Florida Republican sorry for repeatedly calling pregnant women 'host bodies'
State Rep. José Oliva (WFOR)

A Florida Republican lawmaker apologized for repeatedly referring to pregnant women as “host bodies” during a television interview.

House Speaker José Oliva used the phrase "host bodies" multiple times during an interview Thursday with WFOR-TV, but he issued a statement the following day to apologize for using the term during a discussion on abortion, reported the Miami Herald.

“I apologize for having caused offense, my aim was the contrary,” Oliva said. “This is and will continue to be our societies [sic] greatest challenge. I strongly believe both mother and child have rights and the extent and balance of those rights remain in question. I regret my wording has distracted from the issue. My apologies to all.”

The Miami Lakes Republican said he was trying to "use terminology found in medical ethics writings with the purpose of keeping the discussion dispassionate."

"The reaction undoubtedly shows it had the exact opposite effect," Oliva said.

Oliva used the phrase five times during the interview.

"Where I believe that we should stay out of people’s lives, I don’t believe that people’s lives should be taken," Oliva told reporter Jim DeFede. "It’s a complex issue because one has to think, well, there’s a host body and that host body has to have a certain amount of rights, because at the end of the day it is that body that that carries this entire other body to term. But there is an additional life there.”