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Intro: "Want to use the popular potency drug? First undergo a rectal exam, celibacy lecture, and waiting period. How fed-up female state legislators - and at least one male - are pushing bills to retaliate against the male-led, restrictions-laden drive to limit women's rights to abortion and birth control."

State pols outraged by anti-abortion laws push onerous restrictions on popular potency drug for men. (photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
State pols outraged by anti-abortion laws push onerous restrictions on popular potency drug for men. (photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Outraged by Anti-Abortion Laws, Legislators Push Restrictions on Male Potency Drugs

By Allison Yarrow, The Daily Beast

15 March 12


n the fierce public debate about contraception and abortion, revenge legislation is the new attack weapon. Women pols are using their posts to wage war on bills and laws that work to govern women’s wombs. And they’re not denying the obvious humor involved in what they’ve proposed. Monty Python is even a touchstone.

To give men a taste of how invasive and prodding government oversight into women’s sex lives has become, a number of state politicians sporting two X chromosomes have championed bills that mandate a pesky list of prerequisites for men who want Viagra pills. These include celibacy lectures, rectal exams, affidavits from former lovers swearing impotence problems, and forced viewing of a video pimping the medicine’s side effects. Acquiring the goods to get hard could be incredibly difficult. It's tough enough reading that list of regulations with a straight face.

"We’re talking about it, that’s a start," said Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner, who in the last 24 hours has been anointed the latest liberal media darling for introducing her version of a Viagra bill. The senator wants to "protect" Ohio's men "from the risks of PDE-5 inhibitors, drugs commonly used to treat symptoms of impotence." Turner is retaliating against her state's cadre of male pols who push what are essentially abortion and contraception bans. They have, her press release suggests, been so protective of women’s insides that reciprocation is only fair.

"If you want to be preoccupied with regulating women’s wombs, we’re going to do the same thing with men," she challenged.

Now a man joins what was once an avenge-legislation sisterhood. An aide to Ohio state Rep. Ted Celeste says he will introduce a companion bill shortly, intended to support women’s choice.

"It’s telling that a man would choose to do this," said Celeste aide Aleksandra Panovska, who is helping draft the language right now. "It proves he is an ally to women."

Panovska said Celeste will reiterate what Turner advised, but he will raise the stakes with three additional provisions. Viagra seekers will face a 36-hour waiting period for their prescriptions and a mandatory prostate exam, and if a professional evaluation shows impotence is psychological in nature, that data will stay in patients’ records for seven years. Panovska said the language is meant to mimic that of bills (like the 11 she says Ohio has seen) that take aim at women’s reproductive rights.

The Ohio state senator and representative, both Democrats, are protesting the "heartbeat" bill, which passed the Ohio state House and forbids abortions of fetuses that have developed beating hearts.

Celeste is surely soon to be a favorite of what Rush Limbaugh has lovingly called the "feminazi" movement, for his cheeky contributions and XY chromosomes.

"Usually women legislators take this on," said Guttmacher Institute policy analyst Elizabeth Nash. "I can’t think of one man who’s done it."

Ohio joins states like Missouri, Virginia, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Georgia in what is becoming quite the race to concoct the craziest gag on men’s sex lives. Georgia state Rep. Yasmin Neal protested a colleague’s bill to end late-term abortions without exception by parrying with vasectomy regulations.

Virginia state Sen. Janet Howell conceived the rectal exam to combat the harrowing ultrasound bill that many said subjected women to what is an actual definition of rape. Taking a cue from Monty Python, Oklahoma’s state Sen. Constance Johnson threw an "every sperm is sacred" provision at that state’s personhood amendment as a nod to its idiocy. "It’s up to us to smoke them out," said Gloria Feldt, author of No Excuses and a former Planned Parenthood president, of staunch pro-life lawmakers. "We wouldn’t have contraceptive coverage today if we hadn’t done exactly that."

The past year has been such a frightening exercise in occupying women's bodies that this jokey, trenchant legislation seems to say, "Mess with us, and don’t think we won’t mess with you." But will these sturdy objections coalesce into a long-term path—a stronger, targeted women's policy agenda?

"I’ve never seen so many of these at one time," said Nash. "It certainly isn’t serious policy, but they are meant to highlight how divisive abortion legislation has become."

