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Spencer Cox faces backlash for abortion comments

Posted at 10:12 PM, Jan 12, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s lieutenant governor is facing scrutiny for comments at a recent forum comparing abortion to slavery.

Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, who is running for the governor’s seat, appeared alongside three other 2020 gubernatorial candidates at the Eagle Forum convention on Saturday.

Cox was joined by former Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes, former Utah Republican Party Chairman Thomas Wright and Provo businessman Jeff Burningham, and they were asked if they would sign a bill defining life as beginning at conception if given the chance as governor.

All four said they would, but Cox’s comments drew backlash from some members of the public and several state Democratic lawmakers after he said:

“I truly believe that at some point in the future, future generations will look back on us today, and they will… look at abortion the way we look at slavery. It will go down in history as one of the greatest travesties in the history of humankind.”

State Rep. Sandra Hollins — who is the first African-American woman to serve in the Utah legislature — released a statement, saying in part:

“To compare the brutal enslavement of Black Americans to a woman’s constitutionally protected right is offensive… Human bondage, forced labor, and destruction of families is the darkest possible mark on our nation’s soul, and its effects are still felt to this day. We hope that future political discourse in our state will not include such callus [sic] political language.”

Cox released a statement Sunday evening, as reported by The Salt Lake Tribune:

“I have always tried to be a voice for the most vulnerable in our society, those facing intergenerational poverty, refugees, the LGBTQ community, our multicultural communities — and yes the unborn. I also included in my response that our party should do more to support single mothers, pregnant women and children facing poverty and trauma. I continue to be unapologetically pro-life.”