Florida House Speaker Jose Avila is making the apology rounds after an interview he gave in late February where he repeatedly referred to pregnant women as “host bodies.”
The House Speaker made the comments during an interview with CBS Miami on February 28 when the subject turned to abortion.
Avila described himself as a small government conservative who believes people should be allowed to live their lives how they want. But when asked about abortion, he said the issue is a bit more “complex.”
“Well, the challenge there is that there are two lives involved,” he said. “So, where I believe that we should stay out of people’s lives, I don’t believe that people’s lives should be taken.”
“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,” he added.
As CBS Miami points out, Avila’s use of the term “host body” was not just a one-off. He used it five times during the interview.
The comments brought Avila a storm of criticism, ultimately prompting him to issue an apology last Friday.
“In a recent interview where the very controversial topic of abortion was raised I used the term ‘host’ to describe a pregnant woman,” he said in a statement. “It was an attempt 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.”
“I apologize for having caused offense, my aim was the contrary,” he continued. “This is and will continue to be our societies 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.”
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