Tuesday, January 17, 2012

An Extra Measure of Grace for Bob Marshall

"The number of children who were born subsequent first abortions with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes it's vengeance on the subsequent children. In the old Testament, the first born of every being, animal or man, was dedicated to the Lord. There's a special punishment, Christians would suggest, and with the knowledge that they have from faith has been verified by the study of the Virginia Commonwealth University. First Abortions of first pregnancies are much more damaging to a woman than latter pregnancies..." - Prince William County, VA Delegate Bob Marshall (who has denied saying children with disabilities are a "punishment")
Sigh.  I could just let his comments stand on their own.  Of course, he's denying that he said children with disabilities are punishments, but "if people are inferring that, that's on them."  Of course, "nature's vengeance" and "there's a special punishment, Christians would suggest..." could mean something else entirely.  For instance, an IRS audit, or a check engine light coming on while zooming down I-76.  He goes on to defend himself (or rather, his staffers go on to defend him on his Facebook page) by pointing out that " my personal and public life show a respect for unwanted or disabled children, including our adoption of three of our own children, one of whom we were told by the adoption agency had a 50-50 chance of carrying a gene that would cause her death as a young adult. We found out years later she did not have the gene." (The gene to which he was referring is the one that causes Huntington's Disease).
Mr. Marshall, please don't insinuate that you've born your own cross, when it was but a splinter compared to the journey others have taken down Disability Drive.  That doesn't make you one of us.
Grace's entire life is a fight. It's a fight to find her the right treatments and therapies.  It's a fight to find her an appropriate education.  For heaven's sake, it's almost impossible to find her shoes that will fit over her braces.  It's a fight to hold back the tears, knowing that she most likely will not ever be a college student, a beautiful bride, or a mother.  It's a fight keeping my composure when she asks if God will fix her legs when she gets to heaven.  From the time we wake up, until the time we go to bed, she fights.  There shouldn't be another element in the battle coming from someone who professes to speak for the American public. 
Regardless of his intention, Mr. Marshall used children with disabilities as the consequential meter stick for his definition of bad behavior.  Whether he actually uttered the words "Gods' punishment for women who have had abortions is to have a subsequent child who is handicapped", the meaning behind the words he did choose to use is there.  Please sir, do not use my child, or the children of millions of other Americans as a judgmental measurement of what you consider a lack of morals.
It galls me that someone running for public office would use the weakest among us as political pawns.  To insinuate that somehow, those with disabilities are something to be compared to "nature's vengeance" or "special punishment" is abhorrent, and statements comparing any group of people to such terms should be grounds for immediate removal from the candidacy and the honor of running for public office.