Fresh off the heels of her attempt to boycott working in the state of Georgia due to the six-week abortion ban, Alyssa Milano volunteered a new idea over the weekend:
Our reproductive rights are being erased.
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.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) May 11, 2019
Although Milano tweeted it late Friday evening, the #sexstrike took off with support from multiple blue-check Twitter accounts. While Milano’s ideas are silly to the point of absurdity, she managed to pack into one tweet several prominent falsehoods leftists often push about abortion, sex, and abstinence. Here’s what she gets wrong.
1. Abortion Has Nothing to Do With Reproductive Rights
In the last few years, leftists started using the term “reproductive rights” in lieu of the word “abortion.” The only problem is the term isn’t even close to accurate. Abortion has nothing to do with reproductive rights: By the time abortion is even a possibility, a sperm and egg have formed a tiny embryo and the mother has often discovered (or will soon discover) that she is pregnant. In other words, reproduction is already complete. That “right” to reproduce has been exercised. Now there are other issues at stake.
Science has revealed that a woman pregnant with this embryo is not carrying an extra part of her body with her DNA, such as a fifth limb or a third kidney. Instead, she is carrying a tiny person, with his or her own separate set of DNA, because life began at fertilization. If it hadn’t, CRISPR and the idea of the “designer baby” wouldn’t even exist. The mother is the carrier of this tiny, separate person until birth; she is not the arbiter of life and death in her womb.
Still, the abortion lobby blatantly ignored scientific fact and conflated the two terms to win supporters with deceit, and it has worked beautifully. However, since the facts are wrong, that talking point didn’t work on Georgia’s six-week abortion ban. It essentially acknowledges the personhood of that tiny developing baby, whose rights have been denied since Roe v. Wade passed in 1973. Milano claims the abortion ban has affected women’s reproductive rights, when in fact, it’s only affected the legal rights of the baby being carried in the mother’s uterus.
2. Sex Shouldn’t Be Used as a Bargaining Chip
It’s not surprising that a Hollywood liberal would advocate for abortion. Milano, in particular, can’t stand Georgia’s six-week abortion ban. I covered her aggressive attempt to boycott the state if the governor signed the bill in April. However, what made this particular tweet so eyebrow-raising was her attempt to use sex to reverse the ban or, as she puts it, “get bodily autonomy back.”
Sex can be weaponized, glorified, and everything in between. People disagree on what sex should be, but there are a handful of things most people agree sex should not be. One of those things is that sex should never be a bargaining chip to gain power, fame, money, chores, or anything else.
Interestingly, in demanding a sex strike, Milano acknowledges the very high price of sex in the marketplace, yet her conclusion following this accurate premise is still false. Psychologist and researcher Roy Baumeister of Florida State University has articulated the theory that sex for men is a relatively high-profit investment with little risk. For women, due to the risk of pregnancy, it is a high-risk venture with comparatively little reward.
Thus, women tend to be less interested or risk-averse regarding sex, reducing the supply. Since men typically demand sex more, the price of sex is high. This puts women in a position of power over sex, and most women inherently know this.
Noam Shpancer commented on this idea: “Another reason why female sex has become a valued resource is related in all likelihood to human social history, in which, without exception, men have controlled most of society’s resources—money, status, and power positions. In such situations, sex has been one of the few assets that women could leverage for obtaining other valuable social goods such as power, status, and money.”
Milano was correct that sex holds distinct economic, physical, and emotional value—as well as consequences—for men and women alike. Guarding it so it holds its value makes sense. However, Milano’s proposal that women should guard sex so that it essentially becomes a bargaining chip to advance abortion rights is crude and immoral. This is a disingenuous and misguided use of a very valuable “commodity” in society and relationships.
3. Georgia’s Partial Abortion Ban Doesn’t Hurt Women
After Milano sent her initial tweet suggesting a sex strike in exchange for a lift on Georgia’s abortion ban, this exchange occurred:
Cool. Be extremely careful. If you get pregnant and miscarry, and they can’t prove you didn’t miscarry on purpose, you can get thrown in jail for a long time in Georgia. #SexStrike
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) May 11, 2019
Again, Milano couldn’t be more wrong about Georgia’s ban. She should educate herself on Georgia’s specific statutes before tweeting nonsense. National Review’s David French broke this down over the weekend:
The heartbeat bill did not repeal a number of Georgia criminal statutes that explicitly apply to abortions and unborn children, and it does not overrule controlling legal authority holding that these statutes bar prosecution of a woman for terminating her own pregnancy.
Even though Milano attempts to portray conservative politicians in Georgia as lacking compassion and empathy for mothers, this is a baseless smear. The ban doesn’t actually impose any kind of life imprisonment on anyone—the maximum is ten years—particularly not a mother who might try to induce a miscarriage or abortion.
The bill outlines that punitive measures would be taken against a third-party helping to abort the baby, not the mother. Even this isn’t cruel, it’s a logical conclusion to the premise that an unborn baby is a person with rights. The focus of the bill was securing the personhood and legal rights of the unborn, not punishing women who are pregnant and unsure of what to do.
4. Abstinence Works, But Not as a Political Ploy
The action piece of Milano’s ban, if you will, is a call for abstinence. This is probably one of the most laughable aspects of the ban, yet it’s hard to overstate the irony of pulling this nugget out from the rusty repertoire of the Republican playbook and using it against men (and heck, even women).
For years, conservatives, particularly religious ones, have been touting abstinence in sex education. Liberals not only ignored this, but successfully lobbied so that sex education, sans abstinence, has been taught for years in most public schools. After conservatives made significant efforts, abstinence as an alternative to sex education has been included in some schools.
Abstinence works if you practice it; it does not work if you have fail to remain abstinent. A 2017 study in Science Direct says, “Although abstinence is theoretically effective, in actual practice, intentions to abstain from sexual activity often fail.” This applies both to kids in school and political sex strikes.
How like a liberal to suddenly adopt a traditional moral like abstinence in order to advocate for the murder of an unborn person. It has to be one of the best examples of distorted leftist logic available yet this year.
5. Coopting Traditional Morality to Justify Abortion is Wrong
However absurd Milano’s sex strike might look to conservatives, it immediately caught on with the mainstream and social media, not just because of her star power, but because she managed to snag so many hot-button issues into one cause. While the sex strike won’t catch on, and it’s easy to see how flawed each of Milano’s ideas are when they’re broken down, the sum of its parts is a primer on leftist logic.
The left abandoned reason, morality, logic and a higher good long ago. However, those are still compelling aspects of society. Most Americans still operate within moral codes and boundaries, even if they don’t admit or recognize it. Thus, when the left really wants to be compelling, they prop up moral notions they previously eschewed as worthless in order to be persuasive. Sometimes it works.
This is a good example:
Today and everyday, we honor mothers around the world and the people who guide us, provide for us, love us — mother us. Happy Mother’s Day to you all. pic.twitter.com/ePRrXB2XAJ
— PP Global (@ppglobe) May 12, 2019
Notice the irony: the inherent moral good in honoring mothers yet also the obvious irony of an organization that murders babies advocating for motherhood. A young, anxious mother-to-be might conflate the two in her mind as positive reinforcement, when really one is true and good, and the other is a lie and evil.
In the case of Milano’s campaign, promoting “abstinence” or a sex strike to perpetuate abortion rights is manipulative at best and flips morality on its head to achieve evil at worst. To an untrained eye and ear, or to a person struggling to understand how sex, relationships, abortion, and law function together cohesively, this can be a trap. It’s sad Milano doesn’t understand how deeply she’s distorted the truth.