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After the introduction of a so-called "heart beat bill" in the US state of Georgia that would prohibit women from having an abortion as soon as a fetus has a heartbeat, pro-choice folks are rightly upset. This is a move that would restrict women from getting an abortion after a time period when a women might not even realize she is pregnant. This latest move by a Republican-led state government reflects a growing war against abortion by other "Red States." If there is one thing that Republicans don't seem to like, it's the freedom to have an abortion.
So, what is the solution? Well, according to actress and activist Alyssa Milano, the solution appears to be a sex strike, in which she has asked women across America to stop having sex with men in protest. Twitter is now being flooded with tweets under the #sexstrike hashtag... a majority of which seem to be making fun of the whole idea. But, it does have its supporters.
Now, bless her heart, Milano is focused on what many would consider an honourable cause. There is absolutely nothing wrong with standing up for the right of women to be able to choose for themselves whether they want to remain pregnant. But the protest itself raises a number of questions.
First off, one must ask, is the only reason that women have sex with men because they are somehow required to? That sex is some kind of service they are providing for men? Are women not sexual beings unto themselves that have desires to be with men? It seems that supporters of this strike have reduced the entire issue of love making to a very cold, clinical experience—that it is merely seen as a tool only to get what a person wants as opposed to a mutually fulfilling experience. It's almost as if they see all sex as akin to a form of prostitution.
What is also odd about this whole sex strike is the fact that, in the US, the number of women who oppose abortion is equal to the number of men who oppose abortion—around 20 percent. Why are men being singled out here? Isn't the issue the concept of anti-abortion? Isn't the issue the fact that people of either gender want to inhibit the rights of women to have complete control over their reproductive system? The problem isn't men... it's anti-abortionists. Even if it is men coming up with the laws, it is still supported by women who are anti-abortion? Why on earth is this being made into men vs women issue? Is this really a productive way to go?
So, how does this work anyway? Are all men, regardless of political leaning, to be "denied" sex? What about the women who oppose abortion? Are they supposed to be "denied" sex as well? Will "denying" all men sex change the mind of all the women out there who oppose abortion? Probably not.
Even if the concept is merely a theoretical one being employed to make a point, there is a divisive quality to it that doesn't do much to help the overall cause. Pitting men and women against each other just doesn't seem like a wise way to go here. The debate is between those who oppose abortion and those who want to preserve the right to abortion... not men against women. The fact that more men support choice than don't, and the fact that as many women as men oppose abortion, is being completely ignored here.
Alyssa Milano is right in protesting against the invasion upon the rights of those seeking an abortion. A woman's right to choose is important to preserve. However, she is wrong in pitting men and women against each other.