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Charmed actress Alyssa Milano. Matt Sayles
alyssa milano

Actress Alyssa Milano calls for sex strike to protest abortion laws in Georgia

A list of Hollywood stars had threatened in late March to refuse to work in Georgia if it adopted the new abortion restrictions.

ACTRESS ALYSSA MILANO ignited social media with a tweet where she called for women to join her in a sex strike to protest strict abortion laws passed by certain states recently.

The former star of Charmed and current cast member of Insatiable, which is filmed in Georgia, urged women in her tweet to stop having sex “until we get bodily autonomy back.”

Her tweet came days after Georgia became the fourth state in the US this year to ban abortions once a foetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks, before many women know they are pregnant.

“We need to understand how dire the situation is across the country,” Milano told The Associated Press. “It’s reminding people that we have control over our own bodies and how we use them.”

She noted that women have historically withheld sex to protest or advocate for political reform. She cited how Iroquois women refused to have sex in the 1600s as a way to stop unregulated warfare. Most recently, she noted that Liberian women used a sex strike in 2003 to demand an end to a long-running civil war.

Milano received support from fans and fellow actress Bette Midler joined her in also calling for a sex strike with her own tweet. But both liberals and conservatives also lampooned her idea, with conservatives praising her for promoting abstinence and liberals saying she was pushing a false narrative that women only have sex as a favor to men.

Milano said people have to determine for themselves how long the sex strike should last. For her part, she hasn’t decided yet how long she will forgo sex.

“I mean I don’t know,” she said. “I sent a tweet last night I haven’t really thought much past that this morning.”

Other opposition

Milano is among the high-profile Hollywood names – including Alec Baldwin, Don Cheadle, Ben Stiller, Mia Farrow and Amy Schumer – that had threatened in late March to refuse to work in Georgia if it adopted the new abortion restrictions.

The state’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp, signed the bill into law last Tuesday.

Several independent film and television production companies have since pledged to boycott the state unless the legislation is rescinded.

“I can’t ask any female member of any film production with which I am involved to so marginalize themselves or compromise their inalienable authority over their own bodies,” said David Simon, the creator of several successful TV series, including HBO’s The Wire.

“Killer Films will no longer consider Georgia as a viable shooting location until this ridiculous law is overturned,” the company’s CEO Christine Vachon wrote on Twitter.

Actor-producer Mark Duplass chimed in: “Don’t give your business to Georgia.”

But the major studios – with huge financial stakes at issue – have remained largely quiet.

Chris Ortman, a spokesman for the Motion Picture Association of America – which represents some of Hollywood’s biggest heavyweights: Paramount, Sony, Universal, Disney, Warner Bros and Netflix – said the group would continue to “monitor developments”.

“It is important to remember that similar legislation has been attempted in other states, and has either been enjoined by the courts or is currently being challenged,” Ortman said.

“The outcome in Georgia will also be determined through the legal process.”

- with reporting from AFP

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