Actress Alyssa Milano has ignited social media with a tweet calling for women in the US to join her in a sex strike to protest strict abortion bans passed by Republican-controlled legislatures.
The former star of Charmed and Melrose Place urged women in the tweet on Friday to stop having sex "until we get bodily autonomy back".
Her tweet came days after Georgia became the fourth state in the US to ban abortions after a foetal heartbeat is detected - about six weeks into a pregnancy and before many women know they're pregnant.
"We need to understand how dire the situation is across the country," Milano told The Associated Press on Saturday. "It's reminding people that we have control over our own bodies and how we use them."
She noted that women have historically withheld sex to protest or advocate for political reform.
Milano received support from fans and fellow actress Bette Midler joined her in also calling for a sex strike with her own tweet. But both liberals and conservatives also lampooned her idea, with conservatives praising her for promoting abstinence and liberals saying she was pushing a false narrative that women only have sex as a favour to men.
Milano said the criticism didn't bother her and that her tweet was having her desired effect, "which is getting people to talk about the war on women."
She said she fears one of the laws could eventually be decided by the conservative-leaning US Supreme Court, which Republicans hope will overturn the 1973 Roe vs Wade decision legalising abortion.
Australian Associated Press