Anti-abortion members of the Republican Party are sometime accused of viewing women as fetus-carriers; mere vessels through which to birth a child, as opposed to flesh-and-blood human beings. Usually, that's going too far. But not all the time! In a recent Facebook post, Virginia Republican Senator Steve Martin (no, not that one) bluntly admitted that he sees a pregnant woman as “the child’s host,” adding, in a snarling parenthetical, that “some refer to them as mothers.”
“I don't expect to be in the room, or will I do anything to prevent you from obtaining a contraceptive,” state Senator Steve Martin wrote in a defiant Facebook post to pro-choicers in Virginia. “However, once a child does exist in your womb, I'm not going to assume a right to kill it just because the child's host (some refer to them as mothers) doesn't want it.”
The logic here is odd, as it implies that individual human rights actually regress as a person gets older. After all, Martin defend the rights of a fetus in a womb, but once that fetus becomes a baby, grows up, and gets pregnant with a child of her own, she’s merely a “host.” At what point between birth and pregnancy, then, does a woman lose her status as an actual human being?
Then again, looking for logic in such an impetuous attack is probably a lost cause. At least we can commend Martin for being upfront and honest with his ghastly brand of sexism, right? Actually, no, because after he published the original post, he went back and edited it. He changed “host” to “bearer of the child,” but kept the “some refer to them as mothers” part, thus ensuring that he’d alienate both supporters and opponents of his original sentiment.
In all likelihood, Virginia Republicans are still fuming about their disastrous performance in the last election, which resulted in Democrats holding every statewide elected office and winning control of the state Senate. That defeat was due largely to the party’s anemic support amongst single women; Martin apparently believes that the key to winning back that support, and thus having the power to actually enact laws again, is to brand pregnant women as “hosts” and smugly deride the preposterous notion that they’re actually mothers, and human beings.
It’s stuff like this that turns a purple state blue.