" proponents have adopted any unwanted children? How many attend trials of those individuals who have committed horrible acts on unwanted children, such as abuse and murder, to make sure they are punished for their crimes against life. How many are actually protecting life, post conception on to delivery and birth....HOW MANY!? If you really care about LIFE, shut up and adopt one of the one's you've "saved". Otherwise you're just a fake bunch of liars. If you really care about the living, ADOPT some of these unwanted children....yeah right, I thought so.

Posted by: Pstacy | February 23, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Reprehensible. And typical. See and hear Del. Marshall advocate for the elimination of Plan B at VA colleges.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6k4RrKNk7s

Posted by: rpelletier | February 24, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

mtaweigh wrote:
I must ask where was your outrage when Rahm Emmanuel referred to mentally challenged individuals as "f&%@ing retards"


Emanuel did no such thing. Get informed instead of repeating falsehoods.

Emanuel referred to some activists' plans to run ads against conservative Democrats as f*** retarded.

It was Rush Limbaugh who went ON AIR to use the word "retard" multiple times after Palin complained about Emanuel.

Posted by: hitpoints | February 24, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

@ pstacy, Bob Marshall has adopted 3 unwanted children. kthx bye.

Posted by: amin723 | February 24, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

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