Queer lawmaker filing ‘men’s reproductive health’ bill

A queer lawmaker is hitting back at the passage of a bill outlawing abortion in Georgia by proposing a measure that would require men to tell police when they’ve had sex.

It’s one of two “men’s reproductive health” proposals that female Democratic lawmakers are filing to point out how women and men are treated differently in health care matters.

State Rep. Park Cannon, a Democrat from Atlanta, is gathering co-sponsors for a bill that would require men age 55 and older to “immediately report to the county sheriff or local law enforcement agency” when he “releases sperm from his testicles,” according to the AJC.

Cannon (top photo) said that a 2010 report from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention argued that increasing men’s involvement in family planning helps improve women’s health, according to the AJC.

“This bill helps men who are well past reproductive age to self-report when they willfully engage in conception,” she said.

Cannon is one of five openly LGBTQ members of the state legislature.

Rep. Dar’shun Kendrick, a Democrat from Lithonia, is filing a bill that she’s calling “the testicular bill of rights.” It would require DNA testing once a woman is six weeks and one day pregnant to establish paternity and require the father to begin paying child support. The bill would also require a 24-hour “waiting period” for men to purchase porn or sex toys, and require men to get permission from their sex partner before obtaining a prescription for erectile dysfunction medication. 

The bills are largely symbolic and have little chance of passing. They’re a reaction to the House passing House Bill 481, a measure that would ban abortions once a heartbeat is detected, which happens at about six weeks.

Cannon and another LGBTQ lawmaker, Rep. Renitta Shannon, spoke out forcefully against HB 481 on Crossover Day on March 8. 

Cannon talked about getting an abortion after being sexually assaulted, and said that many believe people they can “rape [LGBTQ people] straight.” Shannon spoke about having an abortion as a senior in college. She had her mic cut off by House Speaker David Ralston and was escorted from the well of the House by security after refusing to end her speech.

HB 481 now goes to the Senate for consideration. Sine Die — the final day of this year’s legislative session — is April 2.