Last year, lawmakers in the US state of Alabama passed a wide-ranging abortion ban that would, among other things, punish doctors who performed the procedure on women at any stage of the pregnancy with up to 99 years in prison. In October 2019, a judge blocked the ban from taking effect until the matter was settled in the courts.
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Now, in response, a Democratic state representative from the state has introduced a bill that would require men to get vasectomies within a month of turning 50, or after their third child is born - whichever happens first. Per HuffPost, Representative Rolanda Hollis acknowledges the bill is not a serious proposal but rather a symbol meant to “send a message that men should not be legislating what women do with their bodies” - either through a straightforward abortion ban or through smaller incursions into women’s reproductive freedom.
“Year after year the majority party continues to introduce new legislation that tries to dictate [rules for] a woman’s body and her reproductive rights. We should view this as the same outrageous overstep in authority,” she said in a statement.
US Senator Ted Cruz responded to the proposed legislation on Twitter, and was targeted for his hypocrisy - considering his support of limiting women's reproductive rights.
“Yikes. A government big enough to give you everything is big enough to take everything…literally!” he wrote. “Alabama Democrat proposes bill mandating all men have vasectomy at age 50 or after third child.”
“Wow how awful that the government is trying to interfere with bodily autonomy! What’s that feel like?” one Twitter user said.
“Yes, the government shouldn’t be involved in private reproductive health choices, yes, that’s a great point you made, yes,” historian and author Kevin Kruse replied to his tweet. The actor Patricia Arquette wrote, “Thought you wanted to stop unwanted pregnancies.”
One social media user perfectly summarised: “This bill was not meant to pass; it was introduced to demonstrate how wrong it is to restrict people’s reproductive rights. In other words, the argument you’re applying to this bill shows how your own views on women’s reproductive rights are indefensible!”