During a debate on Thursday, Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah) lamented that male, not female, lawmakers get to decide whether to ban abortion—a statement that made his Democratic opponent Glenn Wright roll his eyes and laugh on stage.
The moderator read a question from a viewer asking when the candidates felt it was appropriate to limit abortion. Wright got to respond first, and he called the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe and Casey an “egregious error” that will harm the health of women and pregnant people. (Utah’s near-total abortion ban is blocked from taking effect while a lawsuit plays out.)
Then Curtis piped up and explained that Roe sent abortion back to the states, which sure “stinks” for women, because now the many men in charge get to regulate our bodies as they please. “Now look, I get it,” he said. “If you’re a woman, it stinks that most of these legislators are men. Most of these decisions are made by men. I wish it were other than that. I wish as a man, I didn’t have to make this decision.”
Here’s a partial clip of his answer, including his opponent’s very relatable reaction. (The video of the full debate is on YouTube and the exchange begins at 57:00.)
Curtis’ full response:
“The Supreme Court...all they did was said [sic] there’s no right to an abortion in the Constitution, which then pushed this issue down to the states. Now look, I get it—if you’re a woman, it stinks that most of these legislators are men. Most of these decisions are made by men. 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.
And that being said, it falls on state legislatures to thoughtfully decide in their state what they want to do. State legislators are responsible to the people in the state. There’s far more accountability on the state level than there is on the federal level. It’s harder to get a federal law changed or versus a state law. And as we watch this play out across the United States, I think you’re gonna see legislatures take different positions. That’s the beauty of states’ rights. And as a federal legislator, I quite frankly, believe that’s where it shouldn’t be.”
Hey John, women could make this decision if Roe were still on the books! And interesting that you claim state legislatures are more accountable to voters, yet they still aren’t representative of voters.
Somehow, neither the moderator or Wright followed up to ask whether Curtis would vote for a national abortion ban if Republicans regain the House this fall.
The race is not competitive, with Curtis up by 25 points right now. Sorry to anyone who this man represents in Congress.