“Until women have legal control over our own bodies we just cannot risk pregnancy,” Milano said.
Former Charmed star Alyssa Milano set off a Twitter firestorm when she tweeted a call for a “sex strike” on Friday, asking women to stop having sex until “until we get bodily autonomy back.”
Just days before, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a controversial bill that would ban abortions in cases where a fetal heartbeat can be detected, and in Alabama, politicians feuded over a last-minute change to a bill that suddenly stripped exceptions for rape and incest from a near-total ban on abortion in the state.
“Our reproductive rights are being erased,” Milano tweeted. “Until women have legal control over our own bodies we just cannot risk pregnancy.”
Milano, who has been an active #MeToo advocate, told the Associated Press on Saturday that the call for a strike reminds “people that we have control over our own bodies and how we use them.”
She cited historical instances where women withheld sex as acts of protest, including Iroquois women in the 1600s to stop unregulated warfare, and sex strikes by Liberian women in 2003 that called for an end to a long-running civil war.
Milano’s call for a sex strike stirred up criticism from people who said the call to action is misguided.
“This strike may mean well and contain cheap ‘feel good’ reactions,” said one person. “But it pushes a sexist narrative that sex is something WE give to men as a form of currency. That is not empowering. At all.”
Another person said, “As a single ace woman, this is… what I do every day ANYWAY. Got any suggestions for things I can do that might actually be HELPFUL?”
Also, Milano’s message was supported, and seemingly co-opted, by anti-abortion advocates.
One person said, “I’m praying your sex-strike catches on!! Think of all the abortions that will be avoided!”
“Pro-life here,” said another. “Wholeheartedly in support of this.”
Milano said people have to determine for themselves how long the sex strike should last. She hasn’t decided yet how long she will personally avoid sex.
“I mean I don’t know,” she told the AP. “I sent a tweet last night I haven’t really thought much past that this morning.”
BuzzFeed News has contacted a representative for Milano for comment.