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Why feminist politicians in the US are calling for men to have vasectomies

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Hannah-Rose Yee
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It’s to do with the controversial abortion ban being implemented in Alabama.

Women’s reproductive rights are currently under fire in states all around the US. One female politician in Alabama, where a law banning abortion was implemented in 2019, would like to see the reproductive rights of men be similarly scrutinised. 

Rep. Rolanda Hollis has proposed a new law whereby men must undergo a vasectomy after fathering three children or when they turn 50. The idea, Hollis explained, was to make a powerful statement about how Alabama’s draconian abortion laws unduly impact the lives of women.

“Under existing law, there are no restrictions on the reproductive rights of men,” Hollis said. “The vasectomy bill is to help with the reproductive system, and yes, it is to neutralise the abortion ban bill … it always takes two to tango… We can’t put all the responsibility on women. Men need to be responsible also.”

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If passed, men would have to undergo a vasectomy at their own expense, Hollis added.

Protests against Alabama's abortion ban
Alabama’s draconian law has sparked a wave of pro-choice protests.

The chances of this bill passing into law in Alabama are fairly slim, especially when you consider that the Alabama legislature is largely controlled by conservative Republicans and that the committee who decides on legislation is comprised of 14 men and just one woman.

“Look, on the one hand, everybody knows that this bill isn’t going anywhere. But it really does underscore the hypocrisy of Alabama’s legislature in making medical decisions for women that it would never dream of making for men,” Randall Marshall, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama told CNN.

Unsurprisingly, the news of the bill has made waves among conservative politicians in the US. “Yikes,” wrote Ted Cruz in a tweet that racked up more than 14,000 likes. “A government big enough to give you everything is big enough to take everything… literally!”

But Cruz’s ire at the vasectomy bill has exposed the hypocrisy at the heart of Alabama’s abortion laws in the first place. 

“Yes, the government shouldn’t be involved in private reproductive health choices, yes, that’s a great point you made, yes,” wrote one Twitter commenter. 

“Oh you don’t like big government trying to regulate your body????” another person responded on Twitter

Added another: “Yes. Governments have no business controlling the reproductive systems of citizens. Glad you’ve finally come around on choice, Senator. Also, congrats on an epic self-own.” 

Images: Getty

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Hannah-Rose Yee

Hannah-Rose Yee is a writer based in London. You can find her on the internet talking about movies, television and Chris Pine.

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