Illinois State Representative Kelly Cassidy has introduced a proposal requiring men who ask their doctors for Viagra to sit through a film showing treatment of its most common side effects, including that mythical four-hour erection. Apparently it’s not a pretty sight. Her proposed amendment to the Ultrasound Opportunity Act (obviously named by Eric Blair) parallels the Act’s requirement that women go through a medically unnecessary ultrasound before having an abortion.
Rep. Cassidy, a serious and thoughtful legislator, has declined thus far to accept a suggested friendly amendment requiring these same men to have a pointless and un-anesthetized anal probe. Nor does anyone recommend modifying the proposal to require colonoscopies, because those would actually benefit the men, and therefore not be parallel to a vaginal invasion at all.
As I stood on a street-corner yesterday leading chants of “Birth control is basic health care!” and “Women are not livestock!” (the latter because the ultrasound bill and other Illinois proposals restricting women’s rights have been sent to the reliably and fanatically anti-choice Agriculture Committee), I wondered if I’d somehow fallen through a wormhole and ended up in 1963. Hell, even Mad Men has gone further than that.
But if the Republicans want to fight the presidential election on this issue, they can bring it on: Democrats at every level will win in a landslide.