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Pray Tell 

Bodily Autonomy, Sore Winners

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Pray Tell
Oh, dear me! Doesn't the world know how very sensitive Utah politicians are? Just ask them. They can weep at the drop of a hat and pray, pray, pray for solutions to anything they are unwilling to tackle in the real world. They are "good men," a phrase frequently used when describing otherwise disgraced "decision-makers," and no, they can't take a joke. Why? Because it stings, and everyone knows Utahns are a very serious sort with strong beliefs from the Q-publicans and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So, when John Oliver ventured into the minefield that is how to handle water scarcity in the West and Gov. Spencer Cox's request that we pray the drought away, it did not go well. "Complete disrespect—what John Oliver said about Utah's drought," Deseret News contributor Micah Safsten wrote. The hundreds of Twitter comments said it all, reminding the D-News that Oliver is a "smart" comedian—emphasis on comedy. And if Oliver offends you, have you heard Chelsea Handler lately?

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Bodily Autonomy
While anti-abortion activists cavorted at the Capitol, The Salt Lake Tribune's Andy Larsen laid out the hard facts. To the hard-core right, it was a miracle—just as "God" intended—even though it took him 50 years to perfect women as livestock. But Larsen thought about the implications and took a look at actual facts. Things like the number of abortions steadily decreasing in the state over decades and the stunning reasons that women choose to abort. Socio-economic factors were the big ones, and they are only going to get worse with the Supreme Court ruling. Unmarried women in their 20s just starting out their lives took a large share of abortions. If it's a miracle that they will be forced to give birth, get married or give up their children, not pursuing college or careers, then their poverty and depression is a miraculous irony.

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Sore Winners
As long as we're on the Supreme Court, let's talk about voting. You may remember it as something you thought of as a citizen's right, a way to make your voice heard in a democracy once revered. But in the horror movie that is today's United States, the court is poised to make it a lot more difficult because no one trusts you or—for that matter—election officials not to screw with the system. Enter Blanding Republican Rep. Phil Lyman, Utah's standard-bearer of right-wing conspiracies. He is certain that voting machines have been switching out votes and undermining Sen. Mike Lee, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. You know, it's Mike Lee who won the GOP primary with 62% of the vote. Even in bright red Utah, Lyman doesn't trust those mailed ballots that continue to give Republicans an insurmountable edge. Lyman should just wait. The high court likely will elevate gerrymandering from partisan manipulation to an electoral certainty.

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About The Author

Katharine Biele

Katharine Biele

Bio:
A City Weekly contributor since 1992, Biele is the informed voice behind our Hits & Misses and Citizen Revolt columns. When not writing, you can catch her working to empower voters and defend democracy alongside the League of Women Voters.

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