Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, D-Cleveland, has a bill that would require men seeking erectile dysfunction medication to…
…see a sex therapist, receive a cardiac stress test and get a notarized affidavit signed by a sexual partner affirming impotency…
This is Ohio Senate Bill 307, one of numerous bills Democratic legislators around the country have filed to protest Republican attacks on women’s healthcare. Here are my two favorites:
Oklahoma: When a zygote-personhood bill came before the state Senate, Sen. Constance Johnson penned an amendment declaring that ejaculating anywhere outside a woman’s vagina constitutes “an action against an unborn child.” Bonus: Johnson also suggested that any man who impregnates a woman without her permission should pay a $25,000 fine, support the child until age 21, and get a vasectomy, “in the spirit of shared responsibility.” In response to the same bill, state Sen. Jim Wilson proposed an amendment requiring the father of an unborn child to be financially responsible for its mother’s health care, housing, transportation, and nourishment during pregnancy.
Texas: Contesting a bill mandating sonograms before abortions, Rep. Harold Dutton unsuccessfully offered three amendments in a row. The first would have required the state to pay the college tuition of children born to women who decide against an abortion after seeing a required ultrasound image. The second would have subsidized the children’s health care costs until age 18. When that failed, he lowered the age to 6. That didn’t fly, either.
I first wrote about this issue last month, when this protest legislation was something of a novelty. But now it’s become a trend in Democratic circles; the Wilmington, DE city council actually approved an “every sperm is sacred” resolution.
I’m really of two minds about this stuff. On the one hand, something needs to be done to point out the false reasoning and double standard so obvious in this Republican anti-woman legislation, and to send the message that we are pissed off, too. On the other hand, it does seem to trivialize the political process and the issue in general. So while part of me inwardly cheers when a Democrat files a bill requiring anal probes for Viagra, the point shouldn’t be “you want to rape me? Fine, then we’ll rape you.” The point should be a greater understanding and respect for women’s reproductive health, and a greater respect for women in general.
One thing that’s so incredibly demeaning about these forced ultrasound laws is that it presumes women don’t know what the hell is going on in our bodies, that for some reason we’re unclear as to what’s up in there and we need to see it. Like, maybe we think we’re growing apples or something. News flash to the men who are passing these bills: I think we’re clear on the concept — as well as the consequences. Here’s another news flash: most of us seeking abortions are mothers already. So we’re pretty clear on what happens, as well as what happens for years after. Please don’t project your ignorance onto us. It’s beyond insulting.
That’s why I liked the Texas and Oklahoma amendments I pointed out above. Those two really get at the heart of the issue, and address the oh-so inconvenient truth about why most women seek abortion in the first place: for economic reasons. Not, as the righties would have you believe, because we women are either murderous monsters or too stupid to know what’s up in there. We know the incredible burdens of pregnancy, childbirth and child-rearing. We know the lifelong emotional trauma of adoption.
We know that if you really want to end abortion then you have to make it easier for women to bring a pregnancy to term, give birth, and care for their children. You just can’t have it both ways, conservatives. You can’t be all like “national healthcare is socialism!” and then force women to give birth when they can’t afford to take the kids they already have to the doctor. You can’t be all like, “shut down all those women’s clinics serving the poor, they look too much like Planned Parenthood for me!“, and then expect women to be all excited about a 9-month pregnancy and childbirth with no medical care. You can’t keep us from getting birth control and then tell us to stop having so many kids.
And you can’t make this all our fault, either. Last I checked, it took two to tango. Women get pregnant but a penis is involved. You can’t cut off our access to birth control and then tell us we need to exercise some self-control and personal responsibility. There needs to be some self-control and personal responsibility on your side of the equation, too. If you think it’s the government’s business as to what’s going on below our waistlines, then it stands to reason that the government has to be involved below yours. We are not farm animals.
Of course, the fetus-fetish cult are the worst hypocrites. They’re not pro-life, they’re not even pro-family or even pro-fetus. They’re anti-sex and not just any sex, they’re anti sex outside of a wholesome Christian marriage for the sole purpose of procreation. And not just that, they’re anti-women having sex outside of a wholesome Christian marriage for the sole purpose of procreation, because they are stubbornly attached to the traditional idea that men are horn-dogs who can’t control their urges (as God intended!) while women are delicate little flowers who graciously submit to the icky nasty but really don’t like it (also as God intended!). All straight out of the “Advice To Young Brides” manual.
So yes, it’s high time we had an adult conversation about this stuff. I’m not sure demands that men submit to anal probes before getting their Viagra prescription quite does that. It does, however, let everyone know that we’re angry and we’re not going to take these attacks, ahem, lying down. So do things like the national We Are Woman events currently getting underway.
I feel like we’re at a turning point in the conversation, like we’re ready to seize the narrative. This issue is too important to be turned into a joke: real peoples’ lives are at stake here. Real people are being denied life-saving services out of some cult-like devotion to a totally wrong idea. We need to speak with a loud, unified, unequivocal voice about this, ’cause this isn’t funny.