Virginia Republican: A Pregnant Woman Is Just A ‘Host’ For Fetus

steve-martinI’m not sure why we’re still having a debate over abortion in 2015. The Supreme Court ruled on this issue over forty years ago. The debate over whether or not a woman has the right to have an abortion is over – conservatives lost.


Yet here we are, still having to deal with this nonsense.

It all seems pretty simple to me: If you don’t agree with abortion, don’t have one.

Well, in what might be one of the most disgusting statements made by a Republican in quite some time pertaining to women’s rights, Virginia state Sen. Steve Martin (R) wrote on his Facebook page that a pregnant woman is nothing more than a “host” for the fetus. In other words, a pregnant woman essentially ceases to be a human being with her own rights; she’s relegated to nothing more than a vessel for the fetus inside of her.

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

Martin quickly changed “host” to “bearer of the child,” though his point that a woman’s rights and body become secondary once pregnant still remained.

The stupidity of this man is astounding. But, sadly, this sort of attitude towards women’s rights is generally what I see from the vast majority of conservatives I encounter. They essentially want to treat pregnant women as nothing but incubators for fetuses, even though the Supreme Court ruled over 40 years ago that every woman in this country has the right to have control over her own body.

I think what baffles me most about Republicans is that they claim they’re so concerned with preventing abortions, yet they’re typically the party that opposes access to contraceptives and sex education classes for teens. You know, two things that would help prevent the leading cause of most abortions – unplanned pregnancies.

Not only that, but the GOP is the party that’s often aggressively pushing for cuts to social programs where the largest beneficiaries of these programs are impoverished children. Republicans love to try to exploit an unborn fetus for political gain, but couldn’t care less about that child once it’s born.


“Pro-life” my ass.

But whenever conservatives such as Martin make asinine remarks such as this, I just have to reference Roe v. Wade, because that’s the case that settled this argument decades ago. In my opinion, any law that seeks to restrict the rights of women that have been granted to them by our Constitution (and confirmed by our Supreme Court) should instantly be deemed as illegal and unconstitutional.

It’s comments such as these that continually make me laugh whenever Republicans attempt to claim that they’re the party for “Constitutional values.” Obviously, nothing could be further from the truth. The GOP continually proves time and time again that they have no problem violating the rights of millions of Americans if they disagree with those rights granted to them by our Constitution. And as history shows us, conservatives are almost always on the wrong side of it.




Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Charles Vincent

    Actually the court ruled that it’s a doctors right to practice medicine absent a compelling state interest not women’s rights per se Allen.

  • Devin D.

    Absolutely, the Hypocrites Oath is an incredibley powerful example of exactly how wrong this assertion of “Womans Rights” is.

    • Cemetery Girl

      Personally, I favor laws that allow people to mind their own uteruses. Mine was removed a while back, so it’s kind of on its own. But instead of worrying about the uterus of every woman in the US you should just focus on your uterus.

      • Devin D.

        I’ve never said anything about “your uterus.” The only claims I’ve made were of the sporadic (and weak) vindictive claims against Republicans from Mr. Clifton.

        If you mean “mind your own business” in regards to me voicing my opinion, it would appear your disagreement lies with Mr. Clifton, and not myself.

      • Cemetery Girl

        I just believe that matters of the uterus should be between the holder of the uterus and their doctor. My uterus is gone. (Alas, I’m now a horrible “host”. Mine was most likely incinerated as medical waste after being checked for cancerous growth.) By all means though, the matters of your uterus should be a matter between your doctor and you. And by all means, feel free to quote the national oath taken by new doctors. Enlighten us of the exact oath taken by every doctor in our nation.

      • Devin D.

        A host defined by a single man meant to carry the entire beliefs of the Republican party?

        To continue, you havent really read my response fully. You are asking me to vindicate your personal issues with the Hypocrites Oath? That makes no sense. I have already stated I don’t care what your beliefs of abortions are, and (again) dont care.

        But bringing it to a matter of the Womens Rights movement would contradict your point entirely. If you want it to be a matter soley between you ane your doctor, then the voices of the other females would not be a great point to advocate..

