An Oklahoma state legislature committee passed a bill on Tuesday 14 February that would mean women seeking an abortion would need the foetus's father's consent before terminating the pregnancy. The bill was originally written by Rep. Justin Humphrey, who garnered outrage from women's groups when he called pregnant women "hosts" in an earlier interview.
Speaking to the Intercept, Humphrey tried to explain the bill by saying: "I understand that they feel like that is their body," adding: "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."
The committee also passed another bill prohibiting women from getting abortions because of foetal abnormalities. However, the Tulsa World reports that the bill's application is not clear as women would simply be able not to cite that reason.
The bills can now be considered by the full Oklahoma House of Representatives, though some have said it would be unconstitutional, arguing that it clashes with a Supreme Court decision overturning a similar law in Pennsylvania in 1992.
The CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains (PPGP), which covers Oklahoma, told the Washington Post that an online campaign had been started to donate to the organisation in Humphrey's name. He would then receive a letter about the donation.
Laura McQuade, PPGP CEO, told the paper that the bill was "an affront to women's autonomy and decision-making capacity, full-stop". On Humphrey's "host" comment, McQuade commented: "It's repugnant that we live in a world now that these types of comments are acceptable to say out loud."