An Alabama lawmaker has introduced a bill that requires men to get vasectomies once they meet certain conditions, in what seems like a bit of legislative trolling in response to the state’s near-total ban on abortions, Yahoo Lifestyle reports.
On Thursday, Representative Rolanda Hollis, a Democrat, introduced House Bill 238, which states that a man, within a month of his 50th birthday or the birth of his third biological child, whichever comes first, must get a vasectomy and pay for it at his own expense.
“Under existing law, there are no restrictions on the reproductive rights of men,” the bill notes.
Hollis is clear that she neither expects the bill to pass nor legitimately wants men to be required to undergo sterilization. Rather, she says that it is a direct response to a bill passed last year that effectively bans all abortions in Alabama.
“[The bill] is meant to neutralize last year’s abortion ban bill, and sends the message that men should not be legislating what women do with their bodies. It always takes two to tango. We can’t put all the responsibility on women. Men need to be responsible also,” she said.
Further, Hollis explained, via The Birmingham News, that she does not believe that women should use abortion as birth control. But she said that the option, which is now forbidden per last year’s law, should be available for women — at the very least in the case of rape or incest.
Indeed, Alabama’s anti-abortion laws are some of the strictest in the nation. As written, the law would allow for an abortion only if the mother’s life is in danger.
The law has been temporarily on hold since October 2019, as a court order has blocked its enforcement until a ruling can be issued on its challenges.
This is at least the second time that an Alabama legislator has attempted to use vasectomies as a weapon against the state’s abortion law. Sen. Vivian Davis Figures, a Mobile Democrat, tried to add language to the bill that would make it a felony for a man to get a vasectomy. The proposed amendment failed.
Alabama is one of several states that have passed restrictive abortion laws since the Trump administration. As the Los Angeles Times explained in a May 2019 report, conservative lawmakers in these states enact the bills hoping that they’ll be challenged all the way to the Supreme Court, where a now-conservative judiciary may rule in favor of the bills and overturn Roe v. Wade.