Today in totally unexpected news, Oklahoma, the most famously anti-abortion state in the union, refused to make a bill by Rep. Justin Humphrey law. The House Public Health Committee of Oklahoma decided to completely block the bill. Despite the state’s checkered history with anti-abortion bills, a similar measure was also blocked a few decades prior to Humphrey’s push for this bill.
Humphrey states that women’s bodies are a potential “host” to life when they are pregnant and they do not have a right to make a decision for abortion without their male partner’s consent. Here are Humphrey’s remarks trying to explain the urgency of the bill to The Intercept:
“I understand that they feel like that is their body. 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”
Seems like what Humphrey is condescendingly trying to say is, “Sweetie, I know you think you have control over your body and all on account of feminism and such — but that’s not how I feel. And my feelings are important too, if not more important.” He thinks pushing the idea that women are vessels of reproduction that give up their human rights after they conceive is top priority legislation, when really he may feel that his regressive politics are open for acceptance in the era of Trump.
Luckily, Oklahoma has yet to make the 1973 Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade invalid. Governor of Oklahoma, Mary Fallin, has made quite a number of push backs towards reproduction rights, but refused to ban abortion altogether last session. And now the decision to disallow Humphrey’s bill has set a precedent for anti-abortion states everywhere and ultimately given hope to women in those states.
As Rev. Shannon Speidel, a member of Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, put it:
“If you really want to make abortions be gone, then do everything possible to provide birth control, to have comprehensive sex education and, more importantly, to make sure there are programs in place that are going to help women and families.”