      • Cemetery Girl

        Abortion is tricky because it is considered women’s right and personal right. I view it as personal right. We are all independent people, regardless of our genitals. I am pro-choice but personally find the idea of abortion uncomfortable. It is something that I don’t know if I could choose. This doesn’t mean I have any desire to impede others, but just not a choice I know I could make. (Since my childbearing time is over, not a personal worry.) My voice should have abosutely no say in if another female does or does not have an abortion. That is completely a matter between her and her medical professionals. I have had easy pregnancies, but I have also had difficult pregnancies. I have had a pregnancy that kept me on bed rest for well over half the pregnancy, I also had gestational diabetes, and I had to go through treatments to give the fetus better chances of coming as close to full term as possible and the best survival chances possible if that couldn’t happen. I understand that pregnancy does not always go as planned. I understand more than 20 weeks on bed rest and not being able to fully handle other obligations (like having young children.) I understand the impact that pregnancy has on a woman’s body. (No, not taking off baby weight. Combined with family history and my history of gestational diabetes despite a normal BMI it isn’t a question of if I become diabetic but when.) I did not ask the opinions or permission of other women with my children. I did not ask the opinions or permission of other women when I had a miscarriage and needed a D&C. They do not need mine for the choices they make. THAT is women’s rights. Not needing the permission of another woman. Not needing the permission of a husband. Not needing the permission of a father. Women’s rights is treating women as an individual person of her own worth.
        By they way, quoting the national oath taken by doctor’s, there isn’t one. It varies by school. It all follows a basic theme, but there isn’t some sort of universal oath.

      • Devin D.

        I can appreciate a personal experience that has carved you to who you are, but advocating it as Womens Rights? You have just stated it to be an individual right, have you not? But lets say for the sake of the argument, it is both: not the voice of the women, and simultaneously the voice of the women.. To overgeneralize the entire Republican party off of one mans words is completely ludicrous, you must understand this?
        And yes, there is a single oath (for American doctors at the very least). Hypocrites Oath IS universal, and it is a fact. It is the same reason a “medical professional” must administer a death penalty, because doctors ARE NOT ALLOWED TO BREAK THIS OATH.
        Again, I AM NOT advocating to push pro-life beliefs on ANYONE. Seriously, read my replies, because you continually attack me for something I have repetitively stated to not take an issue with

      • Cemetery Girl

        I haven’t said that Republicans are against women’s rights. (I do know Republicans that favor women’s rights. I don’t believe that liberal/conservative/progressive locks you into strict points of view.) I personally favor women’s rights for my daughter. My sons have a future of possibilities. My daughter shouldn’t have choices made by strangers.
        And actually, no, the oath can vary. There are national ethical standards for doctors, but doctors forcing patients to carry a pregnancy to term is not one of the ethical standards. You probably mean “do no harm”. I fully accept this is “straw man”, but did happen to someone I know, what if continuing pregnancy endangers the woman’s life? I know someone that had pregnancy confirmed possible cancerous cervical growth found on the same day. Her doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy and pursuing treatment. (Carrying a pregnancy to term relies on the cervix. Damaging part of it endangers carrying the pregnancy.) She ignored her doctor and later had a portion of her cervix removed. The doctor did follow “do no harm”. His patient was the woman, not a group of cells that might or might not have come to term. (Statistically, 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage.) It is an actual situation that normally is “straw man”. I love my children, but for about 24 weeks they were parasites. I was a parasite. (Viability wasn’t nearly that early when I was born! I was a parasite for well over 24 weeks!) We can’t demand a woman terminate a pregnancy nor carry it. We can’t demand a woman become pregnant nor can we demand she never do so. People have a say over their bodies regardless of gender.

      • Devin D.

        Ahh, I see, you aren’t disagreeing with me then.

        My apologies, I thought you were attempting to disprove my resentment for this articles overgeneralization on Republicans.

