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Melanie Dupont: My complete testimony before House Judiciary



I am Melanie DuPont. In 2018, I ran for Rhode Island State Senate, and I am now the Secretary of the Rhode-Island Democratic-Party Women’s Caucus.

A vital part of the Mission of the Women’s Caucus, is to ensure gender equality in our laws.

Therefore I contend that, any time my State Representative, Gregory J. Costantino, tries to abridge my rights as a woman, and endanger my life, I, Melanie DuPont, should return the favor, and try to abridge his rights as a man, and endanger his life.

Therefore I introduce the following Amendments to House Bill 5114, formerly known as the THE RHODE ISLAND UNBORN CHILD PROTECTION FROM DISMEMBERMENT ABORTION ACT, which I hereafter refer to as the Testicular Fairness Act.

On page 2, in the section 23-13.8-1. Definitions, after line 13, I propose the following addition:

(4)(i) “Laparoscopic vasectomy” means: with the purpose of causing the sterility of a man or boy, using a laparoscope, or similarly pointed instrument, to knowingly puncture scrotal flesh, then using clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments to locate, grasp, and stretch both vas deferens tubes so they protrude outside the body, then slicing through said tubes, then sealing all four ends of the tubes by tying them, cauterizing them with searing heat, attaching surgical clips, or any combination of methods, then stuffing the vas deferens back into to the scrotum, then stitching or gluing the scrotum holes shut, with or without anesthesia.

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On page 2, after section 23-13.8-2. Prohibition of dismemberment abortions, after line 32, I propose the following section be inserted:

Prohibition of laparoscopic vasectomies.

No person shall perform, or attempt to perform, a laparoscopic vasectomy on any person.

On page 3, in section 23-13.8-3. Injunctive relief, after line 6, I propose the following paragraph be inserted:

A cause of action for injunctive relief, against any person who has knowingly violated the provisions of this chapter, may be maintained by: the man upon whom the laparoscopic vasectomy was performed or attempted; any person who is the spouse, parent, guardian, conservator, or a current or former licensed health care provider of the man upon whom a laparoscopic vasectomy has been performed or attempted; or by the office of the attorney general. The injunction shall prevent the vasectomy provider from performing further vasectomies.

On page 3, in section 23-13.8-4. Civil remedies, after line 28, I propose the following paragraphs be inserted:

(a) A cause of action for civil damages against a person who has performed a
laparoscopic vasectomy may be maintained by the following persons:

(1) A man upon whom a laparoscopic vasectomy has been performed;
(2) The spouse of the man, if married to the man at the time the laparoscopic vasectomy was performed; or
(3) The parents or custodial guardians of the man, if the man has not attained the age of eighteen (18) years at the time of the laparoscopic vasectomy or has died as a result of the laparoscopic vasectomy.

(b) Damages awarded in such an action shall include:

(1) Money damages for all injuries, psychological and physical, occasioned by the
laparoscopic vasectomy;
(2) Statutory damages equal to three (3) times the cost of the laparoscopic vasectomy;
(3) Injunctive relief; and
(4) Reasonable attorneys’ fees.

(c) No person is estopped from recovery in such a suit on the ground that either the plaintiff, or the person upon whom the laparoscopic vasectomy was performed, gave consent to the laparoscopic vasectomy. Any contract of indemnification for such damages is void.

On page 4, after section 23-13.8-5. Provision for anonymity of female, after line 9, I propose the following insertion:

Provision for anonymity of male.

In every proceeding or action pursuant to this chapter, the court shall make no effort to protect the anonymity of any male party to the case, regardless of whether any male party has requested anonymity.

On page 4, to section 23-13.8-6. Construction, after line 16, I propose the following insertion:

(a) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as creating or recognizing a right to vasectomy, nor a right to a particular method of vasectomy.
(b) It is not the intention of this chapter to make lawful a vasectomy that is currently unlawful.

On page 5, after line 1, I propose the following insertion:

This act would define and prohibit laparoscopic vasectomies without exception.

If passed into law, this amended bill, the Testicular Fairness Act, would ensure that the State interferes in men’s surgical decisions alongside women’s surgical decisions. It would ensure that men receive suboptimal medical care, risk infection and death, and have their reproductive choices overridden by the State. Just as it would ensure that women receive suboptimal medical care, risk infection and death, and have their reproductive choices overridden by the State.

Since more women die of pregnancy complications, than men die of vasectomy complications, the risk that legislators choose to thrust upon fertile Rhode Islanders can never be equal in regards to sex. What’s important, is that we make sure the State tries to ruin people’s lives equally, regardless of gender or sex, by robbing all residents of the right to decide whether and when to reproduce.

On the other hand, we could recognize House Bill 5114 as trashy beyond repair. How about we just send it to the trash heap of history where it belongs, along with the incumbency of all five Representatives who cosponsored it.

House Bill 5114 is unconstitutional, amoral, and unDemocratic. The Rhode Island State Representatives who sponsored it — Corvese, Azzinaro, Vella-Wilkinson, Fellela, and Costantino —  should be ashamed to call themselves Democrats.

My name is Melanie DuPont. Members of the Rhode Island House Committee on Judiciary, I welcome your questions.