Actress and singer Bette Midler called for women to give up sex until abortion is guaranteed by the US congress. Midler suggests "that all women refuse to have sex with men until they are guaranteed the right to choose by Congress." Conservatives backed it, since this is exactly what they've been saying for a while.
This was the same condition that was made by the women of Athens in Greek playwright Aristophanes Lysistrata, where a woman sought to put an end to the Peloponnesian War by encouraging all women to withhold sex until the war ended.
The funny part, however, as concerns Midler's ask, is that yes, this is exactly what many conservatives would suggest: don't have sex until such time as you are ready to have children.
Dinesh D'Souza commented that abstinence is actually a very useful way to avoid unwanted pregnancy, and abortion.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R-GA) praised this move, saying that women choosing not to have sex if they are unable to be sure that abortions would be possible should that encounter result in pregnancy is one of the "good things" that results from the new law.
In 2019, actress-turned-activist Alyssa Milano also called for a sex strike, penning an op ed for CNN stating that the laws that limit abortion call for this kind of decisive action. She wrote: "When utilized as part of a broader strategy of coordinated action, sex strikes can raise awareness and achieve a wide range of political objectives. This is just one tool available in the fight for reproductive justice and abortion access – we must also support the organizations and individuals working courageously on the front lines by supporting them."
Midler tweeted that the law is anti-woman, though advocates say that instead it is advocating for the innocent lives lost to terminated pregnancies. It was reported that one clinic performed 67 abortions prior to the law going into effect.
Despite Midler, and Milano's suggestion that women should not have sex as a means to protest not being able to use abortion as birth control, some women on twitter pressed back against that, saying that a woman's pleasure should never be held hostage to whether or not she can abort a pregnancy or not.
Author Vanessa Clark said that the "sex strike" doesn't help, and that "A woman can have sex while still fighting for her body autonomy." In Clark's view, advocating for abstinence is "really just promoting conservatism."
Which, in many ways, it is.
For conservatives who are pro-life and oppose abortion after a heartbeat is detectable, encouraging people to take more responsibility for the reproductive consequences of their actions is much the point.
While "sex strikes" have been used to advocate for other positions, namely to oppose war, a sex strike to support the right to terminate pregnancy will likely not have the desired result.
In response to the law, which bans abortions after a heartbeat is detected, but offers no enforcement outside of citizens reporting on each other, many liberals took to Twitter to voice their opposition.
The Supreme Court allowed the law to stand rather than pass an emergency order to block it in a 5-4 vote.
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