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Lysistrata, the character from the Aristophanes play of the same name, declared a sex strike to try to stop a devastating war in ancient Greece.

Alyssa Milano, the actress and political activist, declared a sex strike to try to stop Georgia from protecting unborn children in the womb.

The state just passed and signed into law a so-called heartbeat bill to outlaw abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detectable. This led Milano to conclude that women can’t risk pregnancy until further notice, and must stop having sex, at least stop having sex with “cis men.”

It’s apparently never occurred to Milano that women, not just cis men, support pro-life legislation, and that unborn babies are both boys and girls.

In her fictional cause, Lysistrata had mercy and humanity on her side. Milano has neither, although her lack of seriousness makes her a perfect spokesperson for the backlash against the Georgia bill.

It is one of a spate of heartbeat bills around the nation that are sure to get enjoined in the courts, but have highlighted the hysterical opposition to the idea that a tiny human being with a heartbeat should be afforded protection under the law.

Georgia has come under Hollywood pressure, and not just from the latter-day Lysistrata. Fifty actors and actresses signed an open letter against the law several weeks before it passed.

The missive included the condescending line that these worthies find Georgia’s restaurants and hotels “to be comfortable and of a high quality.” The state’s determination to protect the unborn, on the other hand, is completely unacceptable. The signatories thundered that should the heartbeat law pass, “we will do everything in our power to move our industry to a safer state for women.”

It’s always amusing to get a lecture about the interests of women from representatives of an industry that produced and shielded so many predatory creeps for so long, but Hollywood hasn’t let its own sins stop its nonstop hectoring of everyone else.

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The left-wing trope online — repeated by multiple news outlets — is that the Georgia bill would give women life in prison if they have an abortion. This is a stupid lie.

The relevant section of Georgia abortion law makes it clear that it applies to third parties, and has been interpreted as such by the Georgia courts. Nor does it call for life imprisonment of anyone.

The common arguments against restrictions on abortion are that they infringe on women’s health and bodies. But the vast majority of abortions are made out of discretionary choice, not medical necessity. And the heartbeat bills underline how another body is involved in the equation.

An appendix or a kidney doesn’t have its own separate heartbeat. The pro-abortion case is that a fetus is a blob of cells of no account — with a heartbeat. That the fetus is a non-human being — with a heartbeat. That the fetus isn’t truly alive — but has a heartbeat.

The heartbeat bills, even if blocked by the courts, have an educative effect. Most people don’t realize how soon a fetal heartbeat begins — around six weeks into a pregnancy. The pro-life bumper sticker “Abortion Stops a Beating Heart” isn’t just a slogan, but a fact.

As a pro-life tactic to get a test case in front of the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade, the heartbeat bills may be lacking. Chief Justice John Roberts is cautious and unlikely to use a sweeping piece of pro-life legislation to overturn Roe, if he is inclined that way at all.

But the heartbeat bills show, despite the Supreme Court’s effort to stifle it, that the debate over abortion policy in the United States is still very real.

The pro-life movement has survived setbacks in the Supreme Court, the disdain of the country’s cultural elite and predictions of its inevitable demise.

Somehow, it will survive Alyssa Milano’s sex strike as well.

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Syndicated columnist Rich Lowry can be reached at comments.lowry@nationalreview.com.

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(41) comments

oldhomey

Rich Lowry tells us: "The left-wing trope online — repeated by multiple news outlets — is that the Georgia bill would give women life in prison if they have an abortion. This is a stupid lie."

Gosh, is Mr. Lowry first discovering how hopeless it is to try to find reliable information online? He seems to believe many of the right-wing tropes and lies that circulate there in massive quantities, as he repeats them often in his columns. People who actually treasure the truth try to be more discriminating in where they get vetted, verifiable information.

That said, all of the reliable accounts I have read about these new anti-abortion laws said that the authors of these bills self-consciously said they would never punish women for seeking an abortion. They would reserve the punishment for doctors and clinicians who do or assist in the abortions, with jail terms up to 99 years.

Mr. Lowry doesn't exactly spell that out, trying to soften it by saying: "The relevant section of Georgia abortion law makes it clear that it applies to third parties, and has been interpreted as such by the Georgia courts. Nor does it call for life imprisonment of anyone."

What a legal concept that amounts to. It would be like saying the woman who hires the hitman to kill her husband is guiltless, but the hitman is responsible for everything. I suppose the Heritage Foundation-sculpted new Supreme Court could pretzel its way into agreeing with that, too. And this great champion of freedom and justice just so long as it fits his concept of those terms, Mr. Lowry, would cheer them on.

martian2

Lowry needs to update his column. Yesterday Alabama passed a bill outlawing all abortions except when the life of the mother is at stake. Incest and rape pregnancies must be carried out to full term. A doctor can get 99 years for performing an abortion. this was done by a legislative body that is 85% male. It won't affect them. So here we go, a show down in the supreme court to over turn Roe V Wade. Interesting these so called prolife people never have a problem cutting programs that help mothers and babies thrive. They don't have a problem separating families at the border. Don't have a problem taking thousands of children off medicaid as they did in Tennessee. Alabama did nothing to ensure mothers get all the prenatal care they need to deliver healthy babies, nor did they pass laws to make adoption easier and more affordable. I could go on and on but point being, if you are pro life then be for all stages of life. I guess if women want to have to power to make decisions over their uterus, they could just rename it an assault weapon. Then the GOP will back off cause deadly weapons that kill masses of people are kinda their thing. Pro life indeed!

