3rd Female Lawmaker Targets Viagra in Response to Antiabortion Laws

By Enjoli Francis

Mar 13, 2012 2:40pm
ap senator nina turner nt 1203013 wblog 3rd Female Lawmaker Targets Viagra in Response to Antiabortion Laws

Image credit: Tony Dejak/AP Photo

A third female lawmaker is hitting below the belt to show her displeasure with the record number of  antiabortion measures passing across the country.

The bill introduced by Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner on March 2 targets men’s access to Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs known as PDE-5 inhibitors.

Her measure would require that men undergo a psychological assessment before being prescribed the medication and a cardiac stress test every 90 days while on the drug as well as the patient signing a form that he understands the side effects.

She told ABC News today that her legislation was meant to show men “that we care.”

“I really believe that I’m learning something from my conservative, Republican male colleagues — the most important thing on our agenda should be regulation of the sexual health of women,” she said. “It’s time to show men some love in that regard.”

In a news release on her website, Turner said: “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. … By implementing more intensive screenings before prescribing the medication and requiring outpatient educational services, we can do more to prevent the potential side effects linked to PDE-5 inhibitors.”

She told ABC News that her measure, State Bill 307, was in response to one currently in the House called the “Heartbeat” bill as well as the slew of legislation limiting women’s health-care choices in the U.S.

The Guttmacher Institute said on its website that 92 laws restricting access to abortion services were passed in the U.S. last year. The previous high was 34 in 2005.

The “Heartbeat” bill prevents an abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected, even if that occurs as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

“The ‘Heartbeat’ bill is a vile, destructive bill,” she said. “If it passes, there will be no abortions allowed in the state of Ohio whatsoever. … It’s absolutely extreme.”

With her Viagra measure, Turner has joined several female lawmakers who have protested the passages of these laws with bills and amendments focusing on men’s health and targeting Viagra and vasectomies.

In  Illinois, state Rep. Kelly Cassidy sponsored an amendment to a bill forcing women to get ultrasounds before an abortion that would force men who want Viagra to watch a graphic video of the drug’s potential side effects.

In Virginia, state Sen. Janet Howell pushed an amendment to the state’s ultrasound bill that required all men seeking Viagra to get a rectal examination.

Turner said that her office had received thousands of emails and hundreds of phone calls of support from women and men. She’s also reached out to the other female lawmakers who’ve sponsored legislation for a formal conference call.

She said lawmakers looking to limit women’s health rights were simply jumping on an issue in order to avoid ones they don’t want to deal with.

“Women have always been an easy target. … And it is wrong,” she said. “A woman has rights too. She should have the ability to control what happens to her body.”

 

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