Legislating Erections

Kentucky House Bill 396 is aimed at controlling male genitalia. State Representative Mary Lou Marzian (D) introduced the bill last week in response to the “informed consent” bill that passed the week before requiring women to wait twenty-four hours before having an abortion. Marzian, a registered nurse, figured what is good for the goose is good for the gander. If the legislature can insert itself between a woman’s legs then why not a man’s?

dysfunctionThe bill would require male patients seeking erectile dysfunction medication get the advice of two doctors, have a note signed by their current spouse approving the issue of the medication, and swear on the Bible that he’ll only use the pills to have sex with his spouse. Unmarried males would not be eligible for erectile dysfunction treatment.

This is a shot across the male bow in an attempt to shed a different light on a topic that hasn’t gone away since Roe v Wade – a women’s right to make decisions about her own health. Being the owner of the other equipment I can only live vicariously through my wife’s dealings with these issues. My knowledge is abstract at best. A fetus has never played hacky sack with my bladder; though once I was accidentally kicked down there so hard I swear my bladder moved. Still, I don’t think that counts.

As a male, I have never had anyone restrict my health care decisions. I’ve been told sensible things by my doctors like lose weight, walk more, eat better, but I’ve never been told that I have to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term because some men I don’t know say I have to. If I were a female I don’t think I could ever have an abortion, but that’s an invalid argument against abortion, I’ll never have to make that call.

Sure there are better ways to prevent pregnancy, and I advocate every one of them over abortion. The problem is we’re all human and other than survival our strongest instinct is to reproduce. That’s why so many of us are doing it. What comes after the urge and the act isn’t always so well thought out, even though it should be. Everyone has the equipment to make a baby, but not everyone is equipped to take care of one.

We legislate that companies can make decisions about contraceptives for their employees. We legislate abortion. Why not legislate the other half of the pregnancy equation? But where does it end? Are we going to legislate the act of sex itself? Wait, Michigan did that last week.

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