A lawmaker in Oklahoma who wrote a bill intended to give men veto rights over their partners' abortion procedures recently referred to a pregnant woman as a "host."
Republican state Rep. Justin Humphrey wrote a bill, HB 1441, that would have required women who seek abortions to first get written permission from their male sex partners, whom women would have had to identify to their doctors. The bill was tabled on Feb. 8.
Humphrey told The Intercept that he wanted to force "fathers to have to pay child support" from the moment of conception, and explained his "host" theory:
I believe one of the breakdowns in our society is that we have excluded the man out of all of these types of decisions. I understand that they feel like that is their body. I feel like it is a separate -- what I call them is, is you’re a "host."
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And you know when you enter into a relationship you’re going to be that host and so, you know, if you pre-know that then take all precautions and don’t get pregnant. So that’s where I’m at. I’m like, hey, your body is your body and be responsible with it. But after you’re irresponsible then don’t claim, well, I can just go and do this with another body, when you’re the host and you invited that in.
Amanda Allen, a lawyer for the Center for Reproductive Rights, responded: "I would say it’s certainly a new low for Oklahoma. This is, to my mind, a fruitless effort to shame and stigmatize women who are seeking abortion care and it is completely and unequivocally unconstitutional."
The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a provision in a Pennsylvania law in 1992 that required a married woman to tell her husband of her intention to get an abortion prior to the medical procedure.
The notification requirement was deemed an "undue burden" in the ruling of the 5-4 vote.
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The ruling was written by three justices who said an "undue burden" was a "substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion before the fetus attains viability."