A Kern County assemblywoman is responding to criticism after a speech in which she reportedly suggested God eased Texas’ drought after the state passed anti-abortion legislation and now “has his hold on California.”
According to RH Reality Check, an online publication that covers reproductive health, Assemblywoman Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) told a group of anti-abortion advocates that “Texas was in a long period of drought until Gov. [Rick] Perry signed the fetal pain bill. It rained that night.”
She apparently was referring to controversial legislation that banned nearly all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and will close most of the state’s abortion clinics.
Grove was speaking earlier this month at the California ProLife Legislative Banquet in Sacramento and brought a Bible to the podium, according to RH Reality Check.
In a statement Monday, Grove said she was “incorrectly quoted” but acknowledged that she told the audience it rained the night Perry signed the bill. She said she thought the information “would be interesting to my audience.”
“I did not say that God made it rain because of the bill; I did not say God has a hold on California, (insinuating a threat.) I did say I believe with all my heart that the Lord has his hand on California (in the sense of a blessing to come.)” The parentheses were included in her quote.
In her statement, she said she did not say God is the cause of California’s record-breaking drought and that “millions of Californians” are praying for the state.
On Facebook, however, Grove said last week: “Is this drought caused by God? Nobody knows. But biblical history shows a consequence to man’s actions; we do know for sure that California’s water shortage crisis has been compounded by liberal politicians’ poor decisions — not properly managing our water resources and refusing to build water storage for decades.”
In an e-mailed statement to The Times, NARAL Pro-Choice California blasted Grove’s statements.
“Blaming this drought on women who exercise their reproductive rights is patently ridiculous,” said Amy Everitt, state director of the political advocacy group. “It shows how out of touch Assemblymember Grove is with the majority of Californians who respect a woman’s right to dignity and self-determination.”
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