Va. State Sen. Martin Calls Pregnant Women 'Hosts'

Image: Va. State Sen. Martin Calls Pregnant Women 'Hosts' Virginia Sen. Steve Martin.

Monday, 24 Feb 2014 05:02 PM

By Greg Richter

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A Virginia state senator was not feeling the love when a pro-choice group sent him a Valentine urging him to reconsider his stance on women's issues.

Instead, Republican Sen. Steve Martin sent out a blistering response on his Facebook page in which he referred to a woman carrying a baby as a "host," adding parenthetically, "some refer to them as mothers."

The Huffington Post published a story on Martin's post, with the headline: "Virginia Republican Says A Pregnant Woman Is Just A 'Host,' Though 'Some Refer To Them As Mothers.'"

Martin's response to the Virginia Pro-Choice Coalition read, in part, "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 the child's host [some refer to them as mothers] doesn't want it."

Martin has since edited the post to replace the word "host" with "bearer of the child."

"'Raising healthy children' in the context of access to abortions speaks only to the ability to 'kill unhealthy children,'" Martin wrote in his post. "Do they not see the sickness of that argument?

"If it's your expectation that I should support such nonsense, I will be breaking your heart," he continued.

Martin is former chairman of the Virginia Senate Education and Health Committee and voted for the state's mandatory ultrasound bill. He also backed a fetal personhood bill that critics said would ban all abortion and put some forms of birth control in jeopardy.

Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, told the Huffington Post that Martin's post shows he has "zero understanding" of women's need to have control over their bodies, families and lives.

"His remarks demonstrate what exactly these extreme lawmakers mean when they talk about 'personhood': that pregnant women are no more than vessels. Even more outrageous, he also fails to understand how he as a lawmaker can help empower women to reduce unintended pregnancies – something that should be a common goal for all."

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