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State Senator Nina Turner Introduces a Viagra Amendment to Anti-Choice Legislation to Support “Sexual Health Equality”

A Series of Fallopian Tubes

We’re not going to deny how much we love hearing about female lawmakers on the state level standing up to their anti-choice colleagues by introducing amendments to terrible women’s health legislation that entail men undergoing similar scrutiny and invasive procedures that women would be subjected to should these bills pass. That’s why this morning, we were all pretty psyched to hear about Ohio State Senator Nina Turner. The Ohio Senate is debating its own anti-choice bill, which would prohibit abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected (which first happens at about six weeks after conception). Sen. Turner thinks it’s high time that men got a taste of their own medicine, so she has introduced an amendment that would require doctors to put men through a variety of tests and counseling before being prescribed the erectile dysfunction pill, Viagra. Why? Because if the Ohio Senate is “only looking out for women’s health,” then darn it, Nina Turner is going to fight for the same concern to be shown towards the menfolk!

That’s right — it’s only out of her love for her fellow men that Sen. Turner introduced this amendment. As she told MSNBC:

“[This bill is about showing] men as much love in the reproductive health arena as they have shown us over the years. My Senate Bill 307 is all about the love and making sure we look out for men’s sexual health.”

And that’s all Turner is doing — looking out for men’s sexual health! The bill would mandate that every man looking to get a prescription for the little blue boner pill be “tested for heart problems, receive counseling about possible side effects and receive information about ‘pursuing celibacy as a viable lifestyle choice.’” Because, as we know, those lawmakers who don’t think women should be able to afford contraception, but must then be shamed while trying to end an unwanted pregnancy, apparently believe that sex only occurs within the confines of marriage and with the purpose of bearing children. At least when women want to have sex. Turner thinks this standard needs to be applied to men as well, because after all, what’s the point of all that sperm if it’s not making babies? All those sperms could be precious, numerous babies, you guys! All of them!

Predictably, Turner’s amendment is not a serious one and is not being taken seriously in the Ohio Senate. She does, however, have a perfectly serious petition that you can sign if you support sexual health equality! The original bill’s sponsor, Rep. Lynn Wachtmann, said that getting erectile dysfunction drugs and procuring an abortion were not comparable. Which might prove that Rep. Lynn Wachtmann is still missing the point here. Or she just really loves seeing her fellow woman shamed while in a vulnerable situation.

Sen. Turner — who is on Twitter if you’d like to let her know you support her efforts — is not the first state lawmaker to introduce amendments to anti-choice legislation. You may recall Oklahoma State Senator Constance Johnson‘s “every sperm is sacred” amendment, which prohibited male masturbation. Or Virginia State Senator Janet Howell‘s amendment that mandated a digital rectal exam for men seeking drugs for erectile dysfunction. Similarly, two other women have gone the boner pill route. Illinois State Rep. Kelly Cassidy introduced an amendment in her state, where they introduced a mandatory ultrasound bill, that required men seeking Viagra to view a graphic video showing all the possible side effects of the drug:

“If they are serious about us not being able to make our own health care decisions, then I’m just as serious about them not being able to make theirs,” she said.

And in Missouri, State Rep. Stacey Newman introduced an amendment saying that men could only get a vasectomy if their lives depended on it, similar to Georgia State Rep. Yasmin Neal‘s amendment to a bill in her state that would prohibit abortions past the 20th week of pregnancy. Newman’s bill states:

“In determining whether a vasectomy is necessary, no regard shall be made to the desire of a man to father children, his economic situation, his age, the number of children he is currently responsible for, or any danger to his wife or partner in the event a child is conceived.”

As great as it is that these lawmakers are standing up for women and using their standing on the state level to make a point about the politicization of women’s health vs. men’s health, all of these amendments are seen as “tongue-in-cheek,” “sarcastic,” or even a joke. But they are making extremely valid and important points. None of these amendments should pass. But none of the anti-choice bills should pass, either. They should have never even gotten this far. Our personal health — men’s or women’s — does not belong in the political arena. We’re getting into territory that involves a government mandate that women are penetrated, but not men. Women are no longer the primary subject of women’s health for these lawmakers. It’s not about us — it’s about fetuses. And since men don’t have to carry those fetuses, their bodily orifices are, apparently, exempt from politics.

We should be taking a serious look at these amendments and let them help us put things in perspective. Because this is just not cute anymore.

(via Yahoo!)

Previously in Women’s Health

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