Oh, happy day. For the last few months, it seems like all we’ve been hearing about is men’s opinions on women’s bodies. Reproductive health, birth control, abortions–you name it, everyone from Rush Limbaugh to Rick Santorum have let us know about their back-assward views on what’s “right” for us and our bodies. You know, because they’re experts and all. But now, a group of female lawmakers are taking their turn to opine on men’s reproductive health. And the bills they are proposing are just as extreme–including everything from banning vasectomies to requiring consent from their female partner for Viagra. Can you say payback?
Female Democratic lawmakers in at least six states are fed up and have proposed bills or amendments that aim to regulate a man’s access to reproductive health care–the same way that men have been trying to control ours. According to Jennifer Lawless, director of the Women & Politics Institute at American University, this is their way of responding to the ongoing political debate around contraception and abortion.
One such proposed bill, Georgia’s House Bill 1116, would prohibit men from getting vasectomies:
Thousands of children are deprived of birth in this state every year because of the lack of state regulation over vasectomies.
It goes on to say:
In determining whether a vasectomy is necessary, no regard shall be made to the desire of a man to father children, to his economic situation, to his age, to the number of children he is currently responsible for, or to any danger to his wife or partner in the event a child is conceived. A vasectomy may only be performed to avert the death of the man or avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the man.
In other words, no medical need for a vasectomy? No vasectomy.
Ohio State Senator Nina Turner wants to require men seeking Viagra to get a cardiac stress test first to ensure their heart is ready for sexual activity. Oh, and they would also have to provide verification from one of their recent sexual partners that they are indeed experiencing erectile dysfunction. And they would have to see a sex therapist before getting the drugs.
Others proposed laws include one by Oklahoma State Senator Constance Johnson, which restricts where a man can and cannot ejaculate:
Any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman’s vagina shall be interpreted and construed as an action against an unborn child.
OK, that one is pretty far out, and none of these are likely to get passed. But I think these women are making their point. We’ll stay out of your reproductive lives if you stay out of ours.
Turner says our society has is way to accepting of legislators that regulate a woman’s ability to obtain contraception or get a safe abortion.
We don’t see anything wrong with it because that’s the way we’ve been socialized. But now that the tables are turning and the focus is on men’s reproductive health, people think it’s strange.
Not strange. Awesome. You go, ladies!