OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — A Republican lawmaker in Oklahoma has proposed a bill that would require fathers to provide written consent for the mother of their child—who he refers to as the “host” of their baby—to obtain an abortion.
Rep. Justin Humphrey, R-Albany, recently introduced H.B. 1441, which reads, “No abortion shall be performed in this state without the written informed consent of the father of the fetus.”
“A pregnant woman seeking to abort her pregnancy shall be required to provide, in writing, the identity of the father of the fetus to the physician who is to perform or induce the abortion,” the legislation mandates. “If the person identified as the father of the fetus challenges the fact that he is the father, such individual may demand that a paternity test be performed.”
The requirement does not apply if the father is deceased, if the woman is a victim of rape or incest, or in cases where a physician deems that the woman’s life is in danger.
The bill was advanced by the Oklahoma House Public Health Committee on Tuesday by a vote of 5-2.
“I believe one of the breakdowns in our society is that we have excluded the man out of all of these types of decisions,” Humphrey has stated of the measure, according to The Intercept.
“I understand that they feel like that is their body,” he said, referring to women who use the “my body, my choice” reasoning. “I feel like it is a separate—what I call them is, you’re a ‘host.’ And you know when you enter into a relationship you’re going to be that host, and so, if you pre-know that, then take all precautions and don’t get pregnant.”
Humphrey opined that women need to be more responsible with their bodies and the consequences of engaging in reproductive activity.
“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,” he stated.
Abortion advocacy groups have decried the measure, calling it “an affront to women’s autonomy and decision-making capacity.”
“This legislator’s fundamental misunderstanding of human anatomy as well as what birth control is and does is shocking,” Planned Parenthood Great Plains CEO Laura McQuade told The Washington Post. “It’s repugnant that we live in a world now that these types of comments are acceptable to say out loud.”
As previously reported, in an introductory lecture to his course on obstetrics in 1854, Philadelphia doctor Hugh Lennox Hodge lamented that even the mothers of his day were lacking of natural affection toward their own children and sought out means to kill them.
“They seem not to realize that the being within them is indeed animate, that is, in verity, a human being—body and spirit—that it is of importance, that its value is inestimable, having reference to this world and the next,” he said. “They act with as much indifference as if the living, intelligent, immortal existence lodged within their organs were of no more value than the bread eaten, or the common excretions of the system.”
“We can bear testimony that in some instances, the woman who has been well educated, who occupies high stations in society, whose influence over others is great, and whose character has not been impugned, will deliberately resort to any and every measure which may effectively destroy her unborn offspring,” Hodge sorrowed.
“[S]he recklessly and boldly adopts measures, however severe and dangerous, for the accomplishment of her unnatural, her guilty purpose … that she may be delivered of [a child] for which she has no desire, and whose birth and appearance she dreads.”