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Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner (D) isn't happy with bills that seek to control women's access to contraception and abortion. She has joined a trend across the nation by introducing a bill that would require men seeking a prescription for erectile dysfunction drugs to see a sex therapist, receive a cardiac stress test and "get a notarized affidavit signed by a sexual partner affirming impotency." Sex therapists would be required to present the option of "celibacy as a viable lifestyle choice.”
"The men in our lives, including members of the General Assembly, generously devote time to fundamental female reproductive issues—the least we can do is return the favor," Senator Turner said. "It is crucial that we take the appropriate steps to shelter vulnerable men from the potential side effects of these drugs.
"When a man makes a crucial decision about his health and his body, he should be fully aware of the alternative options and the lifetime repercussions of that decision," Senator Turner said today. Men will be more easily guided through the process of obtaining treatment for impotence so they can better understand and more effectively address their condition.
Sen. Turner isn't the only legislator to introduce a "Viagra bill" or amendments in response to what mostly male legislators have been proposing around the nation.
In Illinois, for instance, state Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D) introduced an amendment to a bill requiring ultrasounds before a woman can get an abortion that would require men to watch an explicit video about the side-effects of erectile dysfunction drugs. And, Missouri state Rep. Stacey Newman (D) introduced a bill that would allow a man to obtain a vasectomy only when not doing so could cause him serious injury or death.
Some people may take these proposals as jokes. But the problem they spotlight, the war on women's reproductive rights and privacy, isn't funny at all.