Anti-abortion legislation is never just a one-off. If one state pushes to ban abortion after six weeks, it might look crazy at first, but it’s virtually guaranteed that not much time will pass before another state tries to ban it after five weeks. Two weeks ago, Arkansas lawmakers submitted a bill that would let a woman’s husband, family, or even her rapist, legally prevent her from getting an abortion. Now Oklahoma has picked up that football and is running with it, and if it succeeds any woman trying to get an abortion would have to get written permission from a man.
First-year Oklahoma representative Justin Humphrey, who is the sort of guy who mistakenly thinks wearing a cowboy hat in his official portrait will make him look less like a sniveling little accountant in a John Wayne movie, wrote the bill to give men a legal say in whether or not a woman gets an abortion. Women might think that the decision is up to them, because they own their own bodies, but Humphrey told The Intercept that women are wrong about that. According to Humphrey, women don’t actually have bodily autonomy, and their bodies do not belong to them, because as far as he’s concerned, women are hosts.
“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.’”
We shouldn’t have to tell our elected officials that women are people, but here we are. Hopefully the freshman representative will discover soon that “hosts” can vote.