Virginia delegate was wrong to link abortion, disabilities

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I struggle to find adequate words to express my dismay at Virginia Del. Robert G. Marshall's remarks ["Marshall tries to clarify talk on abortion," Metro, Feb. 25] describing disabled children as nature's vengeance on mothers who have aborted a previous pregnancy. Such a misanthropic characterization of disability is unconscionable, especially from an elected official.

As a minister, I believe that God is neither vengeful nor vindictive, and I am offended by Mr. Marshall's blatant use of religious zealotry to further his limited agenda. He claims to be a supporter of family and children while denigrating the most vulnerable group of children in our society. Children with disabilities are blessings from God, just as all children are, not proof of God's punishment.

This increasingly common habit of blaming hardship and difficulty on the "sins" of one group or another is hurtful to the very people we ought to be helping and undermines the bedrock of compassion and decency that characterize American society at its best.

Please, Mr. Marshall, don't use disabled children to further your political agenda.

Elizabeth M. Kemper, Arlington

The writer is a consulting minister for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Loudoun.

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