Oklahoma bill to require male permission for abortion

Columnist Alex Daniels

Columnist Alex Daniels

State Rep. Justin Humphrey in Oklahoma recently proposed a bill that would require a woman to obtain written consent from her fetus’ father before being allowed to have an abortion.

Humphrey believes men should be able to have a say in whether or not their child will be born. According to the bill, a woman would be required “to provide, in writing, the identity of the father of the fetus to the physician who is to perform or induce the abortion.”

The bill was voted 5-2 in favor by The House Public Health Committee, and it now proceeds to the full House. Although it may not pass, the vote in favor by The House Public Health Committee has caused anger and disapproval by many people.

“I understand that they feel like that is their body,” Humphrey claimed. “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. … 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.”

It was wrong of him to refer to women as ‘hosts’ and it has caused outrage by women everywhere. His belief that it’s the woman’s responsibility to stay protected in a relationship was extremely narrow minded. It’s both the man and the woman’s responsibility to take precautions together if their ultimate desire is to not conceive a child.

Restricting abortions would cause more women to seek an illegal, and usually, unsafe way to terminate their pregnancies. According to the Orlando Women’s Center, a women dies every seven minutes around the world due to an unsafe, illegal abortion. Keeping abortions legal and unrestricted significantly reduces maternal mortality.

Approving this bill would take away the rights that women are able to make regarding their own bodies.

“It’s shameful that Oklahoma politicians advanced this measure, which is demeaning, patently unconstitutional, and puts women in abusive relationships at risk,”  said senior state legislative counsel for the Center for Reproductive Rights, Amanda Allen. “We call on the Oklahoma legislature to reject this outrageous measure and trust women to make their own healthcare decisions.”

Women are not just hosts. Women aren’t solely the carrier for men’s babies; nor is it only their responsibility to be protected from pregnancy in a relationship. Fetuses are carried in the woman’s body, therefore giving her the right to determine the fate of both herself and her fetus.

Abortion has been a controversial topic for years, and will continue to be in the future. With that said, it’s a constitutional right for a woman to have the choice to terminate her pregnancy if she wants to do so.

In the 1973 case of Roe v. Wade, “the Court held that the constitutional right to privacy includes a woman’s right to decide whether to have an abortion,” according to the National Women’s Law Center.

Passing Rep. Humphrey’s bill would violate the rights of women that are presented in the constitution. A woman should continue to be allowed to make her own decisions for herself regarding her body and health.