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A Georgia state representative will introduce a package of bills to place new restrictions on men’s reproductive rights, a response she hopes will call attention to new legislation that would limit women’s access to abortions.
“Women’s rights are under attack right now in this nation,” state Rep. Dar’shun Kendrick (D) told The Hill in an interview on Wednesday. “Of course it’s tongue-in-cheek, but the point is to shift the focus.”
She said the five separate bills, which she is calling the “testicular bill of rights,” would seek to shift the conversation over reproductive rights from women to men.
Kendrick’s package of bills would require men to obtain permission from their partners to get a prescription for erectile dysfunction medicine, ban vasectomies and punish doctors who perform them, require men to pay child support beginning six weeks after a woman becomes pregnant, and make sex without a condom an aggravated assault crime.
Another bill would create a 24-hour waiting period for men who want to buy pornography or sex toys.
Kendrick said the bills are a response to legislation before the Georgia House of Representatives that would ban abortions after about six weeks, when a fetal heartbeat is detectable.
“There’s a bill that’s proposed every year to restrict abortion rights,” Kendrick said. “It’s the same story, different cast.”
Several other states have debated similar so-called heartbeat bills in recent years, and some anti-abortion rights advocates see the measures as the vehicle to challenge Roe v. Wade before the Supreme Court.
Federal courts have blocked some states from enacting bans on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Kendrick’s legislation is not likely to advance in a chamber controlled by Republicans. But she said the attention her bills will generate will highlight the debate over abortion rights in the legislature.
“Having this conversation is important,” Kendrick said. “The legislature needs to reflect the progressive values of Georgia.”