Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It's a religion of love, all right.

Coming hot on the heels of yesterday's oh-so inspiring post comes the news that Virginia State Delegate Bob Marshall believes that disabled children are god's punishment for having an abortion.* No, I am not kidding:

He made that statement Thursday at a press conference to oppose state funding for Planned Parenthood.

"The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children," said Marshall, a Republican.

"In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There's a special punishment Christians would suggest."


"Looking at it from a cultural, historical perspective, this organization should be called 'Planned Barrenhood' because they have nothing to do with families, they have nothing to do with responsibility," Marshall said.

It's hard to know how to respond to anyone who says such a thing, much less someone who says it while cloaked in the legitimacy of public office. I guess, really, I could just say that, in my opinion, being a religious man doesn't excuse behaving like a prejudiced asshole.

And as though timed just to help combat the absurd and hateful nonsense that Marshall is spewing, is this guest post over on the Friendly Atheist. The guest poster, Angie the Anti-Theist is doing something that you don't see that often: explaining why she chose to get an abortion. I highly recommend you take a look. I won't tell her story, the many reasons why having a child would be hard for her, but I will mention her best points:

I believe in a woman’s right to choose, in general for others and in this case for me. Abortion doesn’t have to be justified and it doesn’t have to fit your neighbor’s or coworker’s opinions of a “good enough reason.”

I think “I don’t want to be pregnant” is one of the best reasons there is for having an abortion (along with “I don’t want to be a parent” and “I’ll probably die”).


The doctors and nurses I’ve met have all been incredible. Every other woman in the lobby was either there for an abortion or there with a friend getting one. And not one of us was crying. I think that’s the lie I’d heard most often — that I would feel horrible about this decision.

I am helping dozens, if not more, girls and women (and boys and men) realize that abortion is an acceptable choice. It is not shameful and it need not be a secret.

Life comes with choices, some hard and some easy. I'm glad Angie had the chance to make the choice that was right for her and her family. And if your god wants to punish her for that, then to hell with you and your god.

A hat-tip to Skepchick for turning me on to these stories.

* I should note that Marshall claims that his remarks were taken out of context, and you can read his rebuttal here. Having said that, if you read the transcript, I don't think you'll be too convinced by his linguistic hair-splitting.

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Blogger LemmusLemmus said...

OT (well, sort of): You might be interested in this post:

Glad I don't live there.

Thursday, February 25, 2010 7:53:00 AM  
Blogger Jay Livingston said...

Marshall is making an empirical assertion -- that women who abort a first pregnancy are more likely to experience complications in subsequent pregnancies and to have children with disabilities. There must be some data on this, no?

Saturday, February 27, 2010 1:23:00 PM  
Blogger Drek said...

Hey Jay,

Yeah, there may be data on that- although I expect that they have some error issues given that many women might be reluctant to disclose a past abortion- but my objection isn't to the suggestion of an empirical relationship. Rather, I object to the causal assertion that Marshall makes. If a prior abortion makes birth defects more likely, we need to know. But having someone claim without data that women who have children with birth defects are being punished by god is like a regression to the middle ages.

Monday, March 01, 2010 8:09:00 AM  

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