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A New Oklahoma Legislature Gives Men More Power

Abortion has been a controversial topic for years. Some approve and others don’t. It’s a mostly even split. That aside, it is almost always the woman’s choice whether she gets an abortion or not. Now in Oklahoma, that isn’t the case. A new bill has been passed in the committee that requires women to get written permission from the father of the child before an abortion can be carried out.

“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 … 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.”

This statement comes from Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey, who created and advocated for the bill. Even with exceptions granted for cases of rape or incest and dangerous pregnancies, this bill and Humphrey’s words are wrong on many levels.

Women are not just “hosts.” We don’t exist solely to carry around a man’s child. We have our own struggles, our own rights and opinions. We have our own lives, and they don’t revolve around pregnancy. It is our right to make decisions for ourselves no matter what the issue might be, and that should include abortion. Men shouldn’t make those decisions for us, because they don’t know what we go through, not physically. They can’t truly know what it’s like mentally, either, to find out you’re pregnant and therefore going to be responsible for a second life for at least nine months.

What should be done if the woman wants to keep the baby, but the man doesn’t want to? What if the man wants the baby and the woman doesn’t? If the woman wants the baby but isn’t able to take care of it for whatever reason, then what? There’s also the possibility that a man would deny an abortion and then leave the woman with the responsibility of raising the child on her own, regardless of any preexisting issues in her life. Hopefully there aren’t too many men like that, but at this point, anything is possible.

A woman’s body belongs to herself and no one else. Don’t give men the power to change that, in any form.

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