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Utah, apparently


Utah seems like a terrible place. Oh, must we elaborate on that? Fine. Utah seems like a terrible place if you are a woman who has the misfortune of wanting to exercise your constitutional right to have a medical procedure that is usually one of the safest procedures in all of modern medicine. Utah's uber-conservative super-smartypants legislators and governor decided abortion is a little too safe and accessible for women, so presto change-o, fixed that for ya, girls, you're welcome:

Utah's governor on Monday signed a bill requiring doctors to administer anesthesia to women receiving an abortion at the 20th week of gestation, his office said.

The bill, the first of its kind in the nation according to the Salt Lake Tribune, states that an anesthetic or analgesic will "eliminate or alleviate organic pain to the unborn child."

Oh, well, in that case, it's totally worth the medically unnecessary step of extra-drugging women. The "pro-lifers" who run the state say so, thus it must be true. Just out of curiosity, though, let's ask an actual medical professional doctor person. Tell us what you think, Wonkette's Official Favorite Ladyparts MD, Dr. Jen Gunter:

The bill has been labelled by many as the anesthesia bill because it requires that providers give anesthesia for abortions after 20 weeks. This is based on the incorrect belief that a fetus can feel pain before 24 weeks. This is obviously an attempt to raise the cost of the procedure and restrict it to operating rooms, adding even more barriers.

Oh. This bill doesn't actually benefit or protect the fetus in any way, but it does make it an even bigger pain in the ass for women to just get their damned abortions? Cool. Anything else wrong with this stupid bill?

The law says “anesthetic or analgesic” with no specifications and I don’t know anyone who does 20 week or later procedures without some kind of anesthesia or analgesia (pain relief) for the pregnant woman and almost all these medications cross the placenta.

Pffft, silly Dr. Jen. The bill isn't about alleviating the woman's pain. Who cares about that? It says right there in the name of the bill that the point is "protecting unborn children," not their evil heartless mothers. Anything else you think is bad and wrong with this bill because you're a dumb doctor person instead of a brilliant Utah legislator?

Anesthesia and analgesia are very broad terms. A Tylenol is analgesia and as acetaminophen crosses the placenta that would count as fetal analgesia. Most providers give some kind of intravenous sedation for second trimester procedures, so that pretty much covers anesthesia and analgesia. If it the law said only eliminate pain then heavy sedation or a general anesthetic would be required, but alleviate is improve.

So, this new law was written by people who didn't go to medical school and are using terms they do not understand, to tell people who did go to medical school to do something that does not make any actual literal sense, medically speaking? Neat! At least the governor had a terrific reason for signing this into law:

"The governor is adamantly pro-life. He believes in not only erring on the side of life, but also minimizing any pain that may be caused to an unborn child," a spokesman for Republican Governor Gary Herbert said in a statement.

Oh wait, that's not a terrific reason. That's a stupid nonsense unlogic reason, from a virulently anti-choice a-hole, based on "pro-life" propaganda science fiction lies, in order to create yet another unnecessary burden for women to make it that much harder, in a state where it's already not very easy, to obtain a legal medical procedure.

In other words, it's a day that ends in "y."

[Reuters / Dr. Jen Gunter]

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Republicans are devouring each other's carcasses, and we are here for it! Especially when one of those Republicans is King Kris of the Kansas Votefucker Klan ... errr, Clan! It's been a week since Kansans cast their votes in the gubernatorial primary, and the GOP looks to be rolling up its sleeves for a slugfest.

As we type, Kobach leads by 298 votes out of more than 314,000 cast -- a whopping 0.00095 percent, if you round up! The Kansas GOP begged Donald Trump to stay out of the race and leave the field clear for sitting governor Jeff Colyer, who took over when Sam Brownback wandered off to bring Jesus to the Hottentots on behalf of the US government. Safe bet that Colyer would be gearing up for the general election now if President Twitterthumbs hadn't flapped his yap. So thanks for that, Donny!

No, really, THANKS!

Remember the hanging chad debacle in Florida? Now picture it in a landlocked state with more cows than people. It's like fantasy island for Devin Nunes, ALLEGEDLY.

Oh, but we are to kid!

After first insisting he wasn't going to recuse from the counting, Secretary of State Kris Kobach (one and the same!) wrote Colyer a fabulously bitchy letter agreeing to hand off the tabulation to his deputy, Eric Rucker. Colyer had made the shocking suggestion that Kobach delegate responsibility to the Kansas attorney general, rather than his own political appointee, and Kobach was stretched out on the settee with a fit of the vapors at the gross impropriety of it all!

I will not breach the public trust and arbitrarily assign my responsibilities to another office that is not granted such authority by the laws of Kansas.

After several anguished paragraphs, Kobach closed by remonstrating that Colyer was betraying his office by destroying the faith of Kansans in the sacred integrity of their electoral process.

As governor of Kansas, your unrestrained rhetoric has the potential to undermine the public's confidence in the election process. May I suggest that you trust the people of Kansas have made the right decision at the polls and that our election officials will properly determine the result as they do in every election.

Said the guy whose entire adult life has been dedicated to whipping up panic about millions of imaginary illegal alien voters.

So now these two princes can kick the crap out of each other WITH VOTES, specifically, provisional ballots cast by unaffiliated voters under the supervision of poorly trained poll workers. Kansas holds closed primaries, meaning only registered Republicans can vote to select the GOP candidate, BUT an unaffiliated voter can cast a vote by checking a box identifying as a Democrat or a Republican at the polling place. This was news to some poll workers, who mistakenly directed over one thousand unaffiliated voters to use provisional ballots without checking the box indicating party preference. Whoops!

So, will those provisional ballots be counted based on voter intent? Or tossed based on strict interpretation of the statute? And does Kansas law mandate tossing mail-in ballots that arrive without a postmark on Wednesday, since there's no forensic proof that they were mailed before midnight on Tuesday? And how disgusted will the Kansas electorate be when one of these assholes emerges from the melée holding the other one's scalp? And how many millions of dollars are going to be spent on litigating the Republican primary while this nice lady Laura Kelly, the Democratic minority whip of the Kansas Senate, is out campaigning for November?

Even before this debacle, Kobach looked significantly weaker against Kelly than Colyer, with self-funded Libertarian Jeff Orman threatening to throw a wrench in the works. The Wichita Eagle reports on a Remington Research Poll conducted in July:

In a Kelly-Orman-Kobach race, the poll puts Kelly and Kobach effectively in a dead heat — 36 percent for Kelly and 35 percent for Kobach, with Kelly's lead within the margin of error. Orman has 12 percent.

Colyer leads in a three-way race with Kelly and Orman, according to the poll. In that scenario, Colyer receives 38 percent of the vote, while Kelly gets 28 percent and Orman receives 10 percent.

Which is ONE POLL, in a deeply red state, but ... Kobach is a crap candidate who's likely to emerge from this fight with two black eyes and a pissed off base. If there's anyone who can blow this election, it's Kris Kobach.

Keep fighting, Kris! You can do it! (And now we need a shower.)

And YOU need an OPEN THREAD!

Follow your FDF on Twitter!

Money us, PLEASE! Throw a tip in the jar, or click here to keep your Wonkette snarking forever.

[Kobach letter / Wichita Eagle / Mother Jones / Kansas City Star]

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While most people spent this weekend telling Nazi punks to fuck off, a couple 11-year-olds were in Las Vegas hacking into voting machines. Why? BECAUSE IT'S FUN!

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