During a recent legislative gathering regarding the highly anticipated and needed adoption reform bill, House Bill 229, some comments were made by two representatives that struck a nerve with many Utahns. One of these representatives, Edward Redd, hails from Logan, Utah, and mention of this situation was made in the Herald Journal, the local newspaper for Cache Valley.
Redd is quoted as saying, "It just seems like to me women take all the risks in these situations and yet we still seem to be really concerned about the right of the semen donor, for lack of a better term.”
According to Representative Redd, what he said and what he meant are completely different things. Brian Godfrey of Utah Justice TV called Representative Redd regarding his statement to see if there was more to the story, as he felt obligated, being that he is also originally from Cache Valley and President of Fathers Rights of Utah.
House Bill 229, sponsored by Senator Todd Weiler (of Woods Cross) aimed to deter fraudulent adoptions, to stop situations like John Wyatt, Jake Strickland, Rob Manzares and Christopher Carlton’s cases (to name a few) all now represented along with 28 other fathers in a One Hundred and Thirty Million dollar lawsuit by Wesley D. Hutchins who some are referring to as the ‘Headliner Heroes’ due to the outbreak of media coverage ranging from CNN to ‘The View’ on ABC.
Ed Repp stated he never had ill intention nor did he mean to open a wound for Fathers who have always cared and have always been supportive. His comment was intended for situations where parents who are not supportive and have not cared about a pregnancy at all and were really nothing more than the initial biological donor to create the conception in the first place who leave the mother to assume all risk and carry the child to term, alone. ‘I tell you man, this has been a hard 24 hours for me, and I did not intend to offend so many people and I did a really good job at it, I’ll tell you that.’ Said Representative Redd regarding the feedback he has received from so many Utahns.
“Contextomy,” (also known as quote mining) is one thing many people who have gone through a divorce can really identify with as it has happened too many times in court proceedings. Quote mining (often referred to as a straw man argument) is when something is taken out of context and twisted around to seem like something else, often entirely opposite of what was originally intended.
“It’s unfortunate,” said Redd of the anger his comments stirred, “and it wasn’t meant at all to be discouraging to anybody, but it certainly was. It has certainly caused a lot of feedback.” “I messed up, I apologize and I take full responsibility for the comment.”
“It’s time to put down the social media pitchforks and extend a virtual handshake to this representative who has been on the hill for two years running and appears to feel deep remorse that his comment may have upset good fathers and good parents,” said Brian Godfrey, after meeting with Representative Redd.