      • Cemetery Girl

        I disagree with overgeneralizing Republicans. As trite as it sounds, some of my closest friends are Republican. (I know, I know, I cringed typing it.) Still, I know why they identify as Republican, and politically we do share some common ground. I do loathe the whole Democrat/Republican battle though.

      • Devin D.

        I as well. You advocate intelligence, and not spite at the mention of the word “democrat” of “republican”. It is a rift that will lead to our demise. Have a wonderful evening ma’me.

        Sincerely,
        Devin D

      • Charles Vincent

        “Abortion is tricky because it is considered women’s right and personal right. I view it as personal right.”

        This is factually inaccurate the Roe v Wade decision upheld a physicians right to practice medicine absent a compelling state interest, not women’s rights in general.

        “My daughter shouldn’t have choices made by strangers.” And “Not needing the permission of a husband.Not needing the permission of a father.”

        So a husband/boyfriend/fiancée/father or medical doctor is a stranger? Seems to me those are the people who would have a say in the decision, perhaps not the final decision but part of the process none the less.

      • BB-Mystic

        That is true; however, Planned Parenthood vs. Casey (1992) did uphold and codify a woman’s individual right, per the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, to have an abortion until viability.

        In fact, in Casey, the Supreme Court threw out a Pennsylvania law mandating that a wife seeking an abortion must inform her husband, on the grounds that this constituted an “undue burden” on a woman’s right.

        “Next, the Court ruled that the spousal consent provision did constitute an undue burden, because husbands could potentially resort to abuse and obstruction upon learning of their spouses’ abortion plans.”

        See bottom link.

        en DOT wikipedia DOT org/wiki/Planned_Parenthood_v._Casey

        www DOT pbs DOT org/wnet/supremecourt/rights/landmark_casey.html

      • Charles Vincent

        And this is what I was getting at RE; planned parent hood v casey;

        Those who support a man’s right to direct involvement argue that it is unreasonable that, after fertilisation has occurred, women are often given more options with regard to pregnancy and parenthood than men.[11]
        Parenting authority Armin Brott has said of this, “A woman can legally deprive a man of his right to become a parent or force him to become one against his will”.[12]

        Abortion vetoing

        Men’s rights and fathers’ rights activists have argued that men should have veto power over their partners’ decisions to abort.[13][14][15][16] Similarly, Philosopher George W. Harris has written that, if a man impregnates a woman with the explicit goal of having a child, in a manner that is mutually consensual, then it would be morally unacceptable for that woman to later have an abortion.[17]

        Pregnancy vetoing

        Bioethicist Jacob Appel has pointed out that “if one grants a man veto power over a woman’s choice to have an abortion in cases where he
        is willing to pay for the child, why not grant him the right to demand an abortion where he is unwilling to provide for the child?[18]

        Opting out

        In reference to those cases in which men who do not desire to become fathers have been required to pay child support, Melanie McCulley, a South Carolina attorney, in her 1998 article, “The Male Abortion: The Putative Father’s Right to Terminate His Interests in
        and Obligations to the Unborn Child,” set forth the theory of the “male abortion,” in which she argues that men should be able to terminate
        their legal obligations to unwanted children.[11][19] In some cases, men and boys that have been raped (statutorily or otherwise) by women have been forced to pay child support to their rapists.[20]

        Those who object to men having a right to direct involvement argue that because it is the woman who carries the couple’s unborn baby, her determination for or against abortion should be the definitive one.[11][21] Marsha Garrison, a professor at Brooklyn Law School,
        stated that U.S. courts acknowledge “that embryo is in the woman’s body, it is within her and can’t be separated from her, so it’s not just her decision-making about whether to bear a child, it’s about her body”.[22]

        However, one could also argue that if personhood is essential for rights, and that if the woman decides whether or not to turn her
        prenatal offspring into a person, then she should also have all the responsibilities of parenthood and child-rearing (essentially allowing the man to opt out of child support). A 2002 United States Gallup special report mentions only 38% of the population being opposed to requiring the consent of the husband of a married woman for an abortion.[23] In a 2003 Gallup poll, 72% of respondents were in favor of notification to the husband, with 26% opposed; of those polled, 79% of males and 67% of females responded in favor.[24]

        Opting in

        It is also possible, rather than taking the stance that males should have the freedom to opt out of inherent responsibilities and rights, to take the stance that one must opt-in and agree to undertake those responsibilities to be compelled to follow them, and only through doing so, earn parental rights. This is what occurs during adoption.

