A crafty state senator has done something so wonderful that we should all be cheering while simultaneously smacking our foreheads, because why didn't we think of this earlier? The hero in question is Virginia senator Janet Howell. The Democrat wasn't happy with a proposed bill that requires women to have an ultrasound before they can have an abortion, so she attached a very special amendment to the bill.
Howell simply attached an amendment that requires men to undergo a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test before they can be prescribed medication for erectile dysfunction. Genius. Here's what Howell had to say on the matter:
We need some gender equity here. The Virginia senate is about to pass a bill that will require a woman to have totally unnecessary medical procedure at their cost and inconvenience. If we're going to do that to women, why not do that to men?
Yes! Yes! A thousand times, yes! It's like Howell has single-handedly invented a twisted new Golden Rule of Politics: "Do unto others' nether regions as they would do unto yours." And from then on, the good men of Virginia realized it actually feels really terrible when the government tries to "protect" you from yourself, and women were free to do with their bodies whatever they damn well pleased and—screeeech. Dream sequence over.
Howell's amendment was sadly defeated—though narrowly, 21 to 19—and the rectums of Virginia rejoiced. Who, you might be wondering, would have voted against such an amazing idea? Why, Republican senator Jill Vogel, of course, the sponsor of the original ultrasound bill. Here's her rock solid reasoning:
I do believe that erectile dysfunction in this context is different from pregnancy.
In this context? It would be lovely if Sen. Vogel could elaborate on when ED is ever the same as pregnancy, but I digress. What matters is that Howell was happy with the way it turned out, and one hopes she will continue crafting such equitable legislation in the future.
The bill itself passed in a voice vote yesterday, and it's going to be formally voted on today. A similar bill in Texas has caused a logistical shitstorm for providers and patients alike, and it's being challenged in court. Perhaps sanity will prevail, and this ridiculous practice will someday be abandoned. But for now, let's keep our fingers crossed that Senator Howell's innovative approach to dealing with this nonsense will lead to a long string of similar "Shove It Up Your Ass" amendments in other states. After all, it is our Christian duty to make sure the men of this great land don't accidentally die of a heart attack while having medically-assisted sex with their wives or whomever else their sacred vows of open marriage permit.