Since anti-choice legislators are forcing women to undergo invasive and unnecessary ultrasounds before obtaining abortions — yes, that is a legal requirement that women be vaginally penetrated for no medical purpose other than to humiliate and emotionally manipulate them — Virginia State Senator Janet Howell has decided that maybe men should also be subjected to some less-than-necessary medical examinations for the privilege of being sexual creatures:
To protest a bill that would require women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion, Virginia State Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) on Monday attached an amendment that would require men to have a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test before obtaining a prescription for erectile dysfunction medication.
“We need some gender equity here,” she told HuffPost. “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?”
Her amendment didn’t pass, but good on her.
Now don’t get me wrong: I don’t think that men should have to undergo rectal exams and cardiac stress tests before getting Viagra. I think that’s silly and wasteful and unnecessary and invasive. But I also think that women’s health is so routinely politicized, and is so widely accepted as something that it’s ok to politicize, that turning the tables might make men think a little bit harder about these issues. Right-wing politicians have positioned reproductive rights as about abortion and babies, not as what they really are: Fundamentally tied to the body. Laws like this force that conversation; they force politicians to explain why a procedure tied to female reproduction should included legally-mandated penetration and shame, while male reproduction gets a smile and a prescription.
Hey and who knows, if bills like this pass around the country, maybe the uptick in rectal exams will result in doctors suddenly locating the heads of most of the Republican party.