Justice

A Kentucky Lawmaker Is Trolling Men Who Want to Regulate Women's Bodies

February 16th 2016

By:
Lucy Tiven

A Kentucky lawmaker is trolling anti-abortion legislators with a bill that would limit men's access to treatment for erectile dysfunction.

Louisville Democratic State Rep. Mary Lou Marzian's bill requires men to get permission from their wives to fill Viagra prescriptions, mirroring the type of restrictions Kentucky women face when seeking abortions. "This is about family values," the Kentucky lawmaker remarked cheekily to Courier Journal.

"I want to protect these men from themselves," Marzian added in the Courier Journal.

box-of-viagra

In addition demanding that men get permission from their wives, House Bill 396 requires that men make a sworn statement that they will only use the drugs to have sex with their current spouse. In doing so, the bill pokes at the authority of male lawmakers who place inconvenient roadblocks in front of women seeking abortions.

"I will strike a nerve because what is more sacred to men than their ability to have sexual intercourse?" Marzian, a former nurse, told CNN. "Let's regulate that."

Marzian

The Abortion Conversation In Kentucky.

Marzian's bill answers a bill Republican Gov. Matt Bevin signed in early February, adding additional regulations to the state's abortion law. The newly amended "informed consent" regulation requires women see a doctor in person or over a video call 24 hours or more before getting an abortion. Before the bill was passed, women simply had to listen to a voicemail recording of abortion risks.

"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 decisions," Marzian told CNN.

She isn't the only one peeved about the bill. Many pro-choice advocates tweeted their dissent using the hashtag #askbevinaboutmyvag.

This isn't the first time a female lawmaker has pointed out the hypocrisy of regulating women's sexual choices.

In 2012, The Huffington Post reported that Ohio legislator Nina Turner introduced a similar bill, mandating that men see psychologists before obtaining Viagra and other erectile dysfunction medications.

"We should show the same attention and love to men's reproductive health as we do to women's," she told The Huffington Post.

Turner added, "We need to fight fire with fire."

The Huffington Post notes that other lawmakers have also proposed laws that would subject men to similar state-regulated sexual-health policing as women:

"Turner is inspired by female legislators across the country who have been countering anti-abortion and anti-contraception legislation with men's health-focused measures that come with conditions, she said. Oklahoma Sen. Constance Johnson, also a Democrat, proposed a "spilled semen" amendment to her state's "feel personhood" bill that would declare it an act against unborn children for men to waste sperm. Illinois state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, another Democrat, introduced an amendment to a state mandatory ultrasound bill that would require men to watch a graphic video about Viagra's side effects before being able to receive a prescription for it. A bill filed by Virginia state Sen. Janet Howell (D), would require men to obtain a rectal exam before obtaining such a prescription."

Rectal Exam Meme

Marzian isn't done giving conservative lawmakers a taste of their own medicine. According to Courier Journal, she has a similar gun violence bill in the works. It would require firearms buyers to undergo counseling with victims of gun violence 24 hours before being able to legally purchase weapons — a virtually identical requirement to the Kentucky abortion regulation passed earlier this month.

[h/t Vice]