In a wild proposal, Democrat Oklahoma State Rep. Mickey Dollens (D-OK) called for mandatory vasectomies for young men in order to highlight Republicans’ “absurd” banning of women’s abortions.
Speaking at a meeting of the Oklahoma state legislature Thursday during a debate over a law to effectively ban abortion from the moment of “fertilization,” Dollens invited GOP lawmakers to “co-author a bill that I’m considering next year that would mandate that each male when they reach puberty get a mandatory vasectomy that’s only reversible when they reach the point of financial and emotional stability.”
“If you think that’s crazy then I think maybe you understand how fifty percent of Oklahomans feel as well,” he added.
HB4327 allows people to sue doctors for performing an abortion and defines life at the moment of “fertilization.” Here’s an idea: mandatory vasectomies – if signed into law would be the first Oklahoma statute to control the male reproductive system. No more unwanted pregnancies. pic.twitter.com/UnkJREpogZ
— Rep. Mickey Dollens (@MickeyDollens) May 19, 2022
Noting the “plenty of actual solutions that can make a difference in reducing unwanted pregnancies” which include “birth control, family planning, sex education, [and] livable wage,” Dollens lamented they have all “gone unaddressed” for many years.
“So you have to ask yourself, here we are — almost the last day, second to last week of session — is this really a priority?” he asked in reference to the abortion bill.
“No,” he replied. “If it was a priority, we would have heard it weeks ago.”
Calling the recent abortion law an “attempt for cheap political points in a competitive primary” in his state, Dollens called on lawmakers to “vote no” on the abortion bill.
In a tweet sharing a clip of his suggestion, the state legislator doubled down on his tongue-in-cheek solution to “unwanted pregnancies.”
“HB4327 allows people to sue doctors for performing an abortion and defines life at the moment of ‘fertilization.’ Here’s an idea: mandatory vasectomies — if signed into law would be the first Oklahoma statute to control the male reproductive system,” he wrote.
“No more unwanted pregnancies,” he added.
Appearing on MSNBC’s The Katie Phang Show on Sunday, Dollens stated the GOP “has a supermajority in Oklahoma and their policies continue to get more and more extreme.”
“The party of so-called limited government and personal freedom has become the party of intrusion,” he said.
Should the government mandate vasectomies? @MickeyDollens has cheekily proposed the idea to make a point after Oklahoma passed the country’s most restrictive abortion ban.
“The party of so-called limited government and personal freedom has become the party of intrusion.” pic.twitter.com/Gtt1dZ7IL0
— The Katie Phang Show (@katiephangshow) May 22, 2022
According to Dollens, his proposal to mandate vasectomies is intended to “fight fire with fire” by proving just “how absurd and ridiculous it is to regulate one’s bodily autonomy.”
“I don’t believe that government should regulate anyone’s reproductive system, but in this case it seems to have really resonated,” he said. “Time and time again, House Democrats have brought up data, facts, [and] stories, and nothing has hit quite like this mandate on the male reproductive system.”
The 34-year-old Democrat also explained the importance of proposals like his was to “really create attention toward what’s happening,” warning that “if one Republican-controlled state [passes restrictive reproduction laws], then Oklahoma will be the next one to file that exact same model legislation.”
The stunt comes as the Oklahoma House passed a bill on Thursday that will nearly outlaw all abortions in the event the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, something it seems ready to do after a recent leak of a draft opinion signaling so.
The bill aims to have the strictest anti-abortion laws in the nation, banning the practice after conception with only a few exceptions thereafter for rape and incest, but only if such a crime has been reported to law enforcement.
Similar to the Texas law, the bill also allows other citizens to file a lawsuit against anyone who “aids or abets” someone in having an abortion.
Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.