Women are through "hugging Rush’s neck," as Feldt put it, for drawing attention and discussion to the attack on women’s reproductive choice, but she and others feel the topic must stay in the public discourse. Picking on men has generated positive press, but will these largely humorous bills have the legs to speed a larger policy agenda forward? In a fight this dirty, Feldt says, choice activists need to use anything and everything that could possibly work.

"You have to constantly be putting forward legislative initiatives or else you keep fighting to retain the little piece of real estate that you already own," Feldt said. "We are where we are because there has been an extreme lack of legislation for several years now."

But are American women ready to fight for this liberty at any cost? A sex strike would surely prove the point, and Ohio's Turner said she thinks American women could pull it off. "Women are the forces of the universe," she said.

She says celibacy, which she recommended as a Viagra alternative in her bill, has deep religious roots, and might please those who argue for limited choice based on religious freedom and the First Amendment.

"Even the good Lord gives us choice," said Turner. "To take away the free will for a woman to decide is the antithesis of the Christian religion." your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+48 # AnastasiaP 2012-03-15 10:37
Turner & Celeste also sponsored companion legislation requiring drug-testing for legislators, after some Republicans were pushing that ALEC-generated "model legislation" requiring anyone receiving any form of government assistance to be drug-tested. These two are really sticking it to the idiot Republicans in our legislature who love to yap about "freedom" but don't respect it.
+42 # Buddha 2012-03-15 10:40
One real problem is that women are so under-represent ed in our State and Federal governments...a nd yet, women VOTE more than men do. Until women (and the non-Neanderthal men who support their causes) stand up and vote more women into positions of power, and refuse to vote in Religious loons in the GOP, this assault on women will continue.
+18 # jwb110 2012-03-15 11:01
The one place women are not underrepresente d is in the voting booth. Not everyone will choose to go into public office but women and men, many of whom come down on the women;s side of this issue can vote with their dollars and their vote.
While they're on the subject of Viagra and the other erectile meds, they should jump on the condom issue and masturbation and see how that goes with their fellow male legislatures.
+18 # reiverpacific 2012-03-15 11:03
The whole thing is infantile whichever sex it is directed at and is indeed a throwback to the puritanical foundation of this country.
Hell Catholics and Mormons are encouraged to breed like rabbits, the former despising the use of contraceptives (never heard a Papal declamation on Viagra tho') but the current mess must be laid firmly at the door of just pure, ol'-fashioned desire to control as many people as possible thrusting at their most vulnerable tender spots.
Will they never learn from Prohibition that as soon as they as a body ban or suppress anything it will be embraced en masse.
The Government has much more important issues to deal with without poking into people's sexual morés and practices and limiting natural functions and chosen protections.
However I consider that Rape is a major crime and should be punished accordingly.
And will all this messing with testosterone and ego-driven medication result in more rape?
Re' Viagra and Cialis, anything that potent is always suspicious in it's composition and speaking personally, I'd rather put up with "Brewer's Droop" than even consider taking any such "elixir" in whatever form!
I have to chuckle at the irony of a certain R. Limp-balls being caught at re-entry to the US with a large caché of Viagra when returning from El Salvador, not long before he launched his tirade against Sandra Fluke and the "Feminazis". Not much said about this on the owner-media tho' was there?
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-03-15 20:57
I am Catholic and I was not taught to breed like rabbit. In fact if you had a clue, most people bred so that farms, businesses would be passed on. Help would come from their family.
When food, ability to feed families came to light with governments, with nationalities, people started looking more realistically at propagating more than one could feed.
Then we allowed poor nations to breed for us, for slavery purposes. All Religions allowed this.

To make matters worse, I know of many faiths who go into poor countries under some guise of humanity that seemed never to bring condoms with them? I rember them also offering up 'BABIES" for adoption...not older kids, babies (we do the same hypocirsy here).
Personally maybe this is the time to do it. Gosh knows we target dumb trailer park trash to vote for GOP/TP why not put the fear of no sex, touching some manly parts into their beloved spouses or cheating husbands?
Abortion, ugly word, horrid act. but in case where it is necessary, where a child/woman is raped, disease known I believe God forgives. But for the shear luxury to do it, esp those GOP I knew, to make sure your daughter doesnot bring a curse on ya, or cannot get a Romney is damnable.
Scare the crap out of the ones who believe this could happen. Women continue to fight back and Vote GOP out, Perry tonite opening his mouth must go.

