A Georgia lawmaker announced a new legislative package that, judging by its name, sounds like a great deal for your package. But the Testicular Bill of Rights, as it’s known, is actually a masterful troll job on anti-choice lawmakers, a direct response to a bill currently in the Georgia Senate that would dramatically restrict women’s reproductive freedom.
Many laws designed to restrict abortion are cloaked in the language of protection while restricting women’s access to healthcare. Dar’shun Kendrick, the minority whip in the Georgia House, borrowed that tactic when she named her bill.
The law would require men to get permission from their sex partner before obtaining a prescription for erectile dysfunction medication. Vasectomies would be banned and doctors who perform them punished. Sex without a condom would become an “aggravated assault,” and men seeking to buy porn or sex toys would have to wait 24 hours, a waiting period that would make them blue.
Permission slips, criminalization, interference with doctors, and waiting periods: all are tactics used by anti-choice politicians to restrict abortion access, and all are facts of life for women in Georgia.
Kendrick’s bill would also tighten rules for child support, requiring DNA testing between six and eight weeks into a pregnancy and requiring the father to immediately begin paying child support.
“If the state of Georgia is going to be concerned with regulating women’s reproductive rights, I think it’s only fitting that we also do that for men’s reproductive rights,” she said in an interview.
Kendrick introduced her proposal in response to the so-called “heartbeat bill” passed by the Georgia House on Thursday. It’s a ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy with exceptions in the case of rape or incest only if an official police report was filed.
Many women don’t even realize they’re pregnant at six weeks, so the law would be a de facto ban on many of the abortions that currently happen in Georgia.
But in an interview with Rolling Stone, Kendrick said that she believes the true purpose of the bill is to force the issue on a national stage.
“It’s unconstitutional on purpose: this is a test case. It is a case to test Roe v. Wade,” she said. If passed, the law would go before the conservative Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, likely setting up a showdown at the Supreme Court. “They know exactly what they are doing. This is intentional,” she concluded.
The Testicular Bill of Rights, then, is no laughing matter. It’s a ballsy move to bring attention to an issue that, for Kendrick and women across the state of Georgia, is about nothing less than protecting a fundamental right.