As Oklahoma lawmakers preside over a recently introduced bill that would require the written consent of the father of the fetus for a pregnant woman to have an abortion, a certain state Rep. Justin Humphrey (who is, believe it or not, a Republican) offered some words in response to the controversy and backlash around the bill. The main argument against the bill is that it serves to dehumanize women by stripping them of decision-making power as if they are the property of whoever impregnated them.
In this sense, Humphrey’s response on Monday offered opponents of the bill some crazy ammunition… by calling pregnant women “hosts.” Yes, he literally responded to criticism of a bill that serves to dehumanize women by essentially identifying women not as human beings but literal aliens. “I understand that they feel like that is their body,” Humphrey told the Intercept in an interview. “I feel like it is a separate — what I call them is, is you’re a ‘host.’”
His full response doesn’t make things any better. From the Intercept:
“I believe one of the breakdowns in our society is that we have excluded the man out of all of these types of decisions,” he said. “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.”
Yes, he really did just say that men have been excluded from decision-making throughout history. Considering how 1) there were virtually zero female lawmakers throughout the early-mid 20th century during which abortion was illegal on a federal level and in most states, and 2) how, historically, women couldn’t make any medical decisions with their doctors without their husbands’ consent through most of American history, as well, I beg to differ. Let’s also never forget that iconic photo from last month of President Trump signing a bill on women’s reproductive rights six male advisers standing behind him, but yeah, sure, men have no decision-making power when it comes to matters of the uterus.
Frankly, this bill is a national embarrassment, and sure, like all regulations on abortion, is rooted in the presumption that the rights of fertilized eggs and unviable fetuses are somehow more important than those of living women. But on top of that, the bill additionally reduces women to the property of their male partners, and of course, alien hosts.