There's a freshman lawmaker down in Oklahoma who is making a name for himself, but it's not a good one. He introduced HB 1441, which would require women to get permission from the men who impregnated them in order to receive an abortion. Yes, you heard that right. But it's his intent behind the law that's the worst part. He sees women as hosts, who are obligated to carry a fetus and give birth because they were "irresponsible" with their bodies. Who is Justin Humphrey? The Oklahoma state representative is a Republican legislating against women's bodily autonomy and reproductive rights.
He won election in November in the state's 19th district. He represents nearly 80,000 Oklahomans in an area southeast of Oklahoma City that stretches over four counties. According to his campaign website, he worked in corrections for 20 years and has his own business, Last Chance Supervision, his own business, Last Chance Supervision; according to local news sources, it privately operates in the state's probation system, "consult[ing] drug courts and [as] a drug abuse ministries."
In any case, he certainly ran as a law and order candidate with a vague plan to reform the state's prison system. His campaign wrote on Facebook that he "has dedicated his life to fighting the awful epidemic of drugs and assisting law enforcement to keep our communities safe. For our communities to prosper we must have safe streets, trained law enforcement." He also sounds like an Oklahoman Trump, complaining that Oklahoma should build more things in the state that it currently buys from neighbors.
Of course it's his comments on abortion and women's bodies that are drawing the most notice. He was interviewed by The Intercept about HB 1441 and said men's lack of control over women's bodies is the source of societal ills. "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 told The Intercept.
"I understand that they feel like that is their body," he continued, trying to explain. "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." So in other words, women's bodies are only their own if they behave the way he thinks they should.
Earlier in February the bill was tabled without discussion, but it's set to be addressed again on Tuesday in committee — even though it's unconstitutional. So feel free to give him a call and explain that women are not hosts.