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Rolly: Utah has answer to bumbling GOP messenger problem
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Congressional Republicans pushing legislation to ban abortions at 20 weeks after conception are looking for new faces to advance that agenda because the tea-party-inspired male mouthpieces continue to out-stupid each other.

While it hasn't been explicitly stated, Utah could be the savior of the anti-choice movement that keeps suffering setbacks because of the comments made by its advocates.

Last year, we had Republican Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin arguing against an exemption to an abortion ban for rape victims because, "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to shut that whole thing [pregnancy] down."

Then there was the GOP's Senate candidate in Indiana, Richard Mourdock, claiming that if a woman became pregnant from a rape, "that is something that God intended to happen."

Then there is Republican Congressman Paul Broun, of Georgia, famous for claiming that evolution, embryology, the Big Bang Theory are "lies straight from the pit of hell." He demanded that he be removed as a co-sponsor of the abortion-ban bill because it allowed for exceptions for rape and incest victims.

But the most sensational idiocy of them all was Texas Congressman Michael Burgess' assertion that a fetus would feel the pain of an abortion because of evidence the fetus feels pleasure. His example was male fetuses in the womb putting their hands between their legs.

That led to a U.S. News and World Report blog headline that read: "Comments by Representative Michael Burgess about fetuses masturbating not based in science, doctors say."

All this was discussed Wednesday on the "Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC with her guest, Adele Stan, senior Washington correspondent for RH Reality Check. They noted the anti-choice advocates in the GOP have decided it's not the message that is holding them back, it's the messengers.

They mentioned how the sponsor of the abortion-ban bill, Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., was pulled by House leadership from floor-managing his bill after he said pregnancies don't occur very often from rape, so it's not a problem.

The reins to guiding the bill through the House were given to a woman — Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.

Stan noted the strategy had been proffered at an event sponsored by Ralph Reed, a leader of the Christian conservative movement.

The theory was that women should be the leaders of the abortion-ban movement because the men who have so far taken the lead are, well, idiots.

But Stan said Reed's Faith and Freedom Conference took it one step further. One panelist suggested it should not just be a woman, but an African-American woman because of Democrats' claims that abortion bans hurt the poor and minorities the most.

Ta-daaaa!

We Utahns have got one for you — our very own Mia Love. She's Republican. She's conservative. She's well-spoken. And she's black. And she almost beat Jim Matheson last time.

There is just one problem.

Love is a Mormon whose church, in stating its policy against abortions and for the sanctity of life, allows for an exception for victims of rape or incest.

Well, nobody's perfect.

prolly@sltrib.com

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