South Carolina Democrat attempts to steer the conversation away from abortion.
On December 10, 2015 South Carolina Democratic Rep. Mia McLeod filed H. 4544 – a bill that specifies men who want prescriptions for erectile dysfunction drugs such as Viagra or Cialis would be forced by law to obtain and produce a notarized affidavit from an intimate partner, receive counseling and undergo a cardiac stress test every 90 days to ensure his heart health “continues to be compatible with sexual activity.”
Before the outrage pours in from the men (and women) who don’t get it – McLeod doesn’t really expect this bill to pass, however she is hoping it will result in less misogyny among the many legislators who are introducing and passing bills that unnecessarily restrict reproductive rights in order to control women – bills that make it more difficult for Americans to get health care.
McLeod said, “Some people will look at the bill and say, ‘Oh that’s funny. It won’t go anywhere,’” and insisted she isn’t trying to be funny. Her goal is to shift energy away from the endless, obsessive efforts to restrict abortion and direct the focus to important issues and challenges such as flood recovery and roadway funding.
McLeod said lawmakers should not be debating abortion or erectile dysfunction. “I would be the first one to say that,” she said, and added, “If it means this bill helps the other conversation (abortion) to go away, and that’s a long shot, but if it gets folks to thinking about the important issues we need to think about, then it was not in vain.”
South Carolina is one of many states to investigate Planned Parenthood, and state leaders have pressed for greater restrictions on women seeking abortions.
- Only a physician could write a prescription for erectile dysfunction drugs.
- The patient would have to sign a form acknowledging he was notified by his doctor of the potential risks and complications associated with taking the drugs.
- A doctor would have to provide a written statement, under penalty of perjury, that the drug is necessary to treat the man’s erectile dysfunction, which includes the doctor’s medical rationale for issuing the prescription.
- There would be a waiting period to get the pills. The prescription couldn’t be issued less than 24 hours after the man acknowledges in writing that he was notified of the drug’s harmful side effects.
- The man would have to attend three counseling sessions during a six-month period after the drug was prescribed. The purpose, McLeod’s proposal states, is to make sure he understands the risks associated with the drugs, but also to inform him of non-pharmaceutical treatments for erectile dysfunction, including counseling and celibacy.
“I want the bill to spark a different conversation but also to provide a little insight into how invasive the requirements are with regard to abortion, and that’s why this bill has a 24-hour period and other restrictions,” said McLeod. She explained the points of the bill are intentionally paternalistic and pointed to the counseling and educational requirements a man would be forced to undergo in order to get the drugs to combat his erectile dysfunction.
“Who am I to tell them that?” McLeod said. “But by the same token, who are they to tell us what to do with our bodies?”