Social media users are claiming that a bill introduced by Rep. Christopher M. Rabb forces men to be sterilized and limit the number of children parents can have to three. While the bill is real, it was introduced as a parody in response to the Texas abortion ban and is not expected to pass.
The text in one post reads: “BREAKING: House Democrat Introduces Forced Sterilization/Three-Child Limit Bill. If there was any doubt that today’s progressive left have utterly and completely disregarded your personal medical freedom, then let this be the nail in the coffin. A legislator from Philadelphia has just introduced legislation that would limit how many children your family could have, dictate what age you could have a family, and would issue a TEN THOUSAND DOLLAR FINE for refusing to submit to forced sterilization after having three children. As a fourth-born child myself, I would have never existed under this law and neither would so many others.”
The bill was introduced on Oct. 2, 2021 and is visible here . It says it would require men to undergo vasectomies within 6 weeks of having their third child or their 40th birthday, whichever is first. The bill would enforce a $10,000 reward to those reporting anyone not compliant with the rules.
The language of the bill is humorous and riddled with puns and innuendos (such as referring to men as, “inseminators” and, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander!”).
A press release by Rabb’s office (here) explains that the bill is satire and created in response to Texas’ near-total abortion ban, which was temporarily blocked by a U.S. federal judge on Oct 6, 2021 (here), before a U.S. appeals court temporarily reinstated it on Oct. 8 (here).
“Within hours of its circulation of this memo, I have received some of the most hateful and threatening emails and voicemails over my five years in office,” Rabb said in the press release. “But I have also received the affirmation and support of people in and far beyond my district who hold reproductive rights sacrosanct – not to mention people who see the value in satire to raise awareness around serious issues such as this.”
The Republican-backed law in Texas prohibits women from obtaining an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, a time frame where many women do not yet know they are pregnant. The law makes no exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape or incest. It also lets ordinary citizens enforce the ban, rewarding them at least $10,000 if they successfully sue anyone who helped provide an abortion after fetal cardiac activity is detected. Critics of the law have said this provision enables people to act as anti-abortion bounty hunters (here).
Satire. The male reproductive responsibility bill was created as a parody to contribute to the conversation of reproductive rights.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.