State Rep. Dar’shun Kendrick (D-Lithonia) introduced legislation on Monday, March 11, that she calls the “testicular bill of rights.”
As a counter-bill and her response to HB 481, or the “heartbeat” bill, passed in the Georgia House of Representatives last week, Kendrick’s legislation places restrictions on men’s reproductive rights similar to how abortion legislation does the same for women.
Kendrick not only drafted and filed the bill, but she took it a step further by sending it out to her staff and posting it on Twitter.
Through these five bills, Kendrick is shifting the conversation of reproductive rights from women to men:
- Require men to get permission from their sex partner before obtaining a prescription for erectile dysfunction medication.
- Ban vasectomy procedures in Georgia and penalize 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.
The “heartbeat” bill, which the “testicular bill of rights” hopes to counter, prohibits women from terminating their pregnancies at about six weeks.
At least 20 Democrats stood and turned their backs after Georgia Rep. Ed Setzler (R-Acworth) introduced the “heartbeat” bill last week. In protest of the State House vote, about six female Democrats walked out of the chamber.
The bill’s name comes from the fact that a fetus’ heartbeat is usually detectable around that time frame.
According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), most pregnancies are detected between week four and seven; and a lot of women are just discovering that they’re pregnant around week six.
Current Georgia law allows pregnant women to have legal abortions at up to 20 weeks.
However, with the bill passing through the State House and moving into the State Senate, Kendrick’s views it as not only a threat to women’s rights within Georgia but also throughout the country.
“It is a case to test Roe v. Wade. They’re hoping that it gets up to the Court of Appeals — the 11th Circuit is one of the most conservative court circuits that we have, and they’re hopeful that they will uphold part of it, and then they’ll take it all the way to the Supreme Court,” Kendrick told Rolling Stone.
Previous rulings by the Supreme Court prohibit states from banning abortions before a pregnancy hits between 23-25 weeks; which is before a fetus is considered viable.
If the “heartbeat” bill passes the State Senate and is signed by Gov. Brian Kemp, it will become the most restrictive piece of abortion legislation in the country.
Kendrick told Rolling Stone that while she knows that her bill will not pass, her intention is to propose legislation that will “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.”