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Corrected: Another Republican invokes fantasy science on abortion

September 17, 2012|By James Rainey | This post has been corrected, as indicated below.

An earlier version of this post inappropriately tied past remarks by a Virginia lawmaker to more recent remarks by a Republican Senate candidate in Missouri on the issue of abortion.

The original post this afternoon reported that Bob Marshall of the Virginia House of Delegates said at a news conference last week that disabled children were God’s punishment against women who aborted their first pregnancies. Actually, Marshall made the comments more than two years ago. He later apologized for the remarks – a fact that was not noted.

News stories at the time reported that, in opposing state funding for Planned Parenthood, Marshall said: “The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps have increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children.”

A storm of controversy followed that remark and Marshall released a statement saying he regretted “any misimpression my poorly chosen words may have created as to my deep commitment to fighting for these vulnerable children and their families.”

The original Politics Now post about Marshall’s comments was written with the understanding that they had been made last week.

The original post said that Marshall’s controversial statement harkened back to Todd Akin, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Missouri, who said last month that women who were the victims of “legitimate rape” rarely got pregnantbecause “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

PHOTOS: "Legitimate rape" and other gaffes

Akin’s remarks created a furor and some Republicans tried to drive him out of the Senate race, saying it would hurt the GOP’s chance of defeating Sen. Claire McCaskill and, therefore, taking control of the Senate. A defiant Akin has remained in the race.

Marshall and other conservatives presented a petition in 2010 to remove state funding from Planned Parenthood. Other big-name Christian leaders, including the Rev. Jonathan Falwell and the Rev. Pat Robertson, signed the document. The lawmaker said the organization should be renamed “Planned Barrenhood,” because, he said, it does not support families or the notion of personal responsibility.

A story about Marshall’s 2010 comment was carried on the webiste of radio station WTOP in Washington and dated Sept. 10, 2012. John Meyer, director of digital media for the station, said he was investigating how the old story was re-posted.

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james.rainey@latimes.com

Twitter: @latimesrainey

MORE COMMENTARY FROM JAMES RAINEY:

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