HARRISONVILLE, Mo. – The requirements one Missouri lawmaker wants to implement before a woman is allowed to get an abortion are causing a bit of controversy.
Rep. Rick Brattin says he thinks pregnant women should be required to get the father’s permission before being allowed to get an abortion.
He said he wrote House Bill 131 to protect the lives of unborn children and the rights of their fathers.
“With the women’s movement for equal rights, well it’s swung so far, we have now taken away the man’s right and the say in their child’s life,” he said.
His bill would require a woman to obtain the written and notarized consent of an unborn child’s father before getting an abortion.
Women’s rights groups say the proposal is outrageous.
“It’s simply demeaning and degrading to women. We, and most of the voters in Missouri, believe that women can make their own decisions both about their lives generally and about their healthcare specifically,” said Laura McQuad, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and mid-Missouri.
In a statement, Sen. Claire McCaskill called the bill “offensive and absurd.”
However, Brattin says it is not about women’s rights.
“Well, it’s not a woman’s body with an abortion. It’s a child’s body. It’s a child’s life that’s taken. The woman’s life is not altered,” he said.
He told Mother Jones magazine that rape victims would be exempt from the bill if they cold prove they were victims of “legitimate rape.”
However, he later backed off that stance.
He says the bill would not require women to prove they had been raped to be exempt from the consent requirement.
“A rape is a rape. And if that occurs, it’s horrible and that’s what the provision is provided in the language. So if it does occur, then by all means, if they seek that, they can do that,” he said.
Brattin proposed the same bill last spring, but it died in committee.
He said he expects a battle from what he calls the “militant feminist movement.”