Please drug test everyone in the USA and our citizens abroad. It is about time.
+1 # feloneouscat 2012-03-15 11:37
"First, we find that women are significantly less likely than men to view themselves as qualified to run for office. In addition, women are less likely than men to receive encouragement to run for office from party leaders, elected officials, and political activists. Together, these findings shed light on reasons for women’s contin- ued under-represent ation in politics." from "Why Don't Women Run for Office"
+2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-03-15 20:58
that is crap...women are not sittin in the back row at all anymore. Times have changed and man is scared.
+19 # Regina 2012-03-15 12:18
BRAVA! The misogynists need to get their obsessions turned back against them, including penetration by probes, lectures, pictures, waiting periods, and other assorted insults. When they start to scream about male rape, we'll remind them that equal rights are sometimes evidenced in equal wrongs.
+6 # Patriot 2012-03-15 12:54
Although I relish the revenge factor as much as anyone else, in fact, two bad sets of laws do not good law -- nor freedom and liberty -- make. We do not need, should not have, and cannot justify, legally or ethically, laws that control what women or men do with their bodies.

Let us hope for a return by our legislators, at every level, to solving the problems that face the states and the nation, instead of delving into the private lives of citizens.
+4 # Glen 2012-03-15 14:17
You make a good point, Patriot. Revenge against Playboy and other similar magazines was women establishing their own exploitative magazines. On more serious notes, we do get a laugh out of the stupidity of these efforts, but as you say, we need to push for decent dignified governing not shallow, controlling nonsense.
+2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-03-15 21:01
However, a good look perhaps at the stupidity, the evilness of it, is just what we need. I disagree with money spent but considering how busy the Nazis have been in putting illegal, anti American laws into affect in past years. I am not sniveling.

Today Perry has decided women have no rights to free clinics for mammograms. So it is time perhaps 'Off with their Heads' is more than a quote.
0 # Glen 2012-03-16 06:21
Kittiny, revenge can come back to bite. Putting up these bills concerning men will not change Rick Perry or his crazed notion of what women don't need or what he wants to control. Texans would be well served to mob the state capitol building.
+1 # barbaratodish 2012-03-15 14:29
If men use viagra and/or the pornification of force to "get hard", then instead of having their orgasms, their orgasms HAVE THEM! There needs to be a tax placed on some orgasms, men's and women's too, RETROACTIVELY! In other words, if an orgasm was experienced as a result of any force, it should be taxed!lol Well let's just say that there IS a kind of payment that is "extracted" when an orgasm is generated, motivated, etc., with any force. Namely, the conscience KNOWS and emotional defensiveness(m aybe the defensiveness is deep in the subconscious, denied etc.,) is the result!
+5 # Kootenay Coyote 2012-03-15 14:42
Oh, sure. Persecute everybody instead of women? How about persecuting nobody - or is that Not the American Way? But if that’s what it takes....
+8 # chrisconnolly 2012-03-15 14:48
I agree that these bills are silly and will waste precious congressional time. However, they may be exactly what it takes to make the public see the folly of claiming religious freedoms are nixed by having to provide contraceptives while no thought is given to the insurance covered availability of what can only be called recreational sex drugs. I think these bills shed a much needed light on this hypocrisy.
+1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-03-15 21:05
Amen today Perry and Texas has just taken more health rights from women. No more free mammograms. I wish this would happen in all states for all women, rich or poor. Then perhaps the GOP/TP Women will sit up and pay attention. Cancer doesnot care if you are woman or man, or your Party.
Shame on America. Perry wanted to be president, lead. But letting women die of breast cancer is okay. Another GOP/TP
+1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-03-15 21:12
Women may just make some decisions this year that will change Future. Knowing most of us, for the better.

Women stand up for your Rights. Texas make Off with their Heads start at the Capitol of Texas! Make them wish that impotency was all they had.

Cancer is not a joke. Women or children raped is not a joke. Unborns with no chance, whose mother would die, who would never know love of Their Mothers, should be put back into the pile in Heaven and come another time.
Women make choice, but Men make it for them more than not, Families also for selfish reasons. No Woman wants to abort Their Child.
Men should take responsibility, men should say no. This is a disgrace to air our linens so shamelessly. We are a laughing stock.

Women pick up your Dignity and Fight
take Your Lies Back...Vote the Vermin out of Office in Red States. Vote for Freedom not Prison.

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