Women's Issues

Virginia Senator Steve Martin Regrets Calling Pregnant Women ‘Hosts,’ Meant To Say ‘Baby Machines’

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206522_137222013016319_5988374_nLast week, Virginia State Sen. Steve Martin (R) received a “Valentine’s” card from The Virginia Pro-Choice Coalition. Clearly, it was not a love note – it was more of a request for him to stop assaulting women with anti-choice legislation. He obviously didn’t get it. The bonus was, his response really let women know what he thinks of them – specifically referring to pregnant women as “hosts.”

Here’s the letter:

On behalf of women’s Heath advocates across Virginia, we are disappointed in your record of voting to restrict access to critical healthcare for women and families. All women deserve access to their full range of reproductive health options – including preventing unintentional pregnancies, raising healthy children, and choosing safe, legal abortion – and your votes only make it more difficult for Virginians to plan and provide for their families. We are watching your actions closely, and hope that you will reconsider your position on this critical issue. Please don’t break our hearts.

– The Virginia Pro-Choice Coalition

He reacted by posting the letter on Facebook (which I would link to but it’s been made private in the last five minutes) and writing a lengthy response, which he starts with, “If it’s your expectation that I should support such nonsense, I will be breaking your heart.”

Nonsense? Hmm. So, preventing unintentional pregnancies and raising healthy children is nonsense? I don’t think so. Now, limiting access to birth control while also opposing abortion – that’s nonsense. Why can’t these anti-choicers ever understand that less access to birth control equals more abortion? It’s a pretty clear cause and effect if you ask me. But then again, I wouldn’t be looking to this guy for sound reasoning. Especially after reading this statement:

I don’t expect to be in the room or will I do anything to prevent you from obtaining a contraceptive. However, once a child does exist in your womb, I’m not going to assume a right to kill it just because [HOST] (some refer to them as mothers) doesn’t want it to remain alive.

At 3:10 pm today, after the media picked up this story, Martin changed his Facebook post – replacing the word “host” with “bearer of the child.” Too late. You illustrated perfectly the contempt you have for women by calling them “hosts.” But thanks! This is exactly the kind of written documentation we need to prove to ourselves that we’re not crazy for feeling like this kind of anti-choice sentiment disregards our humanity.

Martin did support a fetal personhood bill which would ban all abortions and potentially affect the legality of some forms of contraception. The bill recognizes the personhood “at the moment of fertilization.” It is almost certain that this would seep into a woman’s contraceptive choices in the future:

To mitigate Democrats’ concerns, Del. Vivian Watts (D-Fairfax) tried to attach an amendment to the bill that would declare that nothing in it could be construed to outlaw any form of legal contraception, since some kinds of birth control have the potential to prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. The House voted 64 to 34 against considering the amendment.

Rather than own up to the hard work he does ensuring women do not have control over their reproductive health, he acts like he’s being accused of ambushing people in their bedrooms or standing outside the local Publix, karate-chopping condoms out of women’s hands. I hate political double-speak. Don’t take back the “host” comment – is obviously what you think. Also, don’t pretend like you are not voting for legislation that would potentially affect a woman’s access to contraception and health care.

I prefer anti-choice woman-haters to be up front about their thoughts. I like to know the enemy.

(photo: Facebook)