Missouri state Rep. Rick Brattin (R) defended his bill on Thursday that would require women seeking abortions to have permission from the father, while blaming social activists for infringing upon men’s rights.
“It’s not a woman’s body with an abortion. It’s a child’s body.” Brattin told KHSB-TV. “It’s a child’s life that’s taken. The woman’s life is not altered.”
Brattin’s proposal, House Bill 131, states that no abortion can be performed in the state “unless and until the father of the unborn child provides written, notarized consent.”
It further allows for exemptions based on cases of incest, a deceased father — confirmed via “a notarized affidavit” — and rape. But Brattin originally said a woman must show that she has been the victim of “legitimate rape” before being allowed to invoke the rape exemption.
“This is just a a back-door way to eliminate any rape exception, unless the survivor gets a permission slip from her rapist,” McCaskill said of the bill.
Brattin told KHSB on Thursday that his comment was misinterpreted, and that women would not be forced to submit documentation confirming a rape, should the bill become law. He said the bill was meant to help boost the rights of fathers.
“Right now the way it is the woman gets the full say and the father gets no say, and I think that that needs to change,” Brattin argued. “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.”
The bill also requires health care providers to give patients information on alternatives to abortion, as well as materials stating that “the life of each human being begins at conception,” a list of “anatomical and physiological characteristics of the unborn child,” and a description of “possible adverse psychological effects” 72 hours before any abortion procedure.
Watch KHSB’s report, as aired on Thursday, below.