Pregnant women's bodies are 'hosts', says US lawmaker
A US lawmaker has described pregnant women as "hosts" whose bodies do not belong to them.
Republican politician Justin Humphrey, from southeast Oklahoma, made the comments while discussing his bill requiring women seeking an abortion to first obtain the written informed consent of the father. The bill is scheduled for a hearing on Tuesday in a House committee.
"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 you're a 'host'."
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Humphrey said women need to be responsible after "pre-knowing" they are "inviting" a foetus into their bodies.
"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," he said.
"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."
Humphrey's statements caused an uproar.
State Representative Emily Virgin described Humphrey's comment as "incredibly disrespectful".
While he said his intent was not to offend anyone, Humphrey stood by his use of the term.
The state of Oklahoma has passed some of the strictest anti-abortion bills in the US, although at least five have been struck down by the courts in recent years.