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Congressional candidate runs abortion rights ad in red state Utah

Posted at 1:42 PM, Nov 13, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — Kathleen Riebe, the Democratic candidate in the special election for Utah's Second Congressional District, has launched a TV ad focusing on abortion rights.

The ad, which attacks her Republican opponent's positions on abortion, is noteworthy in that Riebe is choosing to highlight the issue of abortion in red state Utah. In an interview with FOX 13 News, Riebe said it is something she thinks Utah voters are pausing to think about since Roe v. Wade was overturned.

"When you look at the results of the election on Tuesday, you have Ohio, Kansas some really red states are taking another look at this and they are not agreeing," she said of abortion bans.

The Utah State Legislature in 2020 passed a near-total abortion ban that is currently being challenged in court. It provides some exceptions for rape, incest and health of the mother. Riebe, who serves in the Utah State Senate, voted against the ban and has criticized it on the campaign trail.

"Myself when I had a miscarriage, would I have to sit in the parking lot and wait until I was really sick before I was allowed to have care? If my daughter was raped, would she have to have that baby? I am not OK with that and I don’t think most women and parents are," she said. "So when you think about what’s important to your family, you think about having agency to do what’s best for your family."

The campaign of Celeste Maloy, the Republican candidate in the race, declined to comment on the TV ad.

An October poll from Lighthouse Research for the Utah Debate Commission put Maloy in the lead with 42.8% support with Riebe behind her with 34.2%.

The poll, conducted by Lighthouse Research, surveyed 528 registered voters from the 2nd Congressional District from Sept. 26 to Oct. 6. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.26%. Libertarian candidate Brad Green received 5.6% support; United Utah Party candidate January Walker and unaffiliated candidate Joe Buchman received less than 3%; Constitution Party candidate Cassie Easley and unaffiliated candidate Perry Myers received less than 2%. The poll found 9.2% of voters said they were undecided.