      • Charles Vincent

        On a marriage note the case really damages the institution of marriage, by creating a division in what should be a mutual relationship, not law but just my opinion.

      • Cemetery Girl

        And host as in a living thing in which another living thing lives in or on would be the one that applies here. Does the Republican Party live in or on you? Do you have a tape worm? Honestly, we are all hosts. Everyone has good bacteria which lives in and one us. Still, we is anti-bacterial soaps and if we need it will take an antibiotic regardless of the good bacteria that lives within us. (Feel happy, you’re a host!)

      • Devin D.

        Host? As if this were an infectious disease? Why are you spewing this nonsense? Good Lord, please simply READ my replies before commenting…

      • Cemetery Girl

        By definition a pregnancy is a parasite. (Doubt me, check a dictionary.)

      • Devin D.

        So you’re advocating for this man? Huh. I don’t quite understand your line of thinking… You are making random (unrelevant) points, as if it were to support your unknow opinion of the matter? Is this how you support all of your arguments?

        The sky is blue!! Hehe, sure showed her.

      • Cemetery Girl

        Not advocating for him. He wants to refer to pregnant women as nothing more than hosts then he really does need to refer to the fetuses as parasites. Technically until viable they are. Personally, I adore my little parasites (even the smart mouth one.) I don’t think the pro-life movement would have a whole lot of luck with “Parasite rights” written on signs. While accurate, I just don’t think it would get support.

      • Charles Vincent

        PSSST this “You are making random (unrelevant) points, as if it were to support your unknow opinion of the matter” is better known as;
        Ignoratio elenchi (irrelevant conclusion, missing the point) – an argument that may in itself be valid, but does not address the issue in question.

      • Charles Vincent

        noun, plural pregnancies.

        1. the state, condition, or quality of being pregnant.

        adjective

        1. having a child or other offspring developing in the body; with child or young, as a woman or female mammal.
        Neither of which “By definition” talk about a fetus as a parasite.

        But I digress perhaps dictionary dot com is incorrect.

  • Devin D.

    Im lost as to how you came from Women’s rights, to the GOP not caring for children? You mention these “cuts to social programs”, but fail to mention a single one…

    I think the perceived issue arises due to our belief in optional donations (as opposed to forced). Funny, seeing as Mitt Romney has donated more than Joe Biden and Obama combined.

    • Avatar

      Actually records has shown that Romney has only donated less than $150,000 in past 30 years to actual charitable organizations. Only if you read more, most of billionaires and millionaires donated to charities that are well known for tax haven frauds to funnel wealth men and women money out of United States to avoid paying back to Uncle Sam.

      • Devin D.

        And Biden? 150k is a very generous sum of money, versus the sum of $169 per year from Biden. So “ACTUALLY”, you really havent done ANYTHING to support your uneducated point of…..?

        Please, look up your facts before you embarrass yourself. Those “tax frauds” are obviously reflected on the amount Bill Gates has given to charity, right? Look it up “buddy”.

      • DerpDestroyer

        The biggest donors are from both sides of the political spectrum… this argument is silly on its face, pick another angle to try to make the GOP look “better” or whatever you’re attempting.

      • Devin D.

        Not trying to make the GOP look better, simply poking a hole in this nonsense. I advocate nothing more than intelligence, and overgeneralizing all Republicans to be hate mongering bible thumpers doesnt really go over well with me

      • Avatar

        You ‘assum’ I like Gates. I don’t. He is too libertarian. You don’t even have any sustainable fact to argue any further.

        Joe Biden? He’s better than 1% licker Hillary Clinton.

      • Devin D.

