Spilling Sperm Harms Unborn, Law Says

by  @ Ms.

Political and cultural debates over contraception and abortion loom large in the news these days, with a notable new twist. Instead of feminists being the butt of ridicule, the tables have turned. Comedians, pundits and even legislators are satirizing the extremism and sexism of anti-woman bills by flipping the gender script. Here are some recent legislative counter-proposalsby women lawmakers:

–In late January, Virginia state senator Janet Howell tacked on an amendment to the proposed transvaginal ultrasound bill requiring that men seeking erectile dysfunction medication submit to a required rectal exam and cardiac stress test at their own expense (mirroring the ultrasound bill’s mandating of an unnecessary medical procedure women seeking an abortion would have to  pay for out of pocket). The amendment failed, but only by a narrow margin of 21-19.

–In early February, Oklahoma state senator Constance Johnson, added a “spilled semen” amendment onto the state’s proposed “personhood” bill. Obviously a sardonic protest rather than a true piece of legislation, it would deem “any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman’s vagina … an action against an unborn child.”

–A week ago, Georgia state representative Yasmin Neal, backed by a group of other women legislators, authored a bill proposing that vasectomies should be made illegal, also in response to legislation restricting women’s access to abortions.

It is patently unfair,” Neal writes, “that men can avoid unwanted fatherhood by presuming that their judgment over such matters is more valid than the judgment of the General Assembly, while women’s ability to decide is constantly up for debate throughout the United States.

What’s particularly smart about these legislative interventions is how they call into question the government’s ability to infringe upon the rights of an entire class of individuals based on the idea that they’re not fit to make decisions for themselves. Remarkably, faced with these inversions of their own restrictive policies, many in the anti-contraception crowd still don’t see the irony. Let’s hope, though, that most Americans do.

This was originally posted on the Ms. Blog

Popular Posts on BroadBlogs
Cheerleader Ordered To Cheer Her Rapist, and Other Stories
8-Year-Old Called “Whore” for Long Sleeves, Skirts
Don’t Reject Your Culture, Even When It Mutilates You



About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on March 16, 2012, in feminism, gender, reproductive rights, sexism, women and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I love this post! Keep up the great work! As funny as this post is, it calls into question what would men do if there freedom to reproductive rights was limited by government? Let us do please give them a taste of their own medicine. I have never understood why the govenment needs to make rules reguarding “our ” choice to have a child or not. They are so quick to make rules to control what we can and can not do with our own bodies. Have they ever stopped to think we might actually know what is best for ourselves? If they are going to force us to have babies than they should be forced to help take care of them. Just a thought.

  2. I think the politicians need to actually do something that will benefit the citizens because “any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman’s vagina … an action against an unborn child.” and Johnson penned an amendment declaring that ejaculating anywhere outside a woman’s vagina constitutes “an action against an unborn child.” Really what are our politicians doing there are other important things to do other than argue about this when its not going to make things better.

  3. Megan Aldridge

    I think that these proposed bills are very helpful in forcing the governments to see different aspects to each of these social issues. I think that the “spilled semen” amendment is fantastic. It makes such a statement and draws peoples attention to how much women are blamed for the prevention or “killing” of an unborn child rather than the man. I also think if the proposed amendment requiring men to get a rectal exam in order to have access to erectile dysfunction medication were actually put into place, people would think twice bout restricting birth control to be covered by insurance for women.

  4. Today, there are still many people who don’t agree with abortion or contraception, and most of them are men. Women should have the right to abortion or contraception, and it is very important for both men and women. Women should have the rights to make their own decisions. Simply taking away women’s rights and making decisions for them are unfair for women. The anti-contraception people and anti-abortion people are selfish because they don’t try to see things from women’s angles and instead try to think for women. Women deserve to choose instead of being controlled by others and letting others make decisions about their bodies.

  5. I don’t know if it’s just me but it seems the people always fighting against abortion and women’s right are always men. I find it unconstitutional to have a vote in regards to someone’s rights, but I found this article rather funny actually, men don’t realize how the rights they are trying to take away from women would translate to their own rights. Whose business is it other than the male and female involved to know about the choice they are making? The anti-contraception crowd people seem so convinced on their point of view they are not even open enough on the other point of view to notice when they are being made fun of.

Thoughts? (Comments will appear after moderation)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: