Actress and activist Alyssa Milano has taken to social media to launch a #SexStrike in response to a new abortion law in the state of Georgia. Specifically, the protest calls on women to stop having sex with men until all women have bodily autonomy.
The #MeToo activist tweeted that women's reproductive rights are being erased in America and that "until women have legal control over our own bodies we just cannot risk pregnancy."
Our reproductive rights are being erased.— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) May 11, 2019
Until women have legal control over our own bodies we just cannot risk pregnancy.
JOIN ME by not having sex until we get bodily autonomy back.
I’m calling for a #SexStrike. Pass it on. pic.twitter.com/uOgN4FKwpg
Earlier this week, Georgia’s Republican governor Brian Kemp signed legislation to ban abortion once cardiac activity can be detected thus making Georgia the fourth US state to prohibit abortion in such circumstances, following Ohio, Mississippi, Kentucky, Iowa, and North Dakota.
It's important to note that cardiac activity can happen as early as six weeks, before most women would know they are pregnant, with morning sickness generally beginning at the nine-week mark.
The so-called "heartbeat" bill is scheduled to come into effect on the 1st of January, 2020.
"We need to understand how dire the situation is across the country," Milano told the Associated Press on Saturday. "It's reminding people that we have control over our own bodies and how we use them."
While it may seem a little strange, the Sorry Not Sorry podcaster cited the Iroquois women who refused to have sex in the 1600s as a way to stop unregulated warfare as an example of how 'sex strikes' can work.
In a statement to the Washington Post, the 46-year-old said that she was glad her tweet shone a "light on the Republican war against women and out bodily autonomy". Furthermore, she warned that the landmark case of Roe v Wade may be overturned in the future if such bills continue.
It was with this case that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the American constitution provided a fundamental "right to privacy" that protects a pregnant woman's liberty to choose whether or not to have an abortion.
"Mark my words, one of the bills will end up going to the Supreme Court to overturn Roe. And if Roe is overturned this will directly impact the women most at risk, the women from low-income communities of colour," she said.
Milano's suggested strike divided opinion on social media, with some women suggesting that the idea of withholding sex perpetuates the outdated view that sex is to be 'given up' by women and 'taken' by men. However, it seems that the activist's true mission was to get people talking and in that, she has succeeded.
You can read some of the #SexStrike reaction tweets below:
Hey everyone upset about Alyssa Milano's #sexstrike: Thanks for helping this trend, that was the point, b/c women's lives are in danger.— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) May 11, 2019
P.S. It's not @Alyssa_Milano's fault our culture is patriarchal; she doesn't own that just b/c she's acknowledging it.
Kudos to @Alyssa_Milano for proposing the classic Lysistrata strategy to deal with these Dark Ages Republican cavemen and their misogynistic laws.— Charles Johnson (@Green_Footballs) May 12, 2019
I hope the #womenofGeorgia stop having sex with men until these indignities are overturned.— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) May 11, 2019
Ladies,— Graham Allen (@GrahamAllen_1) May 12, 2019
If you need a "typical" Hollywood elitist like @Alyssa_Milano to tell you to stop having sex so you don’t have babies.
In some backwards attempt to make people be ok with abortion?🤔
Maybe you should be making different life decisions in the first place🤷🏼♂️#SexStrike
A #sexstrike. Umm....that’s called abstinence and although I don’t recommend it as I am a married woman who loves sex, for anti/female feminists it may be the answer to all their constant dysfunctions around men. #girlbye— Joy Villa (@Joy_Villa) May 12, 2019
I understand the objections from the left about #SexStrike and I can't disagree, but tbh I still think it's great that @Alyssa_Milano proposed it whether it happens in reality or not, because look at what it's done to the right. They're foaming at the mouth.— Charles Johnson (@Green_Footballs) May 12, 2019