Oklahoma State Representative Says That Abortions Need A Man’s Consent

The Republican Rep. Justin Humphrey referred to women as "hosts".

An Oklahoma State Representative has announced a new law that he wants to put in place which would mean that no woman would be legally allowed to get an abortion without the consent of her sexual partner. The Republican Rep. Justin Humphrey drafted House Bill 1441 on January 9, after he was elected to represent Oklahoma’s 19th district in the state legislature just last year. According to recent reports, the bill states that “No abortion shall be performed in this state without the written informed consent of the father of the fetus.”

The only exceptions that may be made are in the circumstances where the pregnancy was a result of rape or incest, or if the pregnancy has resulted in the danger of the woman’s life. However, despite this claim, there are no details in the bill about how a woman would have to prove that rape or incest had occurred. According to the Intercept’s Jordan Smith, the bill did not receive comment from the House Public Health Committee on February 8, although it is on the agenda to be discussed within the next few days. The report by the Intercept also originally reported that the reason behind Humphrey writing the bill was because men have been “excluded…from these kinds of decisions.” He told the Intercept on February 8, “I understand that [women] feel like that is their body”, before continuing by saying that he prefers to call women “hosts”. He said,

“I feel like it is a separate — what I call them is, is you’re a ‘host.’ 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.”

If the bill is to be passed in the near future, it would mean that all women living in the state of Oklahoma would need to get men’s permission to get an abortion. Following initial reports, the bill could come into play by November this year. The passing of the bill would also mean that the state would join Arkansas on the list of states that “let other people interfere with a woman’s federally protected right to abortion”, according to recent reports. Oklahoma lawmakers decided to move the measure toward a full vote by the legislature, which comes at a time that the anti-abortion movement is becoming bolder under the ruling of President Donald Trump. At one point, President Trump suggested that any woman who has an abortion should be punished before he promised to elect a judge to the Supreme Court who was firmly against abortions.

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