Bette Midler Advises Women to 'Refuse to Have Sex' with Men in Protest of Texas Abortion Law

After Senate Bill 8 went into effect this week in Texas, Bette Midler offered a creative approach to protesting the highly restrictive abortion law

Bette Midler
Photo: Lars Niki/Getty

Bette Midler is one of many celebrities who's using their platform to condemn the highly restrictive anti-abortion law that went into effect this week in Texas.

The four-time Golden Globe winner, 75, offered a creative approach to protesting Senate Bill 8, tweeting on Thursday, "I suggest that all women refuse to have sex with men until they are guaranteed the right to choose by Congress."

"My dad actually suggested that decades ago," Frank Sinatra's daughter, singer Nancy Sinatra, replied.

Midler continued speaking out against the anti-choice law on Friday. "This isn't about guns, speech, money or war. It's about women, their lives, their bodies, and their autonomy," she wrote.

"That's what allowed the court to do shoddy work, with careless disregard, because who's going to stop it? They only did the thing in the dead of night, without care or effort, because they believe women are so used to being gaslit that of course, they'll just tolerate it," Midler added. "They did the thing in the dead of night without care or effort because they genuinely believe that they're only women, and they deserve what they get."

After it was passed through Texas legislature in May, Senate Bill 8 took effect Tuesday after midnight. It is now the most restrictive abortion law in the country.

Essentially eliminating the rights of Roe v. Wade, the bill prohibits abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, which is before most people know they're pregnant. The bill does not allow exceptions for pregnancies that are the result of incest or rape.

Under the law, private citizens can sue abortion clinics they suspect of performing illegal abortions after six weeks, as well as anyone who aided in an abortion, including driving someone to an appointment or helping them with the cost. If the lawsuit is successful, they will be awarded a minimum of $10,000.

After the law went into effect, President Joe Biden said that it "blatantly violates the constitutional right established under Roe v. Wade and upheld as precedent for nearly half a century."

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The law will "significantly impair women's access to the health care they need, particularly for communities of color and individuals with low incomes," he continued. "And, outrageously, it deputizes private citizens to bring lawsuits against anyone who they believe has helped another person get an abortion, which might even include family members, health care workers, front desk staff at a health care clinic, or strangers with no connection to the individual."

Abortion providers in Texas attempted to stop the bill, asking the Supreme Court to issue an emergency block before it went into effect. They argued that the law "would immediately and catastrophically reduce abortion access in Texas, barring care for at least 85 percent of Texas abortion patients (those who are six weeks pregnant or greater) and likely forcing many abortion clinics ultimately to close."

The court voted 5 to 4 against the request, allowing the law to remain in effect. The five justices who voted in the majority — Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett — explained their decision in a single unsigned paragraph, arguing that the request did not properly address "complex and novel antecedent procedural questions" in regards to the bill.

AUSTIN, TX - SEPT 1: Pro-choice protesters march outside the Texas State Capitol on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021 in Austin, TX. Texas passed SB8 which effectively bans nearly all abortions and it went into effect Sept. 1. A request to the Supreme Court to block the bill went unanswered and the Court still has yet to take any action on it.
Protestors march in Texas to fight the new abortion law. Sergio Flores/Getty

"In particular, this order is not based on any conclusion about the constitutionality of Texas's law, and in no way limits other procedurally proper challenges to the Texas law, including in Texas state courts," the justices wrote.

The Supreme Court is expected to take up Texas and other states' challenges to Roe v. Wade when they're back in session in October.

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