Jameela Jamil says debates about Lia Thomas are being used to ‘distract’ from new abortion laws

‘Those who wish to oppress the poor, the disabled, women, people with uteruses specifically… always try to demonise trans rights as a way to turn our heads,’ actor and activist wrote.

Isobel Lewis
Wednesday 23 March 2022 08:59
Jameela Jamil discusses being made to look white in campaigns and on magazines

Jameela Jamil has said that debates about transgender women in sport are being used to “distract” from the rollback of reproductive rights.

Last week, trans swimmer Lia Thomas won the highest title at the US national college swimming championships, sparking widespread commentary about whether she should be allowed to compete against cis women.

On Wednesday (23 March), Jamil shared a screenshot from her Twitter account responding to the news that the Oklahoma House had voted on Tuesday (22 March) to ban all abortions.

It will now head to the state senate where, if signed into law, will surpass Texas’s six-week abortion ban to become the strictest in the country.

Jamil’s tweet suggested that Thomas was being used as a “distraction” from the fact that women’s lives were being “destroyed”.

“We better see all the famous ‘feminists’ who spent the week complaining about Lia Thomas winning one race get f***ing lively about this, as it won’t only affect women but it will in the vast MAJORITY impact and f*** our lives, dreams, future, health and safety,” Jamil wrote in her Instagram caption.

“Forced birth should be a crime not a law. I’m so sorry Oklahoma. This must be terrifying for its citizens. Especially those with uteruses.”

The Good Place star added that the two issues were “more connected than you think”, writing: “Those who wish to oppress the poor, the disabled, women, people with uteruses specifically… always try to demonise trans rights as a way to turn our heads and divert our attention and energy… because they KNOW… that trans liberation intersects with all of those other things.

“So often the same week that reproductive rights, gay rights, healthcare rights get taken away, there is some big ‘scandal’ about trans rights in the news cycle.”

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If brought in, Oklahoma’s new abortion laws will enable and incentivise private citizens to sue anyone involved in the abortion process.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) called it “a dark moment for Oklahomans’ ability to control their own bodies and futures”.

“After seeing the devastation caused by Texas’ abortion ban, Oklahoma politicians have taken the unconscionable step of imposing an even harsher ban on pregnant people,” they wrote.

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