Direct action

Alyssa Milano calls for a sex strike to protest abortion laws — and meets with resistance

Alyssa Milano attends the InStyle And Warner Bros. Golden Globes After Party 2019 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 6, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)

Alyssa Milano called for a sex strike to protest restrictive abortion laws — but many women were not on board.

“Until women have legal control over our own bodies we just cannot risk pregnancy,” Milano said on Twitter Friday. “JOIN ME by not having sex until we get bodily autonomy back.”

In an interview with Associated Press, the actress and women’s rights advocate noted other instances of women withholding sex to hasten political reform, including Iroquois women who refused to have sex in the 1600s as a way to stop unregulated warfare, and Liberian women who conducted a sex strike in 2003 to demand an end to a long-running civil war.

While she had her share of supporters, including Bette Midler, critics were quick to point out a variety of problems with Milano’s stance: Some said the strike assumes that sex is only enjoyed by men, and that the strike suggests women’s bodies are mere commodities to be punitively denied. Others took issue with taking the LGBTQIA community out of the abortion discussion, and focusing on cis/heterosexual sex. Yet others decried the weaponization of sex, or pointed out the strike did not take sexual violence into account.

Milano told AP that people have to determine for themselves how long the strike should last. “I mean I don’t know,” she said. “I sent a tweet last night I haven’t really thought much past that this morning.”

Milano’s call came a few days after Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a bill that would ban abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Milano opposed the bill and had urged the film and TV industry, which shoots many projects in the state, to leave if it came into law. At least three production companies have said they would not film in Georgia since the bill was signed.

Read the full story at CNN and Associated Press.

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