A DISCUSSION OF LAW AND JOURNALISM

Tag: Anti-vasectomy Act

Legislating the Penis

By Nadia-Elysse Harris

Let’s see how you like it if we legislate your penises, boys.

Because let’s face it, it takes two to tango.  Recent state laws intended to place obstacles in the way of women’s right to abortion don’t seem to notice that women don’t get pregnant without a little help from men. Meantime, on the federal side, the government did keep men in its discussion of women’s reproductive rights — by holding hearings on proposed birth control reform in front of a nearly all male panel of experts.

It’s somewhat surprising there’s a debate about legalized abortion at all.  We thought the matter was settled with Roe v. Wade , when the Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to deny women the right to have an abortion. And then in 1992, Planned Parenthood v. Casey went a step further, saying that state laws regulating abortions can’t place an undue burden on women. The friction between the rights these cases try to protect and the newly proposed legislation sweeping the nation has left many women bewildered, and indignant.

And some of our elected officials are doing something about it.

In an unconventional turn of events, some state senators and representatives have begun proposing legislation aimed at the sexual and reproductive organs – of men.  For the most part, penis-targeted legislation has been flying under the radar, but luckily for you, dear readers, we rounded up some of our favorites:   (more…)

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