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Oklahoma lawmaker thinks pregnant women are “hosts”

Just in case you thought your body belonged to you

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By Emily Baker on

Oklahoma state legislator Justin Humphrey has defended a bill that would require women seeking an abortion to provide written permission from their sexual partner by claiming that women’s bodies are “hosts”.

Speaking to The Intercept, Humphrey said the bill – which has been noted as unconstitutional – would allow men to have a say in decisions they are usually “excluded” from. 

He continued to say that the purpose and ownership of women’s bodies changes once they have been “irresponsible” ie had sex resulting in an unwanted pregnancy:

“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.”

An unwanted pregnancy can’t be aligned with the concept of a “host”, because it removes one of the most fundamental components of being an adult human: choice

Humphrey’s use of the word “host” is truly chilling. People become “hosts” of deadly viruses in zombie novels; parasitic relationships depend on the presence of a “host”. Sigourney Weaver’s character in Alien 3 was a “host” and we’re all aware of how that turned out. 

An unwanted pregnancy can’t be aligned with the concept of a “host”, because it removes one of the most fundamental components of being an adult human: choice. This is what makes a woman more than a vessel to carry a foetus – the impetus and drive to make decisions about the body she owns. 

Justin Humphrey uses the word “host” because that is what he wants women to be. The bill is designed to push women away from their human ability to make decisions – it is designed to take away their choice.

@emilyrbakes

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