Protecting Family-Values, Viagra-Seeking Men From Themselves

Protecting Family-Values, Viagra-Seeking Men From Themselves

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The people in Kentucky making vital health decisions for women. Getty photo.

In an ingenious goose/gander rebuttal to a male-and-GOP-controlled Kentucky legislature and its like-minded governor, all "awash in Christian family values," Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, a Louisville Democrat, has proposed a bill that would require men seeking Viagra or other erectile dysfunction drugs to jump through a series of absurd hoops that mirror those legislators' current moves to restrict women's right to abortion. Her move comes a week after legislators - 80% of them men, and almost half over 60 - passed, and Gov. Matt Bevin (R) signed, a so-called "informed consent" bill requiring women to consult with a doctor at least 24 hours before an abortion.

A Senate committee also passed a bill that would require any woman seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound, and have a doctor describe its results to her. That bill is expected to pass the Republican-heavy state Senate, just one of a nationwide wave of laws aimed at blocking women's access to abortion, contraception and other health rights, some of which will soon head to the now-Scalia-less Supreme Court.

Marzian, a nurse and one of only three lawmakers who voted against the "informed consent" bill, argues that her bill "is about family values...I want to protect these men from themselves." Her House Bill 396 would require men seeking Viagra, Cialis, Levitra or Avanafil to see their doctor twice on separate days in order to think about their decision; after that, doctors could only give prescriptions to married men who have sworn on a Bible and brought a signed letter from their spouse confirming they will use the pills only with each other. They must also read warnings of health risks like "an erection (that) lasts more than four hours, sudden vision loss (and) sudden hearing decrease.” Marzian also plans to file a bill requiring potential gun buyers to get counseling from victims of gun violence 24 hours before the purchase. She explains, "I'm just making sure the government is taking care of your safety."

Enthusiastically picking up Marzian's cue, many Kentucky women have likewise protested their state's anti-abortion moves by sending right-to-life Gov. Bevin their pap smear appointment requests and other vital gynecological queries under the hashtag Sample questions: "Is it solely my vagina you need to regulate, or should I be monitoring and reporting bowel movements as well?...Feeling nervous I won't be able to understand your answers - would you mind to just direct them to my husband?...If I register my uterus as a corporation/coal mine/a uterus with its own gun, will you stop trying to regulate it?...Is a literal douche as bad for my health as the douches running this state?"

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Mary Lou Marzian

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