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File - In this Feb. 28, 2012 file photo, people at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City cheer at a rally in opposition to the state Senate's passage of a bill that grants the rights of personhood to fertilized human eggs. An anti-abortion group in Ohio is facing a significant shortfall in the number of signatures needed to ask voters in the presidential battleground this fall whether they want to amend the state's constitution to declare that life begins when a human egg is fertilized. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

An Oklahoma lawmaker wants to make abortions illegal without a man's approval


Oklahoma state Rep. Justin Humphrey is pushing for a bill that would require women to get written permission from a fetus' father before getting an abortion. 

If passed, the bill would also require a woman to provide the fetus' father's name to her doctor and he could potentially stall the procedure if he wanted to contest the paternity of the baby. 

Humphrey told Jordan Smith of the Intercept that his intent was to let men have a say. 

I believe one of the breakdowns in our society is that we have excluded the man out of all of these types of decisions.
Humphrey told The Intercept

"I understand that they [women] feel like that is their body," Humphrey told The Intercept. 

However, he said when a woman decides to be "irresponsible" when having sex, her body is no longer solely hers and becomes a "host." 

At first, Humphrey added that the intent was to ensure that fathers were involved in supporting their children from birth. That language, however, did not end up in the bill. 

A provision similar to Humphrey's was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1992. The Supreme Court's decision explained that a woman's decision to get an abortion "implicates important 'liberty interests' and 'privacy interests' that the Constitution's Due Process Clause protects against state interference," PBS explained.

A woman's "substantive right to privacy," the U.S. Supreme Court argued, also applies to her abortion decision because it impacts a woman's emotional and mental health, as well as her autonomy, PBS explained.

Oklahoma's legislature has a reputation for bills like Humphrey's and last year tried to pass a bill that would have made it a felony for doctors to perform an abortion. It was ultimately vetoed by Gov. Mary Fallin. 


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