Arizona Bans Premarital Menstruation

Jun 04, 2012

Today the U.S. state of Arizona continued its bizarre assault on women's reproductive health by passing into law a ban on women menstruating before they are "properly married".

The bill - known as SB 11235 - will make menstruation a crime punishible by up to 1 year in prison unless done with a permit signed by the woman's husband.

The goal of the new law is to reduce out-of -wedlock births and cut down on what one Republican male lawmaker deemed "harlotry".

Divitias Deus 

Charles Johnson, a evangelical pastor in Glendale, AZ and president of Arizona Family Values Alliance (AFVA), beleives SB 1123 will change the state for the better:

"Like all bible believing Christians I believe that menstruation is a choice.  God did not intend for single women to bear children, yet these women are running around having premarital sex and choosing to risk bringing a child into this world outside of the holy sacrament of marriage. This bill will put an end to that."

"They're just gonna have to get hitched or hold it in like the rest of us."

Some doctors, however, question the measure's effectiveness:

"Menstruation is a biological imperative for most female primates of childbearing age, including humans," explains Carolyn Gladwell, a professor of women's health at the University of Arizona medical school in Tuscon, "A woman cannot choose to stop menstruating any more than she can choose to stop being gay."

"If they really cared about reducing unwanted pregnancies they would provide better access to birth control," adds Gladwell - who is currently interviewing for teaching positions outside of the state.

In fact Arizona has moved in the opposite direction, with its House of Representatives recently proposing a bill to restrict women's access to contraception by allowing employers to fire women for using birth control.

The Daily Currant caught up with one of that bill's co-sponsors - who also sponsored the  menstruation legislation -  and asked him what women should do to comply with what opponents are calling the "Just Don't Bleed" law :

"They're just gonna have to get hitched or hold it in like the rest of us."

Darker in the Dessert

Beginning January 1st 2013 all vendors of contraception pills, maxi pads, and PMS remedies such as Midol will be required by law to ask for a marriage licence before these products can be sold.

Most major drug chains have decided to go along with the measure, although some - including Wallgreens - will instead cease selling these products in Arizona altogether.

"We believe all women should have access to these products," says a Walgreens spokeswoman "We're either selling them to everybody or not selling them at all."

Also on January 1st controversial enforcement provisions are set to come into force. Arizona police will thenceforth be required to stop all women drivers of childbearing age for random roadside pelvic exams to ensure compliance with the measure.

And if an employer suspects they might have an unmarried woman menstruating without a permit, the company is required to file a complaint to the new Arizona Office of Public Morality or face having its business licence revoked.

Louise Hernandez, a longtime Arizona resident and professor of women's studies at Arizona State University in Tempe is personally appalled by the legislation and is considering leaving for good:

"This is a dark a day as I have seen in Arizona," she says.

LGBT activists, however, are optimistic that the new law might help to advance marriage equality for lesbian couples in the state - which currently bans the practice for same-sex partners. Jane Hyland, a swimming coach in Tuscon explains:

"If the only way for women to comply with the law is to get married, it seems like they'll have to let us do it."

  • jh

    this is bs

  • This is sick now we are going to have Arpaio’s goons
    checking our panties



  • LameAssLaw

    This is Stupid

  • This is Satire!!

  • Corrinne Bass

    These people need to read the bible , woman have period at puberty because it is our punishment for Eve eating the forbidden fruit, you have know way of stopping it from happening unless they plan on tying every young girls tubes or clamping them or putting them on the one birth control that stops monthly’s. If God wanted women to be sterile and not give birth then he wouldn’t have made it possible for us to reproduce.

  • Kristy

    Actually we have periods because we are mammals and that is a key part in shedding the lining of our uterus.
    Tying tubes does not stop periods, it makes them much much heavier. There are ways of stopping periods completely, such as using the birth control pill without the placebos, using the mirena IUD works for some, and as does implanon (although it made mine go for over 2 weeks so far. Good thing I don’t use tampons, but a divacup, I’d have gone through 2 big boxes by now :o)

  • HeadDesk

    Thank you Mona! Cheese and Rice people get a clue!

  • kd

    Seriously? ?? How ridiculous. Some.girls.start their period at age 11…most girls are.menstruating by 14. So these ignorant biology-challenged bible thumper want girls to get married at 11the years old?? Mensuration is not a choice, it is biology. This is a joke, right???

  • WillowRaven

    Since when was a biological act a CHOICE???? Believe me, I do not CHOOSE to have my period each month. A male has more choice over whether he chooses to ‘jack off’ more than a woman has a choice to have her period. This is flippin’ insane, and leave it to the hardcare Christians to come up with this. Instead of trying to control a woman’s body (and a biological function that GOD created in woman), why not support the use of birth control and back up better funding for ALL forms of birth control? Those acts right there will help curb unwanted pregnancies far more than trying to stop a woman from having her period each month. For the love of St. Michael… what is going on in this world?

  • Jms

    This has to be a joke. I mean, seriously?

  • truestamerican

    Damn right!!! THAT’LL TEACH EM LIL WHORES!!!!!!!!! NOT IN MY TOWN

  • Bible-thumper says yes.

  • Rationelle

    Come on people, this is satire that uses the former regulations towards getting birth control as its base. However, it’s worth noting that Arizona is headed back that way and, if they could, the religious right would very much love to put restrictions on menstruation

  • Lay

    Someone is having a laugh here right? This can’t be serious…

  • Matthew

    Don’t you find it frightening when you can’t tell the difference between satire and news? What is this country doing to us? More importantly, what are you going to do about your country?

  • RockefellerJones

    Similar laws, enacted at the behest of German Reichchancellor Otto von Bismark in the 1890s greatly reduced the incidence of syphilis among sailors and seamstresses of that era. Laugh all you like these sorts of measures work.