Dar’shun Kendrick’s “Testicular Bill of Rights” and vasectomy ban makes the hypocrisy of Georgia’s super-restrictive abortion bill all too clear
How would men feel if their reproductive health was restricted by women and the government in the same way that women’s reproductive health is relentlessly regulated and judged in the United States by its overwhelmingly male lawmakers? Georgia state representative Dar’shun Kendrick is asking this question through new legislation that she’s dubbed the “Testicular Bill of Rights,” and we’re here for it.
The tongue-in-cheek bill would require men to obtain permission from their partners before getting erectile dysfunction medication like Viagra, and would ban vasectomies.
The proposed laws, which would take rights and privacy away from all men, are in response to the country’s most restrictive bill yet, Georgia’s “heartbeat bill,” which passed the House 93-73 on Thursday. The bill outlaws most abortions performed after doctors can detect a heartbeat in the fetus, which happens around the six-week mark – before many women know they’re pregnant, as well as before many women can make a choice about their baby, and also before many could possibly arrange an appointment for an abortion.
Kendrick announced her own proposed laws and vasectomy ban on Monday morning, along with a little message: “You want some regulation of bodies and choice? Done!”
In addition to regulating Viagra distribution and banning vasectomies, the bill would also make having sex without a condom “aggravated assault,” require men to start paying child support as soon as a fetus has a heartbeat, and add a 24-hour waiting period before men can purchase sex toys or pornography.
The post quickly went viral.
Following her proposed vasectomy ban bill, the politician also penned an opinion article, “You Want Our Wombs? We’re Coming For Your Testicles,” for Newsweek to further explain why she took action.
“If you have watched me over the years as a legislator, you know that I am passionate about issues that are important to my district,” she writes. “I can unequivocally say that no other issue gets me motivated to act or makes me more passionate about the fundamental right of women to choose their life and destiny by making choices about their bodies and when to start a family.”
“Now, obviously this is an emotional issue—it is for me, certainly,” she continues. “I think my colleagues have seen a side of me they have never seen before. And it’s because choosing whether to terminate a pregnancy or not is such a personal issue. So I don’t try to belittle the convictions of those that are pro-life because they have an argument that speaks to their soul just as my convictions speak to mine. But at the end of the day I will fight tooth and nail to preserve a woman’s right to self-determination and to respect the decisions she makes between her and her doctor.”
Kendrick, a rep from Atlanta who was elected to her position at the age of 27 in 2011, goes on to explain that the “Heartbeat” bill, which is officially called the “Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act,” or HB 481, isn’t only unconstitutional for violating Roe V. Wade, it’s also fiscally irresponsible and legally dubious – how would other laws have to change if fetuses with heartbeats were suddenly considered infants?
Kendrick admits that this bill likely won’t be officially written and proposed, and that if it were, it wouldn’t pass.
“So why did I post about drafting my testicular bill of rights,” she asks. “It’s simple. To show the absurdity when a woman tries to regulate a man’s body.”
As for the state of the Heartbeat Bill, which would very likely be struck down in a Supreme Court ruling? It narrowly passed the house, but is now moving to the State Senate floor for consideration. It’s up to Georgia lawmakers now – their constituents should call theirs today to voice their opinion on the matter.
Kendrick urged her constituents to show up to the hearing. One gender’s reproductive rights depends on the bill failing, even if men’s rights will stand.
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