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Georgia’s New ‘Testicular Bill Of Rights’ Would Restrict Things Like Viagra & Porn

Down in Georgia, House Bill 481 passed the lower chamber of the state’s legislature by a 93-73 vote tally. If HB 481 clears the state senate, which it is expected to, it could wind up on the governor’s desk and once signed into law, no woman in the state could seek an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected in her pregnancy. This would, effectively, end abortion in the state of Georgia, as a legal practice, anyway, because a fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks, and many women don’t even know they’re pregnant by that point in gestation.

To call the law drastic is an understatement, and it’s hard to imagine that it won’t be challenged by the Supreme Court. Legal precedent for a right to an abortion was established by the case of Roe vs. Wade back in 1973. At that time, the high court ruled that medical viability — the point at which a fetus could reasonably be expected to survive if taken from the womb — was the standard used. Any procedure done before that time would be considered a private health matter between a woman and her doctor. But over the years, religious and social conservatives have never accepted that ruling, and have fought tooth and nail to roll back Roe, failing quite spectacularly every time.

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HB 481 is almost certainly unconstitutional simply because it sets the threshold for legal abortions so early. But, as Rolling Stone’s Tessa Stuart pointed out, the unconstitutionality of HB 481 isn’t a bug; it’s a feature. In fact, it’s more like the most popular feature for the bill’s supporters. Why? Because it’ll force the case, eventually, into the Trumpian Era Supreme Court, and that court has Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh on it. Perhaps Gorsuch could be counted on to maintain current precedent, but Kavanaugh’s first couple of opinions have shown he’s ready to play conservative crusader in his black robes.

“It’s unconstitutional on purpose: this is a test case. It is a case to test Roe v. Wade. 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,” Kendrick says. “They know exactly what they are doing. This is intentional.” (Rolling Stone)

More moderate or even socially liberal Georgians can take heart that at least one lawmaker in their state, Rep. Dar’shun Kendrick, sees what’s happening with HB 481, and is doing something that’s kind of hilarious, but really shines a light on the hypocrisy of pro-lifers. Rep. Kendrick took to Twitter today and announced that she was having a “Testicular Bill of Rights” drafted by her staff.

And what, exactly, is the Testicular Bill of Rights all about? Showing men in the state what it’s like to have their reproductive decisions made for them, in addition to what it feels like to have their genitals used as political footballs.

“Good morning,” Kendrick wrote. “Please have the following legislation drafted.” The 36-year-old Democrat went on to lay out her objectives as a bulleted list: Require men to obtain permission from their sexual partner before obtaining a prescription for Viagra. Ban vasectomies in Georgia, and criminalize the doctors who perform them. Classify sex without a condom as “aggravated assault.” Require paternity testing at 8 weeks of pregnancy, and require expectant fathers to begin paying child support immediately. Last but not least, Kendrick proposed a 24-hour waiting period on any men wishing to purchase any porn or sex toys in the state of Georgia.

To be clear — Kendrick’s bill is absolutely an example of overreach. Of course men should have the right to decide if they’ll reproduce or not, so banning vasectomies would be almost certainly immediately thrown out by any court as unconstitutional. And to call unprotected sex “aggravated assault” would be beyond stupid, but then again so is calling ending a non-viable pregnancy, or ending a viable one if the mother’s life is literally threatened, “murder.” As for paternity testing at 8 weeks to determine financial liability and get immediate child support, I’m not even sure if that’s feasible or possible, but that’s not really the point; it’s meant to point out how ridiculous it is to require a fetal ultrasound before an abortion can be provided.

It should also be acknowledged that Kendrick’s legislation has almost zero chance of ever passing. That’s because a) the Republican Party hold the majority in her state and she’s a Democrat and b) nobody would ever sign it into law in the first place. Which is, of course, the entire point that she’s making. If it’s absurd to treat men’s reproductive health decisions and sexual autonomy in this way, then it should be equally as absurd to do it to women. And yet…

We’ll keep a close eye on HB 481 to see if it’s passed in the Georgia State Senate, and ultimately, signed into law. If it is, that will almost certainly trigger an instant appeal process. Then, eventually, it’ll be up to a court with Brett “I Like Beer” Kavanaugh to decide if a woman still should get to have a say in whether she forces a living being out of her nether region, and when.


Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook and Instagram, but not Twitter because he has a potty mouth.

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