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Grossly Patronizing GOP Rep Says ‘I Wish Women Could Make Decisions’ About Abortion

Excuse me?

Two white men debate at podiums.

In Utah, Republican Representative John Curtis and his Democratic challenger Glenn Wright met Thursday evening for a debate ahead of the upcoming midterm elections. Curtis took the opportunity to fully embarrass himself while trying to explain his anti-abortion views.

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Speaking about the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and leave the legality of abortion up to states and their overwhelmingly male legislatures, Curtis took an excessively patronizing stance.

“Now look, I get it, if you’re a woman, it stinks that most of these legislatures are men, most of these decisions are made by men,” Curtis said with a smarmy, paternalistic smile. “I wish it were other than that. I wish, as a man, I didn’t have to make this decision. I wish women could make this decision.”

The look on Wright’s face as Curtis says these is pure incredulity. He, like everyone watching at home, does not seem to believe he’s actually hearing these words come out of Curtis’ mouth. It’s also possible that part of his reaction is also not believing his luck.

The Salt Lake Tribune writes that following the debate, “Wright, who is widely considered the underdog in this crimson district, said he thinks he has a shot in this race if voters upset by the overturn of Roe v. Wade show up to vote on Election Day.”

“If there’s enough mad women and their families in this state that say, ‘This has got to stop,’ then I’ll get some more votes,” Wright told reporters.

Abortion is proving to be an issue that will drive “mad women” and other voters to the polls, even in deep red states. What Curtis said is a deeply unpopular view across the country and across parties. It’s also not convincing. I fully do not believe Curtis—who identifies as “unapologetically pro-life”—actually wishes women could make these decisions. If that were the case, he might actually listen to the women he was elected to serve rather than consistently voting against their interests.

(image: screencap)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.

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