The Point of the Kentucky Viagra Bill

Kentucky state Representative Mary Lou Marzian, Democrat, introduced a measure in the Kentucky state legislature that would require men to jump through a number of hoops before being able to receive erectile dysfunction medication. HB396 was brought up February 11, 2016, and the reason for it is absolutely brilliant.

The Letter of the Law

The bill, by its content, seeks to restrict access to erectile dysfunction treatments including Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, and Avanafil. If passed, it would require that all men seeking such treatment would have to have at least two office visits on two separate calendar days with a healthcare practitioner before a drug is prescribed.

Additionally, under the law prescriptions would only be available to men who are currently married and have a signed and dated letter from their spouse giving permission for the prescription. The man receiving the prescription would also have to make a sworn statement with his hand to a Bible that he will only use the drug for sexual relations with his current spouse.

The beginning of the bill is artfully crafted, spelling out the potential side-effects, contributing risk factors, alternative treatments, and complications resulting from erectile dysfunctions and its treatments, and there is a reason for near every word in it.

The Reasoning

The bill comes in response to a new law passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Governor Matt Bevin, Republican, that requires women to consult with a doctor at least 24 hours prior to seeking an abortion.

In a recent interview, she made her reasoning for dropping the bill abundantly clear. She knows HB396 has no chance of passing, and closer monitoring of erectile dysfunction treatments isn’t an issue she is particularly passionate about. Instead, she did it to make a point – that the government should not be intervening with personal decision-making. Her argument included the fact that the bulk of her peers have no medical training or experience, and are ill-equipped to make decisions that impact medical care and treatment on mostly moral grounds.

Marzian points out something that many who support these laws seem to be unaware of, the fact that any time a woman chooses to seek an abortion, she still consults with her doctor or has a counseling session with the clinic’s healthcare provider to talk through the process and other options. The issue is not about seeking informed medical advice, but rather allowing the government into personal choices, largely for shaming purposes, and taking comfort and support out of a difficult and trying process.

Bottom line, very few are anti-doctor. Arguments that abortion treatments should be given at-will and over-the-counter are few and far between, even on the pro-choice side. The issue simply needs to stop being addressed as one of women not taking the decision seriously and needing regulation by larger government bodies to control their irrational, impulsive behaviors. The Viagra bill poses that equivalent to men, placing the same kind of rhetoric on what should be a personal choice to seek treatment in their private lives.

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