- Democratic Georgia Rep. Dar’shun Kendrick introduced a ‘Testicular Bill of Rights’ on Monday in response to a restrictive abortion measure introduced by the state last week.
- Kendrick’s proposed legislation includes a ban on vasectomy procedures, a requirement that men must obtain permission from their sexual partner to obtain Viagra, and a measure to make it an “aggravated assault” crime for men to have sex without a condom.
- Last week, the Georgia House approved a bill that, if passed, would be one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country.
- Kendrick’s testicular bill of rights isn’t the first proposal to limit vasectomies in Georgia. In 2012, a group of female Democratic legislators also proposed a bill to ban men from seeking vasectomies – in response to the bill that sought to ban abortions after 20 weeks.
- The purpose of the bill is to “bring awareness to the fact that if you’re going to legislate our bodies, then we have every right to propose legislation to regulate yours,” Kendrick told Rolling Stone.
“Good morning, please have the following legislation drafted:” the email from Georgia Democratic state Rep. Dar’shun Kendrick begins. The subject line reads “Testicular ‘Bill of Rights’ Legislation,” and is listed as being of high importance.
The first bullet point reads: “Require men to obtain permission from their sex partner before they are able to obtain a prescription for Viagra or any erectile dysfunction medication.”
“Ban vasectomy procedures in Georgia, both in part or whole,” reads the second bullet point, another one stating: “Make it an ‘aggravated assault’ crime for men to have sex without a condom.”
Ggggooooodddd morning! Introducing my "testicular bill of rights" legislative package. You want some regulation of bodies and choice? Done! pic.twitter.com/5E8HBRSc9l
— Dar'shun Kendrick (@DarshunKendrick) March 11, 2019
“You want some regulation of bodies and choice? Done!” Kendrick wrote in Monday’s tweet introducing her proposed legislation.
Kendrick’s “testicular bill of rights” comes after Georgia’s House passed its restrictive “heartbeat ban” last week. The bill would criminalise most abortions after a doctor detects a heartbeat in the womb, which typically occurs around six weeks – compared to current state law which allows women to have legal abortions up to 20 weeks. According to the Supreme Court case of Roe v. Wade, states cannot ban abortion before the foetus is viable, typically about 23 to 25 weeks.
Abortion-rights advocates argue many women don’t even know they are pregnant at six weeks.
The state already has a slew of other abortion restrictions, according to the Guttmacher Institute, including a requirement that women must receive state-directed counseling that includes information designed to discourage them from having an abortion, as well as a 24-hour wait period before the procedure is provided.
The measure, which is now headed to the state’s Senate, would be one of the most restrictive in the country if passed, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It also sparked fierce debate in the state’s House, with at least 20 Democrats standing with their backs turned as the bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Ed Setzler, introduced the bill. Many female Democrats also walked out of the chamber in a show of protest.
If the bill passes the Senate, it will then head to the desk of Rep. Governor Brian Kemp, who has already expressed his support for the measure, reported WSB-TV.
“Representative Kendrick is making a point – no other form of health care is regulated and restricted in the way that abortion is,” Elisabeth Smith, chief counsel for state policy and advocacy at the Center for Reproductive Rights, told INSIDER. “It’s clear this bill is meant to force women to carry pregnancies to term, and it would not stand up in court.”
Kendrick’s bill isn’t the first proposal to limit vasectomies in Georgia. In 2012, a group of female Democratic legislators also proposed a bill to ban men from seeking vasectomies – in response to HB 954, a bill that sought to ban abortions after 20 weeks which was ultimately passed. Last week’s proposed heartbeat ban would give women a fraction of that time to seek an abortion.
“I saw how women kind of were disregarded in a lot of senses and our bodies were kind of treated like shells, like we didn’t matter. We were just here to give birth to children and what we want or need doesn’t matter,” Georgia State Rep. Yasmin Neal told CNN in Feb. 2012. “So at the same time, I felt that our male counterparts needed to know what we felt or what we go through when there are bills debating our bodies coming up and we have no say so.”
Kendrick, who has served in the Georgia House for the past six years, acknowledged to Rolling Stone that her testicular bill of rights will not pass this year, because the filing deadline has come and gone, and that it most likely will never pass. But, that’s not why she proposed it.
Instead, she hopes to “bring awareness to the fact that if you’re going to legislate our bodies, then we have every right to propose legislation to regulate yours,” she told Rolling Stone.
“In 2012, we had a bill that took [the cut-off to seek an abortion] from 26 weeks down to 20 weeks, and I knew that as soon as a Republican president got in office and was able to make Supreme Court nominations, that this was the direction we were headed,” Kendrick said. “But if I am still here when Democrats take over, [the heartbeat bill] will be the first bill that I overturn if it’s not overturned already.”
Kendrick’s full testicular bill of rights includes:
- Require men to get permission from their sex partner before obtaining a prescription for erectile dysfunction medication.
- Ban vasectomy procedures in Georgia and penalise doctors who perform them.
- Make having sex without a condom an “aggravated assault” crime for men.
- Require men to begin paying child support when the woman is six weeks and one day pregnant per a paternity test required at the same time.
- Create a 24-hour “waiting period” for men who wish to purchase porn or sex toys in the state of Georgia.
- Read more:
- ‘We are not monsters’: 123 people who’ve experienced ‘late-term abortions’ signed an open letter to fight perceived misconceptions about the procedure
- On abortion, Trump agenda likely leads to Supreme Court, not Congress
- Ohio’s legislature is considering laws to ban abortion after 6 weeks, and could punish patients and abortion providers with the death penalty
- Voters in Alabama and West Virginia passed ballot initiatives to significantly limit abortion access at the state level if Roe v. Wade is overturned
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