‘Women are merely hosts’: Oklahoma bill requires women seeking abortions to get man’s permission|
Republican Rep. Justin Humphrey has successfully advanced a bill in Oklahoma that would require women seeking abortions to reveal the identity of the man who impregnated her, as well as acquire permission him to perform the procedure.
“My bill would stop an abortion if a father does not agree to the abortion,” Humphrey told the state House Public Health Committee, according to The Oklahoman.
Humphrey admitted that his bill is unconstitutional. It directly violates a 1992 Supreme Court ruling that affirmed women do not need the permission of their sexual partner to perform an abortion.
“The women most affected by this law — those who most reasonably fear the consequences of notifying their husbands that they are pregnant — are in the gravest danger,” the majority wrote.
Humphrey said that he wanted to “spark a debate” about the role of fathers in abortion proceedings, though he admitted that “I’m not sure” where that role is. Humphrey intends to keep editing the bill.
Humphrey recently came under fire for referring to pregnant women’s bodies as a “host” for fetuses.
“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.”
Humphrey’s bill is just the latest in a flurry of anti-abortion activity in the US. As of this writing, 18 states have passed over 50 new abortion rights restrictions, with more continuing to advance.
Abortion rates are currently at historic lows, but states with restrictive anti-abortion laws have tended to decline at slower rates than those without.
Nathan Wellman is a Los Angeles-based journalist, author, and playwright. Follow him on Twitter: @LightningWOW