Sex Strikes Around the World

Actress Alyssa Milano called for a sex strike to protest anti-abortion laws — but it's not the first time sex strikes have been used to cause change. Here's a look of how they've worked around the world.

Sex strikes around the world

Georgia politics is one of several states in recent weeks that have passed legislation forbidding doctors from ending pregnancies when a heartbeat can be detected, which is roughly at six weeks.

“Our reproductive rights are being erased. Until women have legal control over our own bodies we just cannot risk pregnancy. JOIN ME by not having sex until we get bodily autonomy back. I’m calling for a #SexStrike. Pass it on.”

Women are not guaranteed equal justice under the law of our Constitution. Alyssa Milano called for a sex strike in protest of Georgia's anti-abortion law. But it’s not the first-time sex strikes have been used to protest against policies.

In 1997, General Manuel Bonnet, a Colombian Military officer, called for a sex strike among the wives of paramilitaries, guerrillas, drug traffickers, to achieve a ceasefire in Colombia.

A group of women organized a week-long sex strike in 2009, to call on politicians to reform the country in Kenya.

In 2003, Leymah Gbowee and Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace organized a sex strike to end Liberia’s brutal civil war. In desperation, they added the sex strike. It led to peace in Liberia and the election of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the country's first female head of state.

In 2008, in Naples, a group of women called “Se Spari, Niente Sesso" (after effect “If you shoot, no sex”) pledged not to have sex if their men shoot off dangerous fireworks on New Year's Eve in Italy.

The Philippines in 2011, women in rural Mindanao imposed a several-week-long sex strike to end fighting between their two villages.

Taking a break from sex through activism to fight for your rights isn’t the only thing Milano calls for in her op-ed piece, as she urged readers to also support the organizations and individuals working courageously on the front lines to fight for reproductive justice and abortion access.