A Republican candidate running for an open seat in Congress representing Virginia has defended his stance against abortion in all cases by stating that even incest can sometimes be “voluntary,” according to The Washington Times.
Bob Marshall, who is running for the seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Frank Wolf (R- VA10), explained in an interview with the Boston Globe in 1989 that he wouldn’t make exceptions for abortions, even in the case of rape and incest, stating: “What if incest is voluntary? Sometimes it is.”
Marshall, a senior Republican member of the Virginia General Assembly, has a history of making colorful statements that may come back to haunt him in the upcoming election, but he insists they are not gaffes.
“I don’t care. I mean, if I say something in public, I say it in public,” Mr. Marshall said Thursday.
Speaking to a pro-life group last year, Marshall discussed Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s majority opinion in the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage, adding at the end: “For all I know, Kennedy’s a homosexual.”
“You can’t be doing some of these things without this kind of conclusion,” he added.
Defending his comment, he recently said, “Clearly, some of the people who are making these decisions must be rationalizing their own bad behavior.”
In 2010, Marshall called for an end to state funding for Planned Parenthood, and suggested that women who have abortions are more likely to face “vengeance” from “nature” in the form of children being born with developmental disabilities.
“The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion who have handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the firstborn of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children,” Marshall said.
Faced with criticism over those remarks, Marshall partially walked back the statement.
“No one who knows me or my record would imagine that I believe or intended to communicate such an offensive notion,” he explained afterward. “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.”
A staunch opponent of same-sex marriage, he co-sponsored the Marshall-Newman Amendment that voters approved in 2006 banning same-sex marriage in Virginia. A federal judge this year ruled it unconstitutional.
Marshall has repeatedly introduced “personhood” bills to secure civil and legal rights for the unborn from the moment of conception.
In 2012, he introduced the measure that would require women to undergo ultrasounds before having abortions, which ended up causing headaches for both former Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) and gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli (R).
Marshall, who has held office for 23 years, is not popular among his fellow Republican legislators, because of his hard-line stands and controversial statements, and has been shuffled off to committee assignments despite his seniority.
He does not attend party caucus meetings.
Despite that, Marshall has a strong following among hard-core social conservatives giving him a shot at being the Republican nominee for the seat that the retiring Wolf has held for seventeen terms.
Tom Boggioni is based in the quaint seaside community of Pacific Beach in less quaint San Diego. He writes about politics, media, culture, and other annoyances. Mostly he spends his days at the beach gazing at the horizon waiting for the end of the world, or the sun to go down. Whichever comes first.
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