When you’re the host

The hostility is a little too obvious with this one:

A bill advancing in Oklahoma would require a woman to get the written consent of the fetus’s father before obtaining an abortion.

The bill, which passed out of a House committee Tuesday, would also require a woman “to provide, in writing, the identity of the father of the fetus to the physician who is to perform or induce the abortion,” according to the bill’s language. “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 bill’s author, Rep. Justin Humphrey (R), could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

What’s the problem here? The father doesn’t gestate the fetus. That’s the problem here. It’s not his body that gets taken over for nine months. He doesn’t have the same kind of stake that she does. He may long for a baby, he may long for a baby far more than she does, but that has nothing to do with the fact that she is the one who has to share her body in order to make the baby.

It is because the woman does have to share her body in order to make the baby that the father must not have a veto power over her choice not to share her body, nor a right to force or compel her to share her body. His desire for a baby (gestated by someone else), however strong, cannot overrule someone else’s desire not to gestate a baby.

Humphrey says he gets all that “it’s her body” stuff – he just disagrees with it.

But in an interview with The Intercept earlier this month, Humphrey said that men should be able to have a say over the fate of a fetus, and suggested that a woman has greater responsibility in a relationship for preventing pregnancy because she would be the “host.”

“I believe one of the breakdowns in our society is that we have excluded the man out of all of these types of decisions,” he said. “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.’ 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,” he explained. “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.”

Not a problem he’ll ever have to deal with, is it. Easy for him to assume that women who get pregnant without wanting to are just “irresponsible” and that’s the end of it. Easy for him to assume that all pregnancies are “invited in.”

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