An Oklahoma politician in the US has sparked outrage for referring to pregnant women as “hosts” while proposing an anti-choice bill.
Republican Justin Humphrey made the comments while putting forward a bill that would see women forced to obtain written permission from their sexual partner in order to have an abortion in the US state.
Humphrey told news site, The Intercept, that the bill’s intention was to allow men to have a say in whether their partner terminates her pregnancy.
“I understand that they feel like that is their body,” he said, referring to 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 went on to say that once women were “irresponsible” they must forfeit the right to do what they want with their body – because it’s no longer just their body that is in question, he claims.
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“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 bill – which passed the state’s House on Wednesday, but needs to pass the House of Representatives to become law – does have exclusions.
If the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, is putting the woman’s life in danger or if the father is deceased, no written permission is needed.
Unsurprisingly, Humphrey’s comments have angered women who see themselves as more than just the potential host to a fetus.
In response to the outrage, Humphrey said he would not continue using the term “hosts” but maintained that he did not know a better way to describe pregnant women, Oklahoma’s’ News9 reports.
“But I’ve not continued to use that out of respect to the people who’ve said they don’t like it,” Humphrey said.