A law requiring vasectomies? Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) will not stand for this blatant violation of a (male) person’s bodily autonomy!
On Sunday, Cruz tweeted an article from a conservative news site about Alabama state Rep. Rolanda Hollis’ (D) bill requiring men to undergo vasectomies at the age of 50 or after the birth of their third child.
The Republican has advocated for a full ban on abortion with no exceptions, stripping funding for Planned Parenthood, and allowing companies to deny birth control coverage.
Under HB238, introduced by Hollis on Thursday, men would be legally required to undergo a vasectomy procedure “at his own expense” once he turns 50 or has a third child, “whichever comes first.”
The measure is unlikely to pass. Rather, Hollis’ objective seems to be highlighting a sexist double standard held by anti-abortion lawmakers.
“Under existing law, there are no restrictions on the reproductive rights of men,” Hollis wrote in the bill’s synopsis.
The day after he posted the tweet, Cruz insisted he hadn’t fallen into Hollis’ trap and that it was, in fact, the left who was upset, not him.
“It’s been a sight to behold the last 24 hours of Lefties triggering over this tweet,” the GOP senator tweeted on Monday night. “‘Ah ha! You’re pro choice,’ they exclaim. No, I believe in BOTH life and individual liberty.”
Cruz compared Hollis’ measure to forced abortions and sterilization, adding, “And yes, every adult—man or woman—has a right to do whatever you want with your body…but that doesn’t mean you have a right to do something harmful to ANOTHER person’s body.”
In May, Alabama passed a severe anti-abortion law making the procedure entirely illegal unless the mother’s health is in danger, with zero exceptions for rape and/or incest. Doctors who violate the law face a prison sentence of to 99 years. As is the case with other red states that passed heavy abortion restrictions, Alabama conservatives hope the court battles over the law will eventually end up in front of the conservative-leaving Supreme Court.
Hollis did not respond to TPM’s request for comment.
This story has been updated to include Cruz’s follow-up tweets.