Wednesday, February 17, 2016

In An Era Of Abortion Restrictions, Should Viagra Be Restricted For Men?

Fed up with restrictive abortion laws,
a Kentucky lawmaker wants to require men to
have a written note from their spouse
before they can obtain Viagra 
A Kentucky lawmaker is introducing admittably somewhat tongue in cheek legislation that would create some uncomfortable conversations about Viagra. according to a recent article in the New York Times. 

All this has to do with abortion laws.

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Like many conservative states with majority Republican lawmakers, Kentucky has been passing more and more restrictive abortion laws.

The new Republican governor, Matt Bevin, recently signed into a law a requirement that women have a medical consultation 24 hours before an abortion.

Another Kentucky bill, likely to be enacted into law soon, would force women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound and listen to a doctor's description of the image.

All this is couched in language that indicates that they're just trying to protect the health of women. But obviously what's really going on is to make the abortion process so onerous and difficult and expensive and emotionally charged for women that they don't actually go through with the abortion.

I get it that anti-abortion lawmakers' hands are tied because of Roe Vs. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that granted women the right to abortions. But these laws are disingenous. If you're opposed to abortion, say so. Fight Roe V. Wade is you are anti-abortion. Don't be sneaky with these weird laws.

Kentucky Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, a Democrat, wants to make that point, so she's introducing legislation regarding Viagra. Her bill would require that men who are seeking Viagra receive written permission from their spouse before getting the drug, reports the New York Times. 

"I thought if we're going to insert ourselves into women's most private health care decisions, then we should insert ourselves into men's most private health decisions as well," Marzian said. "As a woman and a pro-choice woman and as an elected official, I am sick and tired of men - mostly white men - legislating personal, private medical decisons.....It's none of their business."

Marzian's proposal echo a 2012 Illinois lawmaker's bill that would have mandated men seeking Viagra watch a video detailing some of the possible side effects of the drug, like a prolong erection of the penis lasting several hours that can cause permanent damage.

Yes, Marzian's bill is a stunt and lawmakers should be doing serious work instead of jokes like this. But if you can't get through with reason, sometimes you've got to get goofy, satirical and weird.

It looks like Marzian reached that point. I think many of us of all political stripes have with ineffective, grandstanding politicians.

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