Speed Reads


Oklahoma anti-abortion lawmaker calls pregnant women 'host' bodies

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma House's Public Health Committee is scheduled to vote on HB 1441, a bill that would require a woman to get written permission from her sexual partner before getting an abortion and requiring her to identify the father to her doctor. The bill was written by state Rep. Justin Humphrey (R), and while a similar law was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1992, he told The Intercept's Jordan Smith last week that it's time to push the issue again, because he believes "one of the breakdowns in our society is that we have excluded the man out of all of these types of decisions." It is how he described women to Smith, though, that made news:

"I understand that they feel like that is their body," he said of women. "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," he explained. "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." [The Intercept]

Humphrey, who is apparently in favor of birth control, makes an exception for incest, rape, and a pregnant woman's health, and he told Smith the original point was to get "fathers to have to pay child support at the beginning," from conception, but that language was removed from the bill. Of all the abortion-related bills in the Oklahoma legislature, "this one, by far, was the one that bothered us the most," Rev. Shannon Speidel told The Intercept. "There were a lot of feelings about it. In a state that doesn't really spend a lot of time on domestic violence issues it really just showed ignorance regarding what relationships can be for some women." You can read more about the legislation at The Intercept and The Oklahoman.