Nina Turner Brings Viagra Politics to Ohio

Don’t you just love Cleveland State Senator Nina Turner? First she almost tips the Ohio political applecart by launching, then ending a challenge against Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH). Then she raises her profile to national levels by being one of the mainstay guests on the Ed Shultz Show during the fight against John Kasich’s (R-OH) anti-collective bargaining bill in Ohio.

So now what’s the nation’s most famous local state senator got up her sleeve next? Looking after men’s reproductive health by making sure they aren’t using Viagra as a gateway drug to illicit sex.

Republicans across the nation have essentially handed Obama the women’s vote in recent weeks with Rick Santorum’s pro-life feelings about pregnancies caused by rape, (hint: He says women should make the best out of a bad situation), the GOP panel on reproductive rights that had no women, Rush Limbaugh’s “Slut” comments and now a series of seemingly anti-women legislative bills across America.

In Texas and Virginia, Republican governors and state legislators have passed laws requiring women to see an ultra-sound and receive counseling prior to having an abortion. These are moves that are obvious attempts to dissuade women from having abortions by making them see their ‘babies’ before choosing to terminate their pregnancies.

When a similar bill was proposed by a Republican legislator in Ohio, a “Heartbeat Bill” that prevents abortion if a heartbeat can be detected in a fetus, Turner went into action.

To counter this perceived “War on Women’s” Reproduction rights, not to mention exposing the inconsistencies in many of the GOP bills, she introduced Senate Bill 307. The bill would make it just as hard for men to get their hands on Viagra as Republicans want to make it for women to get their hands on an abortion or birth control.

Jonathan Capehart at the Washington Post, breaks down how SB 307 would make getting access to Viagra about as tough as getting condoms at Catholic University.

1. The patient would have to get an affidavit “in which at least one of the patient’s sexual partners” certifies that the patient has experienced erectile dysfunction in the 90 days leading up to the request for Viagra.

2. A state-approved sex therapist would have to assess the causes of erectile dysfunction and then submit a report certifying that the patient’s symptoms are not caused by other psychological problems.

3. A stress test would have to be conducted to ensure the patient is healthy enough for sexual activity.

4. The doctor would have to notify the patient in writing of the dangers of taking Viagra. And the patient must sign a document certifying that he was informed.

5. The doctor would have to declare in writing that the drug is necessary and state why.

6. All these documents would be placed in the patient’s medical file for “not less than seven years.”

But wait, there are two more steps.

7. Every 90 days while under treatment, the patient would have to undergo a stress test “to ensure that the patient’s cardiac health continues to be compatible with sexual activity.”

8. And to ensure that the patient continues to understand the “dangerous side effects” of Viagra, the patient would have to attend three outpatient counseling sessions “within a period of not less than six months” after initial prescription.

That’s a lot to go through just to be ready when “The Moment Arrives.” The humor in this is obvious: women in state legislators are fighting back symbolically against local anti-abortion laws by hitting men where it hurts.

However, I think Senator Turner’s bill highlights an even deeper issue. Millions of men have Viagra covered in their healthcare for their jobs, while women are fighting across the nation to have birth control paid for. Now, I’m not in the age bracket targeted by Viagra, so I can’t speak to how much of a crisis it is to find yourself unable to perform like you ‘used’ to. But, I certainly know that the inability to perform in the bedroom for men is certainly not nearly as much of a public health or policy crisis as women who are in desperate need to have their birth control covered, let alone a woman who feels compelled to have an abortion.

In the grand scheme of things this women’s reproduction issue is such a political landmine for Republicans. In the meantime, while they all stumble around fighting culture wars from 35 years ago, State Senators like Turner will keep pushing laws that show just how out of touch the modern GOP has become.

This article originally appeared online at Politic365.com.

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