DMoney

Just a reminder and clarification: there exists nothing that guarantees the right to "thrive". Also illegal immigrants possess no right to not be separated upon being caught crossing our sovereign border. Your emotional opinions on these matters are irrelevant, laws exist for a reason. Lastly--did you really just claim that the GOP is supportive of the murder of masses of people via gun violence? As in the entire party enjoying ("kinda their thing") when it happens?

Cassandra2

"...there exists nothing that guarantees the right to "thrive". " That's right. So remove the clump of cells from the environment where it is thriving even though the "host" doesn't want it. If it can survive outside the womb because of a miracle ordained by god, then it can live.
Perhaps it will grow to an age where it can be murdered in a mass shooting in a school.

DMoney

If it's prior to third trimester--go for it. During third trimester--murder. When the fetus reaches a point where it's fully viable outside the womb, and doesn't require the mother for survival, it is no longer "between a woman and her doctor".

crank

The trib-lib troll tribe seems particularly fired up recently. Yeah, honesty has never been their thing. #sockpuppets #amenmartian

oldhomey

Well said, indeed, martian. D, you remind us of nothing relevant, nor do you clarify a thing. You continue to show that you haven't got a an ounce of actual empathy for anybody because you think empathy is a weakness that eats at your pocket change.

DMoney

I have plenty of empathy for murdered babies and American citizens victimized by crime perpetrated by people who have no legal right to be here. Amongst other examples. If something exists outside of law or my ethical boundaries--no, zero empathy.

oldhomey

D, you have shown over and over again that you have no interest in helping people other than yourself and your own family. You are marching in lockstep with an ideology, not an idea, the same one your pal, crank, marches to. As for citizens victimized by the crimes of illegal aliens, you can claim great empathy for them, but you don't mention those who are victimized by the crimes of fully-fledged American citizens, who victimize people at a far higher rate than do illegal aliens. You think you are blowing smoke up the posteriors of the rest of us with your posturing? Nope. Nor is crank.

DMoney

If by helping people, you mean being coerced into blindly and limitlessly paying for their necessities--no, I'm not interested. I believe this is a systematic way to keep them down.

DMoney

And for the 20th time, comparing crime by illegal immigrants with crime by citizens is completely pointless. They have no right to be here. There should be ZERO crime committed by illegal immigrants.

Cassandra2

And the D-Bag is perfectly content to have school children mowed down by the score by people who are here legally. But those murders are just the price he's willing to extract in defense of his gun fetishism.

crank

As usual... nothing to say so oldhomey hurls insults. #adhominem.

Cassandra2

Oh, Crank, that is really rich! LOL!

Only1Green

I wonder if it ever occurred to Ms Milano that not having sex is a much more effective form of birth control than anything else, thereby eliminating the need for abortions. Thanks Ms Milano, knew you'd come around

PhysicsIsFun

Not breathing is also a good way to prevent pregnancy.

DMoney

I'm sure it's possible to become pregnant while holding one's breath.

oldhomey

Is that how you sired your offspring, D? Who held their breath, you or your spouse?

DMoney

Neither. But they were responsibly planned.

PhysicsIsFun

Well I certainly hold my nose when I read most of your appalling comments.

oldhomey

You responsibly controlled your breathing while conceiving your children? That is more than I could manage. If you sincerely believe that the system is totally "fixed" by multi-billionaires in a way the rest of us can never hope to seize it back from, as you have told us on a number of occasions, you did not responsibly bring those two children into the world. Worse, if you sincerely believe that mankind and the world's ecosystems are doomed because man-made havoc, with no possible way to avoid the ultimate calamities, you certainly did not plan responsibly by bringing more children in the world.

DMoney

Our economy and country is and has been for many years controlled by the oligarchs. But I never said that was a bad thing. The net result is the largest, most dynamic and robust economy in the history of the world, times about 4. Imperfect? Absolutely. Millions are left behind. But show me a system that didn't have poor and lower class?

Regarding the environment and it's future--I stand behind that. I wanted to have kids to enjoy what's left before it's all gone. Still a lot of beautiful things to experience. I have a feeling by the end of their lives, it will be the beginning of the end.

Cassandra2

The D-Bag's "responsibly planned" offspring will one day gleefully pull the plug on him. I'm hoping it happens soon.

martian2

wow how note worthy your comments are only1green. And how realistic! I guess we have the abortion issue resolved now, thanks to 1green. Be sure to include the men in your comments too.

