The American actor Alyssa Milano has ignited social media with a tweet calling for women to join her in a sex strike to protest against strict new abortion laws in the United States.
“Our reproductive rights are being erased,” the former star of Charmed and Melrose Place wrote. “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. ”
Her tweet came days after Georgia became the fourth state in the US this year to ban abortions once a foetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks, before many women know they are pregnant.
“We need to understand how dire the situation is across the country,” Milano says. “It’s reminding people that we have control over our own bodies and how we use them.”
Jameela Jamil, the US-based British presenter and actor, has also hit out at Georgia’s “upsetting, inhumane” abortion law and said that she once had a termination and that it was the “best decision” she had ever made.
The 33-year-old, who is also an activist and advocate for body positivity, said: “This anti-abortion law in Georgia is so upsetting, inhumane, and blatantly demonstrative of a hatred of women, a disregard for our rights, bodies, mental health, and essentially a punishment for rape victims, forcing to carry the baby of their rapist.”
She continued: “I had an abortion when I was young, and it was the best decision I have ever made. Both for me, and for the baby I didn’t want, and wasn’t ready for, emotionally, psychologically and financially. So many children will end up in foster homes. So many lives ruined. So very cruel.”
The Good Place star added: “Ps.. this isn’t any diss at all to foster homes. I’m in awe of people who take in children in need of a family and a home: but if Georgia becomes inundated with children who are unwanted or unable to be cared for, it will be hard to find great fostering for them all.”
“The anti-abortion law is also especially targeted at those without the means/ability to move state,” said the actor. Women who are marginalised, poor or disabled will, as ever, be the ones to suffer the most. The wealthy will have so much more freedom.”
Alyssa Milano faced some criticism for her idea but also received support from fans and her fellow actor Bette Midler, who joined her in also calling for a sex strike with her own tweet. Milano says the criticism does not bother her and that her tweet is having her desired effect, "which is getting people to talk about the war on women".
She says she fears one of the laws could eventually be decided by the conservative-leaning US supreme court, which Republicans hope will overturn the 1973 Roe v Wade decision legalising abortion. “That is absolutely horrifying to me,” Milano says. “Anyone who is not completely and totally outraged by this and doesn’t see where this is leading, I think, is not taking this threat seriously.”– AP, PA