Lawmakers in the state of Georgia have introduced a new bill that takes pro-life logic one step further and aims to ensure that any time men who are 55 or older ejaculate, they would be bound by law to immediately report themselves to law enforcement.
The new bill, House Bill 604, is succinct and cuts straight to the point: “Any male 55 years of age or older shall immediately report to the county sheriff or local law enforcement agency when such male releases sperm from his testicles.”
HB 604 co-sponsor Rep. Park Cannon told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the “bill helps men who are well past reproductive age to self report when they willfully engage in conception.”
But the bill, which was sponsored by a group of black female Democratic state representatives, isn’t simply a case of “big government” run amok.
The intention isn’t so much a bid to restrict a man’s right to choose or to interfere in his reproductive health, but to make a broader point against the state’s recently-passed “heartbeat bill,” which aims to ban abortion at any point once a heartbeat is detected in the womb–which often occurs six weeks into a pregnancy, before many women are even aware that they are carrying an embryo.
Another proposal, House Bill 481, would also see fetuses “at any stage of development” included in the state population count and would allow parents to list the unborn as dependents in their tax filings.
State Representative Dar’shun Kendrick has lambasted the move as yet another sign of a predominantly male, conservative legislature seeking to control women’s bodies and their reproductive rights.
In a Monday tweet, Kendrick contributed to the debate with her own “testicular bill of rights,” saying: “You want some regulation of bodies and choice? Done!”
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
The tweet, which had already been retweeted 4.5 thousand times as of Wednesday evening, was accompanied by a screenshot of an email listing how her proposal would protect the “rights” of testicles. Those rights include banning and punishing vasectomies, demanding that men obtain written permission from sexual partners before they obtain prescriptions for erectile dysfunction medications, and criminalizing sex without a condom as “aggravated assault.” Men would also require a 24-hour waiting period before they purchase any pornographic or erotic materials such as sex toys.
But Kendrick isn’t seeking to push some agenda against males—in an interview with Rolling Stone she admitted that her “testicular bill of rights” has little chance of advancing through the Georgia Assembly.
But as a lawyer, she also understands that bills seeking to ban abortion are simply unconstitutional and are largely a test balloon, part of a broader incremental assault on women’s reproductive choices.
And she is “dead serious” about the introduction of her proposed legislation, noting that she wants to see a draft on her desk by the weeks’ end. Kendrick added: “[This bill 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.”