Editorial: Does he deserve an erection?

According to Ohio Sen. Nina Turner, R-Cleveland, if women’s reproductive health is regulated, so should men’s. She introduced Senate Bill 307, which would require men to regularly see a sex therapist, be routinely tested for cardiac stress and get a notarized affidavit signed by a sexual partner confirming impotency in order to acquire a prescription for Viagra.

The bill would also involve counseling that would provide information on potential side effects and “pursuing celibacy as a viable lifestyle choice.”

Is Turner standing up for men’s health or is this more of an attempt to show men what women are currently facing? Because of Turner’s support for access to contraceptives and her critique of laws restricting abortion, it is more likely the latter.

Turner follows suit with other female legislators across the country who are proposing bills concerning men’s reproductive health. Inspired by Republican lawmakers who have pushed insensitive womb-related legislation, liberal congress members have shot back with incredible counterproposals.

Other sardonic lawmakers include Rep. Yasmin Neal from Georgia who penned a bill prohibiting vasectomies because they leave “thousands of children … deprived of birth.” Sen. Constance Johnson of Oklahoma wrote an amendment asserting that ejaculating outside of a vagina is “an action against an unborn child.”

None of these have passed, but then again, they probably were not intended to get past committees. Legislative counterparts concerning contraception and pre-abortion ultrasounds may not be so fortunate. As bodies become legislative battlegrounds, should the lines be drawn at only women’s bodies?

The issue shouldn’t be a battle of the sexes as much as it should be a discussion of what is best for people’s well-being. The idea of impotence is far from appealing for most men (at least we hope) and the idea of sharing it publically and talking about how it makes you feel is even more terrorizing. Black market Viagra would become commonplace. A man’s fear of erectile dysfunction pills or vasectomies being taken away should be the tell-all sign that restricting contraceptives is wrong.

The idea that men are interested in controlling the use of contraceptives seems intrusive. What happens in a woman’s uterus is the business of that woman and that woman alone. To men, women are so very beautiful on the outside and so very confusing on the inside. Regulating birth control isn’t on a man’s mind as he lights scented candles around the bedroom, and it shouldn’t be on his mind in the courtroom. Men should be supporting the use of birth control and contraceptives, not the limitation of it.

This entire debate has a distinct 1950s flavor to it, but this isn't "Pleasantville."


Click here to subscribe to the daily State Press newsletter.

Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.