Rep. Rashida Tlaib became the target of widespread ridicule on social media following remarks she made about men’s “obsession” with her body at an abortion rally in Washington, D.C.
Speaking Wednesday at the MyRightMyDecision Rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court, Tlaib told fellow pro-choice advocates that men are “obsessed with our bodies, how we talk, how we look, what we stand for.”
“I mean, this type of policing of our bodies is so interconnected to all the social justice movements all around the country,” she said.
“This issue is an economic justice issue. This issue is a racial justice issue,” Tlaib added, to hoots and cheers from the crowd.
“And let me tell you. This obsession with our bodies. You know, I, in the Michigan legislature for six years, used to say to people, ‘Yo, yo, 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!'”
The freshman congresswoman’s forceful remarks prompted mockery on social media, especially from conservatives.
“Maybe you shouldn’t want to have sex with me!”
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) March 5, 2020
“I can confirm that I do not want to have sex with you, Rashida,” tweeted right-leaning political commentator Dave Rubin, who is gay.
I can confirm that I do not want to have sex with you, Rashida. https://t.co/gdprEWfCia
— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) March 5, 2020
“I think it should be fairly easy to form a bipartisan consensus on this issue,” quipped Matt Walsh, a contributor to The Daily Wire.
Conservative podcast host Allie Beth Stuckey said Tlaib’s “brain is made out of oatmeal.”
“I remember a time when abortion wasn’t legal”
Supporters of abortion rights voiced trepidation outside the Supreme Court on Wednesday as the justices weighed the fate of one of the numerous restrictive laws passed by conservative states that make access to the procedure more difficult.
Hundreds of demonstrators rallied on a cool and sunny day in the U.S. capital as the nine justices heard arguments in an Shreveport abortion clinic’s appeal of a lower court ruling upholding a restrictive Louisiana abortion law. Abortion rights supporters outnumbered opponents. Some carried signs saying “Protect Safe, Legal Abortion” and “My Right, My Decision.”
“I remember a time when abortion wasn’t legal. It was illegal when I was a teenager. And we aren’t going back. We’re just not going back,” said demonstrator Bambi Nelms, 62, of Maryland. “My mother had an illegal abortion before I was born – coat hanger variety – and it darned near killed her. She had me after that.”
Louisiana’s law, put on hold during the legal challenge, requires doctors who perform abortions to have a sometimes difficult-to-obtain arrangement called “admitting privileges” at a hospital within 30 miles (48 km) of the abortion clinic.
Steffani Bangel, 30, who works at a Louisiana organization that supports access to abortion clinics, noted that the Supreme Court in 2016 struck down a Texas abortion law that contained an admitting privileges mandate.
Activists who oppose abortion are hoping the Supreme Court, with a 5-4 conservative majority, will scale back or even overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.
Some anti-abortion demonstrators held flags emblazoned with Bible quotes and the image of a bald eagle – a symbol of America – carrying a Christian cross. Others stood silently with red tape over their mouths with the word “LIFE” in black letters.
Demonstrator Dennis McKirahan, 75, of Ohio said supporters of abortion rights were “distorting what God intended.”
“When that baby is a seed in the womb, scientifically, it’s going to be a baby. And you can’t stop that or you’re killing that baby,” McKirahan said. “God didn’t intend us to stop our creation.”
(Reuters contributed to this report.)