        GAVI Alliance, expanding childhood immunization: $1.5 billion
        United Negro College Fund, Gates Millennium Scholars Program: $1.37 billion
        PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI): $456 million
        Rotary International, supporting polio eradication: $355 million
        Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching, supporting plans to transform how teachers are recruited, developed, rewarded, and retained: $290 million
        Hillsborough County Public Schools: $100 million
        Memphis City Schools: $90 million
        The College-Ready Promise, Los Angeles: $60 million
        Pittsburgh Public Schools: $40 million

        No sustainable evidence huh?
        http://www.gatesfoundation.org/Who-We-Are/General-Information/Foundation-Factsheet

      • The Reader

        Since you bring up Bill Gates, maybe you should consider all the people Gates has endangered with his push for drugging and birth control in the third world. It amounts to his personal assault to eliminate the poorest while appearing to be a humanitarian. All that money backs an evil or naive streak that is another way the 1% controls and destroys the lives of people with less.

      • Devin D.

        Thats an absolutely over-the-top absurd assumption. You have no proof of ANY of what you have just claimed, and can’t bring up any (no, wiki doesnt count). I can humor a lot of ideas, but you need to see a therapist..

        I bet you also thought 9-11 was a conspiracy, the Illuminati control the Government, and aliens helped to build the Great Pyramids.

      • The Reader

        Struck a chord didn’t I? I don’t buy into any of that BS you were betting on nor will I defend my position against your views since it is obvious we are miles a part on any topic. Anyone who is more interested in comparing who gives what and how much isn’t worth my time given that the topic is the ridiculous conclusion of a lawmaker when discussing something it is clear he knows nothing about. In that context, my comment on Gates did not fit either so I’ll leave it at that.

      • Devin D.

        Fair enough, I can respect that.

        You are right, I should have read your reply more thoroughly, you weren’t speaking of Gates. That was disrespectful, and I apologize.

        I will not press the matter further if you dont wish to discuss the matter. Have a great evening.

        Sincerely,
        Devin D

      • Devin D.

        If you did not want to discuss the matter further, no need for the childish “last word” nonsense.

        I will respect your decision to discontinue our conversation nevertheless. Thank you for your time, and input sir/ma’me.

        Sincerely,
        Devin D

      • The Reader

        Thank you. I’m willing to bet we have more in common than these comments allow, and now I will really leave. There’s always another day and another issue.

    • Crazy spending

      SNAP program – $5B cut in 2013 – 11% of the total budget. Head Start Program also in 2013. 22% of all children lived in poverty in 2010 according to the Cencus Bureau. Focus needs to be on taking care of those children and their families…food, healthcare, shelter, education.

      • Devin D.

        2013 was a year a large majority of both the House, and Senate (of course including the executive branch) was in power. That budget cut falls on democrats, and not republicans? Or is there something I’m not informed of (sincerly curious, as I may not have all of the story).

        The next question, would be why President Obama is so adamant of his executive action on immigration, and does not focus on the issues at hand like this? Why does he bypass the Legislator for issues regarding immigration, but not child malnourishment?

        You seem to advocate your points through intelligent facts, and not ethos infested rants of hate. I respect that, and would like to know what your view on the issues I’ve presented. Have a good evening sir.

        Sincerely,
        Devin D

      • Martingermany

        What are you talking bout? The House has been in Republican hands since the 2010 mid-terms and their majority has grown since. The Senate was in Democratic hands in 2013, but not with a filibuster-proof majority. Aside from that, budget bill shave to originate in the House, thus they were driven by Republicans.

      • Devin D.

        Start in the House, but must pass both the Senate AND the President. The Legislature has always been pretty heavily Democratic until the turn of 2014 (you can’t tell me Obamacare would have passed otherwise..).

        I’ve already adressed this, so please refer to my previous argument, and also adress my other points; not just the one you know a tad bit about

      • Crazy spending

        Originally part of the farm bill, the SNAP cuts proposed by the House (GOP controlled) was $20B and the bill didn’t pass because the majority wanted deeper cuts. The SNAP program was taken out of the farm bill and the initial cuts proposed by Cantor was $40B over 10 years. The final $5B cut was a compromise.

