MONTGOMERY — State Rep. Rolanda Hollis (D-Birmingham) is doubling down after she made international waves Thursday in introducing a bill that would require every Alabama man to undergo a vasectomy within one month of his 50th birthday or the birth of his third biological child, whichever comes first.
Yellowhammer News first reported on HB 238, which laments in the bill synopsis, “Under existing law, there are no restrictions on the reproductive rights of men.”
Hollis, in a tweet sharing Yellowhammer’s original article on the legislation, confirmed HB 238 is indeed a reaction to pro-life legislation enacted last year, including the Human Life Protection Act.
“The Vasectomy bill is to help with the reproductive system,” she wrote. “This is to neutralize the abortion ban bill (Human Life Protection Act). The responsibility is not always on the women. It takes 2 to tangle [sic].”
“This will help prevent pregnancy as well as abortion of unwanted children,” Hollis claimed. “This bill is to help men become more accountable as well as women.”
In an interview with WSFA on Friday, Hollis reportedly pushed back on the notion that HB 238 is “an outrageous overstep.” She complained that “year after year the majority party continues to introduce new legislation that tries to dictate a woman’s body and her reproductive rights,” adding, “men should not be legislating what women do with their bodies.”
During the debate on the Human Life Protection Act in 2019, Hollis read from a poem “If My Vagina was a Gun,” comparing the Second Amendment rights debate to the debate over a woman’s right to an abortion.
In fact, debate on that bill last year in the upper chamber actually touched on vasectomy — just in a different way. State Sen. Vivian Davis-Figures (D-Mobile) offered an amendment to criminalize any man who gets a vasectomy with a Class A felony. An attempted vasectomy would have been a Class C felony. That amendment failed.
State Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison (D-Birmingham) went further during that debate, suggesting that “a castration bill” should be introduced.
Vasectomies under Hollis’ bill would be at the man’s expense. HB 238 has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee. The legislation is very much dead-on-arrival in the Alabama legislature.
On the same day HB 238 was introduced, State Rep. Ginny Shaver (R-Leesburg) reintroduced an anti-infanticide bill she first filed last session. Hollis on Thursday also filed a bill that would require local Alabama boards of education to provide feminine hygiene products in female restrooms at public schools in their respective jurisdictions.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn