There's a Movement to Send Semen-Soaked Socks to Texas Lawmakers Who Backed Anti-Abortion Rule
In the latest overt move to undermine Roe v. Wade, Texas is moving full speed ahead with a new rule requiring aborted fetuses to be buried or cremated. According to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, the new mandate, which is slated to take effect later this month, is aimed at "giving voice to the unborn."
In an effort to comply with that order more closely than state officials ever imagined, a woman named Jex Blackmore is urging Americans to mail their sperm-soaked rags, socks and condoms to Governor Abbott’s office. Since Texas lawmakers have decided to randomly assign personhood to aborted fetal tissue, it’s only fitting they should have a chance to grieve for the millions of lives lost whenever men spill their seed (which is a lot).
Under the name Cumrags for Congress, the project is meant to push back against a transparent effort to make women feel bad for having control over their own bodies and accessing a constitutional right. “This is an attempt to establish the legal precedent of fetal personhood,” Blackmore wrote in a Facebook post criticizing the law. Blackmore is a spokesperson for the Satanic Temple, but the project is unaffiliated with the church. The post goes on to encourage people to send their sperm-covered items directly to the Texas governor.
“Take action!” Blackmore writes. “Send your used condoms and cumrags to Governor Abbott's office at: Office of the Governor, P.O. Box 12428, Austin, Texas 78711 #CUMRAGSFORCONGRESS #Abortion #TexasAbortion #GovernorAbbott."
A photo accompanying the post features a sock covered in a viscous white substance, along with an envelope addressed to Abbott. A note—Blackmore’s suggestion for a message you might choose to accompany your message—reads, “These r babiez. Plz bury.”
Nearly identical fetal-burial regulations have been passed in Louisiana and Indiana. In the latter state, Governor Mike Pence, the incoming vice president, signed the measure into law.
Blackmore, speaking to Vice’s Broadly, says the Cumrags for Congress concept is “crass, humiliating, disgusting, a waste of resources, and absurd, just like this regulation." It’s also a brilliant way to make a point.
"The concept of the state mandating a non-medical ritual as part of the abortion procedure is offensive and crude, essentially demanding that all citizens adopt the moral, philosophical opinion that fetal tissue is comparable to a living human," she tells Broadly. "Fetal tissue has the 'potential' to become a human, but is not a human yet, does not have consciousness, and cannot exist without the mother host." She points out that semen and ova have the potential to become human life, yet "we do not mourn every ejaculation."
For the record, there’s some question about whether or not sending semen through the mail is fully legal. Speaking to Broadly, Blackmore said, “My understanding is that so long as the bodily fluid is not sent with the intent to injure or kill, and is sent is a very small amount in a 'leak proof container,' in a box clearly marked as containing fluid, then it's okay. At least, that's what the woman at the USPS office said when I contacted them."
This doesn’t count as legal advice, so if you decide to participate in the Cumrags for Congress movement, you might want to err on the side of caution. “Sending bodily fluid via postal service may get you in trouble, so do this at your own risk,” Blackmore advises. “However, feel free to supplement with gooey lotions and shampoos...the point is still valid.”
In other news, the Satanic Temple—which again, is unaffiliated with Blackmore's project—officially announced plans to file suit against Texas for the new ordinance, citing the same federal religious freedom laws the right-wing loves when it serves their purpose.
“Texas health officials are baldly imposing the view that the fetal tissue is elevated to personhood—a religious opinion that conflicts with our own,” Satanic Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves said in a statement, according to Jezebel. “If Texas is going to treat the disposal of fetal tissue differently from the disposal of any other biological material, in contradiction to our own religious beliefs, they need to present a compelling state interest for doing so. Of course, there is no such state interest, and it’s perfectly clear the demand for fetal tissue burial is a punitive measure imposed by sadistic theocrats. It’s clear these officials deem harassment an acceptable form of pushing their misguided religious agendas.”