        In general the conversation/debate from citizens needs to go deeper compared to the superficial conservative/liberal level. Saying that it happened under the democrats/republican watch is only a half truth.

        From what I understand, Obama’s immigration executive action still requires funding, which is dependent on congress.

    • Guest

      Cuts to SNAP benefits have occurred under Republican leadership and are currently being proposed by many in the GOP. So, that’s factually incorrect. Mitt Romney is a tax cheat and a vulture capitalist who has outsourced more jobs than he has created. That’s also another factually incorrect point in your statement. Anyway, I’m done.

      • Devin D.

        I would like to see a site for these claims (honestly, no sarcasm). I don’t believe this to be correct; however, if you have information that can sway me, I am more than willing to listen to logic.
        Again, fair enough, I respect that. Thank you for your time.
        Sincerely,
        Devin DeRusseau

  • Cemetery Girl

    Actually, he is correct that pregnant women are hosts, hosts to parasites. (A living thing that must live in or on another living thing for food and protection.) Personally I’m rather fond of my parasites. The one that is now 14 is mouthy, but that kinda comes with the age. If pregnant women are nothing more than a host, a fetus is nothing more than a parasite.

    • Devin D.

      Oh, and heres the Hypocrites Oath (and yes ma’me, it is universal).

      I solemnly pledge to consecrate my life to the service of humanity;
      I will give to my teachers the respect and gratitude that is their due;
      I will practice my profession with conscience and dignity;
      The health of my patient will be my first consideration;
      I will respect the secrets that are confided in me, even after the patient has died;
      I will maintain by all the means in my power, the honour and the noble traditions of the medical profession;
      My colleagues will be my sisters and brothers;
      I will not permit considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor to intervene between my duty and my patient;
      I will maintain the utmost respect for human life;
      I will not use my medical knowledge to violate human rights and civil liberties, even under threat;
      I make these promises solemnly, freely and upon my honour.

      • Cemetery Girl

        No, it is not universal. A university can have its own variation. There is a US national code of ethic, which does reflect this. Despite this, a group of cells in the first trimester is not the patient that a doctor is ethically bound to treat. The woman is their patient. Ignoring abortion, there is a 1 in 4 chance of the pregnancy naturally terminating. The woman is treated as the patient. Much later the fetus is also given consideration as a patient. Doctors are not bound to try to stop a miscarriage. Despite how much a woman might want to have a child, excessive feats are not ethically expected of them. As heartbreaking as that can be to hear, until the point of viability there aren’t many options.

      • Devin D.

        Of course not! I understand, there is a variation of the oath, but these are honestly the main points found in all of them. The “Physicians Oath” (taken from Hypocrites).

        Agree to disagree I suppose, I don’t want to sift through all 50 states to vindicate a irrelevant point 😛

      • Cemetery Girl

        Ok (there is a misconception it is actually universal.) I think we can agree though that before viability a fetus is not required to be treated individually.
        And I can’t say that I even want a doctor (or even a nurse) to violate their personal code of ethics because of their field. The questions of that field should be something that should be considered before entering. As the right to die movement grows personal ethicics will play a greater role in medical fields like geriatric and oncology.

      • Devin D.

        You have more knowledge on the subject than I ma’me. Perhaps I was wrong. Thank you for the information.

      • Martingermany

        Hippocrates, not Hypocrites. There’s quite a difference.

      • Devin D.

        Oh no, you’ve completely poked a whole in my argument! What ever shall I do!?

        Its auto-correct; don’t be that grammar nazi who feels he has contributed to the argument.

        “There’s quite a difference.”
        You should have specified the subject, as this sentence is incomplete.

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  • derpderp

    i bet his mother is so proud….

  • Jim Bean

    We’re still having the debate because its a barbaric practice when used as a substitute for lack of morals and failure to exercise responsible sexual behavior.

    (I didn’t just say “All abortions are the result of irresponsible sexual behavior” so you, over there, may as well stop typing.)