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Under a proposed Kentucky bill, a man seeking a prescription for erectile dysfunction would be forced to visit a doctor twice, obtain a signed letter of consent from his spouse, and swear on the Bible that he’ll only use the medication for sex with his spouse.
Representative Mary Lou Marzian, a Louisville Democrat, has recently sponsored House Bill 396, an act concerning the prescription of erectile dysfunction drugs. The measure has four imperatives:
- Healthcare practitioners must require a man to have 2 visits on 2 separate days before prescribing ED medication
- Practitioners can only prescribe this medication to married men
- The man must produce a signed and dated letter of consent from his spouse for the prescription
- The man must make a sworn statement on the Bible that he will only use the prescription for sex with his spouse
Rep. Marzian is submitting this bill in response to Kentucky’s “informed consent” bill– a bill requiring women to consult a doctor at least 24 hours prior to an abortion. That bill passed with 92 “yes” votes and was quickly signed into law by Republican Governor Matt Bevin.
In an interview with local Fox affiliate WDRB, Marzian said the intent of her bill is to “have government insert itself into the personal, private decisions of men — since we have already inserted it into our personal, private decisions of women.”
The bill reads like a satirical article, and is blatantly absurd. To be sure, Rep. Marizian is not seeking victory. She is submitting a tongue in cheek jab at the pro-life Kentucky legislature. Marzian views the recent abortion legislation as government intrusion into women’s lives. Her bill simply returns the favor for men.
Marzian’s Courrier-Journal piece acknowledged the bill’s directives “may sound like salacious, outrageous or even comical measures, but I assure you women in Kentucky aren’t laughing as they struggle with…” abortion decisions. She is filing the bill to “illustrate the absurdity of government encroachment into women’s personal and medical decisions.”
There are numerous issues with this bill, but they do not warrant serious critique here. Even abortion proponents can recognize the obvious rights infringements. In spite of all its faults, the most frustrating part of the bill may be the intention behind it.
Marzian knows this measure will never pass. “The best I can hope is that House Bill 396 will galvanize women into saying ‘enough is enough’ to their governor, senator and state representative…” she continued.
HB 396 is yet another sign we have entered the age of virtue signaling and political grandstanding. That culture encourages frivolous bills meant to rile up supporters and enrage opponents. There are no real legislative solutions being proposed here, just script for political theater.