Oklahoma Lawmaker Considers Pregnant People “Hosts” in Anti-Abortion Bill

In this week’s edition of cringy, oppressive legislation, Oklahoma lawmakers have introduced a bill which would require pregnant people to obtain written permission from the father of the fetus in order to receive an abortion.

The bill would also require pregnant people seeking abortions to submit their sexual partner’s name to their doctors in writing. The identified person could then challenge and demand a paternity test, which would delay the abortion procedure. The only exceptions to this law would be in the cases of incest or rape, threat to the pregnant person’s life, or should the father be deceased – in which case, the pregnant person would be required to sign a notarized affidavit confirming the death.

While this bill is certainly alarming, it is not uncommon for the state of Oklahoma which has become known for passing some of the strictest abortion regulations in the country. The author of the legislation, Rep. Justin Humphrey, explained to The Intercept that his intentions were to let men have a say, because they have been excluded from these decisions. He also went on to explain that while he understands women may feel like their body is their own, they are in fact just “a host” to the fetus, and should have been responsible enough to take “precautions” if they weren’t ready to give their body up to incubating another human for nine months. See his outrageous thoughts below on people, I mean “hosts,” who do become pregnant and want an abortion:

 “I understand that they feel like that is their body. 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.” – Rep. Justin Humphrey

GIPHY Originals reaction annoyed whatever ugh

You can’t make this stuff up.

Aside from the bill (and its author’s intent) being eye-roll worthy, it is also unconstitutional, as ruled in Casey v. Planned Parenthood in 1992. Spousal consent, or in HB 1441’s case paternal consent, undermines pregnant people’s individual liberty and basic right to privacy as protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. By considering people hosts once they become pregnant, Rep. Humphrey and other people who think like him are stripping folks of their personal agency and, frankly, their humanity. This bill affirms that it takes more than one person for conception to work, while simultaneously blaming only one person for getting pregnant.

Women and everyone who gets pregnant (whether or not they “pre-know”) are people, not baby machines Rep. Humphrey.

Header image via Non Doc.

Quita Tinsley is a fat, Black, queer femme that writes, organizes, and overall is working to build sustainable change in the South. She holds a B.A. in Journalism with a minor in Sociology from Georgia State University, and is currently pursuing an M.A. in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from her alma mater. She is a member on the board of directors of Access Reproductive Care – Southeast, and is a former content creator for the The Body Is Not An Apology. As a femme, feminist, and queer Black woman, it is through her lived experiences and complex identities that Quita has come to believe in the power of storytelling and the validation of lived experiences.

Quita Tinsley is a fat, Black, queer femme that writes, organizes, and overall is working to build sustainable change in the South.

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