FILED IN: Social Issues

Ohio lawmaker wants men to think twice about Viagra

Ohio Sen. Nina Turner hopes her bill sends a message

An Ohio lawmaker wants to make men jump through additional hoops to obtain drugs to treat erectile dysfunction.

State Sen. Nina Turner (D-Cleveland) has introduced Senate Bill 307, which would require doctors to take certain steps before and after prescribing PDE-5 inhibitors such as Viagra. The mandatory actions would include things such as having the patient obtain a affidavit from at least one of their sexual partners certifying the patient suffers from erectile dysfunction, referring the patient to a state approved sexual therapist, and having the patient sign a written notification that details possible risks and complications from the prescribed drugs.

Turner said the bill is intended to “guide men to make the right decisions for their bodies.”

If that sounds like Turner is trying to turn female reproduction rights laws back on men, it’s because she is — the bill is her way of protesting Ohio’s “Heartbeat Bill,” which would ban any abortion in which the fetal heartbeat could be detected. With modern technology, the heartbeat can sometimes be detected as soon as six weeks into the pregnancy. The language of Turner’s bill closely resembles the text of the “Heartbeat Bill,” but with a male perspective.

Turner told MSNBC, “I’m fed up over all this concern, consideration, and conversation over the ‘feeble and fragile’ minds of women who are unable to make decisions on their own.”

“I thought it was time to show our men some love and some regulation,” she added. “It was time to level the playing field for all.”

Turner said to Talking Points Memo that the bill was meant to address “a universal mindset across this country among women, especially those of us who are policymakers, to really point out the hypocrisy in terms of women’s equal access to health care.”

Turner isn’t the only female lawmaker introducing bills in response to what they feel are overreaching reproductive rights laws.

Georgia state Rep. Yasmin Neal introduced a bill in February that would regulate male vasectomies, limiting them only to where it was medically necessary. Neal’s action was in response to Georgia legislators’ attempt to ban abortion after 20 weeks.

Virginia state Sen. Janet Howell responded to a measure requiring women to receive ultrasounds before having an abortion by trying to add an amendment that would require men to pass a cardiac stress test and receive a rectal exam before receiving a prescription for erectile dysfunction drugs.

“If conservatives insist on putting government regulation in between a woman and her doctor, I want to take a stand,” Howell said at the time. “We need some gender equity here.”