'Irresponsible' pregnant women are 'hosts' to babies - Republican

Oklahoma Republican Justin Humphrey (Facebook)
Justin Humphrey (Facebook)

A US Republican is pushing for a new bill in Oklahoma requiring pregnant women to get a man's permission for an abortion, calling them "irresponsible".

Justin Humphrey said once a woman becomes pregnant, she loses all autonomy over her own body and is now a "host".

Only requiring a woman to approve an abortion has led to a "breakdown in society", he says.

"I understand that they feel like that is their body," he told The Intercept.

"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."

His bill is likely to fall flat - a similar one, which required a married woman to prove she had "notified her husband of her intention to abort the foetus", was struck down in 1992 as unconstitutional.

Mr Humphrey's proposed bill excludes victims of incest or rape, if continuing the pregnancy endangers the woman's life, and if the father is dead and the woman signs a legally binding statement proving this.

Otherwise, "written informed consent" of the father would be required - with the named person able to demand a paternity test.

He claims it's to ensure women are "responsible" with their own bodies.

"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 House Public Health Committee voted 5-2 in favour of the bill, and it's now proceeding to the full House.

Amanda Allen, senior state legislative counsel for the Center for Reproductive Rights, called the bill "a new low" for the state.

"This is, to my mind, a fruitless effort to shame and stigmatise women who are seeking abortion care and it is completely and unequivocally unconstitutional," she told The Intercept.