In February, Florida House Speaker and Republican state Representative Jose Oliva repeatedly called pregnant women “host bodies” in an interview with CBS MIami’s Jim DeFede, CBS News reports.
“It’s a complex issue because one has to think there’s a host body, and that host body has to have a certain amount of rights,” he said in the interview.
Following harsh criticism for the comments derogatory to women, he apologized.
"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 said. "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."
Oliva stated that he believes that people should be able to live their lives without much influence from the government, but said that in the case of abortion, it’s difficult because it involves “two lives.”
"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."