Fed up with Republican men passing draconian measures that take away women’s rights to control their own bodies, Rep. Dar’shun Kendrick (D-Ga.) decided to give them a taste of their own medicine.
Responding to HB 481, the “heartbeat bill” passed by House Republicans in the state, which specifically outlaws abortions after a heartbeat is detected, Kendrick introduced the “Testicular Bill of Rights,” legislation, Raw Story reports. The legislation would require men to get permission from their sexual partners before purchasing medication for erectile dysfunction, and it would require a 24-hour waiting period for men who want to buy porn or sex toys.
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
Kendrick’s bill would also ban vasectomy procedures and penalize doctors who perform them. And for men, having sex without using a condom would be an “aggravated assault” crime, The Washington Post reports.
“So why did I post about drafting my ‘testicular bill of rights?’ It’s simple,” she writes. “To show the absurdity when a woman tries to regulate a man’s body like HB 481 and other anti-choice bills are doing in women’s bodies.”
— Dar'shun Kendrick (@DarshunKendrick) March 12, 2019
Kendrick, a state legislator since 2011, hopes to have the counter-bill drafted by the end of the week. The lawmaker told RollingStone she knows there’s a good chance her bill won’t pass. The filing deadline has passed for this year, and she also realizes it may never pass, but she’s glad for the chance to show how absurd the so-called heartbeat bill is.
As RollingStone notes, HB 481 is unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court has mandated in past cases that states cannot ban abortion before a fetus is considered viable, which is around six weeks. At this stage, many women don’t even realize they are pregnant.
And Republicans are doing this deliberately, notes Kendrick, a lawyer.
“It’s unconstitutional on purpose: This is a test case. It is a case to test Roe V. Wade,” Kendrick adds. “They’re hoping that it gets up to the Court of Appeals — the Eleventh 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. They know exactly what they are doing. This is intentional.”
Current Georgia law allows abortions up to 20 weeks, but the Women’s Womb Takeover” bill, as Kendrick likes to describe HB 481 has already been passed 93-73 in the Georgia House. If it gains Senate approval before the legislative session ends in April, as expected, it will wind up on Governor Brian Kemp’s desk. And he has vowed to sign the bill.
But Kendrick said she believes Georgia is slowly turning Democratic, and the anti-choice bill is “indicative of the people in power being scared that the tides are turning and we are going blue,” she added.
“As with most things, they are trying to rush it through because they know that it’s on the horizon,” she said, noting that several Georgia legislative seats have turned blue. “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.”
Maybe this will intimidate Republicans. After all, turnabout is fair play when you consider how often many of these people intimidate and marginalize women. What’s that old saying? Oh yeah: “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”
Rock on Dar’shun Kendrick!
You can listen to Kendrick discuss the issue with Thom Hartmann in the YouTube video below.
Featured image via Twitter