Only1Green

Oh no no no Martian, as I pointed out this was Ms. Milano's idea. I simply pointed out the benefit a strike (or could we just call it absence) has in relation to abortions. To your other point though, men being involved with this strike is as helpful as well

oldhomey

Yes, Only, human history is just one long continuum of people calmly, logically and on their best behavior forgoing sex until God gave them the go ahead to engage in procreative behavior. That Ms Milano. What a dope, huh? Are you really the only one that green so as to believe what you are preaching?

Cassandra2

So, Green, you're in favor of men not having sex. Interesting. How do you feel about men not raping women?

Cassandra2

Another straight, white, "christian" male telling women what they can do with their bodies and that private medical decisions are better left to the government than to the women affected.

DMoney

Would you feel better if a gay, black, Muslim female was the one to say it? In other words, is it the point you are against or simply the demographics of the writer?

oldhomey

Ahem, D, I believe it would be just as stupid for anybody to say it. But the irony, of course, is that the legislators who passed this legislation are overwhelmingly white, self-styled Christian males who feel it is their business to allow the state to dictate to women what they can and cannot do with their bodies. What about the female legislator who suggested perhaps they should also pass a law criminalizing vasectomies for males? Why isn't that big on their agenda, too?

DMoney

I would celebrate the passing of a law outlawing vasectomies for males. It would give me the ultimate excuse.

More ironic is the fact that these white old straight males are interested in preserving the lives of all babies, even those that are minorities and potentially future Democrats. This law doesn't benefit a certain race, sex or religion. Therefore it's creators demographic shouldn't matter. All of that said, I believe these laws are too extreme and an emotional response to the extreme pro choice laws passed elsewhere.

crank

Yes... what about those CHRISTIAN WHITE MALES? Forget the the females also in favor of protecting unborn babies. Forget the other religious and non-religious people also opposed to killing unborn babies. Democrat, anti-Christian, talking points regurgitated by our trib-lib army of one.

oldhomey

Being slow on the uptake, as I generally am, D, I am having trouble deciphering your comment on making it a crime for men to have a vasectomy: "I would celebrate the passing of a law outlawing vasectomies for males. It would give me the ultimate excuse."

That would give you the excuse to do what? Is your wife urging you to have a vasectomy and you are trying to avoid it? Does that mean that in your mind women's reproductive rights belong to the state, but the state has no business telling males what to do? Do you want to retain the right to fire live ammunition, instead of merely firing blanks, as your wife would like you to do? Could you explain this to the rest of us, please?

oldhomey

Crank and D, I am guessing that a lot of those Christian white male state legislators who are trying to pass these abhorrent laws are not really the born-again fundamentalist Christians they like to posture themselves as being, it is just an identity they adopt out of political expediency. Some may even be atheists, saints preserve us! Same for the few anti-abortion female legislators who vote with them.

I can't speak for everybody else who finds you two guys full of bunkum. but the stances these legislators and the stances you two take are the anti-thesis of Christian, humanistic empathy and morality that all societies aspire to.

Females of all races and religions by a wide margin are against the laws these legislators are pushing. The demographics I think will jump up and bite the GOP severely in the nether regions in 2020 if these laws are not struck down by the courts.

crank

Maybe... or, maybe not. We’ll see on Election Day. People seem to dislike the extreme left’s positions on abortion as well. Late term abortion is a bigger deal to more people than you probably realize. Most, I believe, value life more than you trib-libs care to believe.

You were all so certain Hillary would win (by a wide margin) but turns out you were wrong about that too.

DMoney

I agree with your first paragraph. I distrust the motives of all politicians and assume they are crooked--from Regan to Obama to Trump.

I am as against this new set of laws just as much as I am against the laws allowing abortion during third trimester for any reason or excuse. I believe this is political retribution for those laws, and a new low our politicians have dropped to-- playing politics when lives and rights are on the line.

I disagree that these trends will oust Trump. His approval ratings have steadily increased, to the point where some have him better than Obama at same point during his presidency. You all continue to underestimate the amount of conservative sentiment that exists in this country.

DMoney

And once again, none of my political views are tied to religious ideals. I am not claiming to be a speaker of God or his word. Please drop it, I haven't defended the role of religion once on these boards and do not claim to be a humanitarian.

Cassandra2

Actually, D-Bag, my point (and it is one that you small government types should fully endorse) is that government has no place coming between a woman and her doctor.

DMoney

I will concede this point, C-bag, if you concede that logic on every other topic we come across in the future: that government has no right to interfere with an individual and their decisions.

Deal?

crank

And.....POOF! Just like that she’s nothing to say.

Cassandra2

Actually, no. YOU are the one who wants no government interference except in the most personal of decisions. I think government has a place in making a world where sex education is thorough and ubiquitous, where child care, support and education are a priority, where birth control is inexpensive and readily available, and where the men who cause pregnancies are held responsible. The laws you're advocating would jail women for longer terms if they sought abortion than their rapists could expect.

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