An Alabama state lawmaker’s bill that would force men to be sterilized is getting understandably strong reactions from men all across the country, including U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.
“Yikes. A government big enough to give you everything is big enough to take everything … literally!” the Texas Republican wrote Sunday on Twitter. “Alabama Democrat proposes bill mandating all men have vasectomy at age 50 or after third child.”
Cruz is a strong pro-life Republican who fights for the rights of unborn babies in the U.S. Senate. His reaction to the bill was similar to that of many other men in Alabama.
The bill, introduced Thursday in the Alabama legislature, would require a man to undergo a vasectomy within one month of his 50th birthday or the birth of his third child, whichever comes first. It also would require him to pay for the sterilization procedure.
Its sponsor, pro-abortion state Rep. Rolanda Hollis, D-Birmingham, introduced it to protest her fellow state lawmakers’ efforts to protect unborn babies from abortions. Hollis was a vocal opponent of the 2019 Alabama law that protects unborn babies by banning all abortions. The law is not being enforced because of a legal challenge.
“It is to neutralize the abortion ban bill,” she told AL.com. “It always takes two to tango.”
Newsweek reports Alabama men and women both expressed surprise and outrage in reaction to the legislation. According to the report:
“I think it’s absurd first of all. It’s delusional for somebody to tell somebody they have to have a mandatory vasectomy,” DeMarcus Furlow [ told local news WBRC-6].
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RaVon Dovard said: “I’m not going to do it. I’m not going to be a part of it cause what if I want to have four kids one day and I can’t have kids because I’m 37 and have three kids.”
“We are grown up. We can do what we want to. After we got out of our parents house. We should be able to do what we want to,” added Kelle Akana, a mother of four children.
Another man, Sage Wynn, told local news station WAAY 31: “Say for instance I fall in love with a woman and she’s still able to produce children and I’m 50 years old and she wants to have a kid … I mean, I don’t know what to say to that.”
Ben Tucker told the local news that he understands the purpose of the bill is to make a point, and it never will pass.
“For whatever reason, those are considered less ridiculous and I understand the emotional connotation associated, but it’s just not thought out,” Tucker said.
Hollis’s bill is a complete waste of time, and there is no chance of it passing the state legislature.
It also fundamentally misunderstands the purpose of pro-life laws and efforts. Pro-life advocates’ goal is to protect unborn babies who are unique, living human beings from the moment of conception, not to control women. Quite the opposite, pro-lifers strive to empower women by supporting them through pregnancy and parenting even as they work to restore basic rights to unborn babies. They also work to help fathers who currently have no right to protect their child’s life before birth.
Forced sterilization is a violation of basic human rights, and those who say they believe in reproductive rights should be the ones fighting against it – not proposing legislation to require it.
Protecting unborn babies from abortion is a completely different issue because it does not just involve the bodies of women or men, it also involves the life of a unique, living unborn baby – a human being whose rights also should be considered.
Interestingly, in September 2019, Hollis was arrested on charges of domestic battery after she allegedly shoved her husband during a domestic dispute, the Birmingham News reports.