News & Politics

Rashida Tlaib to Abortion Opponents: 'You Shouldn't Even Want to Have Sex With Me'

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., addresses the 110th NAACP National Convention, Monday, July 22, 2019, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

At the abortion rally on Wednesday, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) — one of the members of AOC’s Squad — accused pro-life Americans of being “obsessed” with the bodies of women. She appeared to call for a sex strike, emphasizing the “power” that women have over their own bodies to assert their rights. This seems rather ironic since abortion would not be in nearly as much demand if the women who are willing to kill their unborn babies would practice abstinence.

“My my my, are they obsessed with our bodies … this type of policing of our bodies is so interconnected to all the social justice movements all around the country,” Tlaib declared. “And let me tell you this obsession with our bodies, you know I in the legislature, the Michigan legislature for six years, used to say to people, ‘You know what, you’re so freakin’ obsessed with what I decide to do with my body, maybe you shouldn’t even want to have sex with me, or you, or any woman!'”

She encouraged women to harness “the power that we have over our bodies to push back and use that power in saying, ‘Enough is enough'” to fight back against movements intended “to make us less than in this country.”

When it comes to abortion, pro-life Americans want to protect the unborn baby, not dictate how the mother lives her life. Most pro-lifers encourage adoption to allow the woman to live her life unencumbered by motherhood while allowing her child to live.

Abortion activists often frame the issue as a matter of women asserting their rights against oppressive patriarchy like something out of The Handmaid’s Tale, where women are forced to get pregnant. Yet as Tlaib herself insisted, women do have power over their own bodies. They don’t have to resort to killing an unborn child within them — they can practice abstinence until they are ready to have children. This is one of the major reasons why Christian morality encourages abstinence before marriage — so that when children are conceived, they can be cared for.

Activists like Tlaib often present abortion as empowering to women, yet in a recent study, nearly 75 percent of the women surveyed said their decision to abort was subject to pressure from others — parents, boyfriends, or husbands. More than 58 percent said they aborted their baby to make others happy, and almost 30 percent said they made the decision from fear of losing their partner if they did not.

Abortion is a thorny issue, but the strategy Tlaib suggested is the most effective at preventing pregnancy and therefore abortion.

Tlaib’s idea that pro-lifers don’t want her to kill unborn babies because they’re so “obsessed” with having sex with her is so ludicrous it deserves mockery rather than a response.

Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.