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Should Viagra Be as Hard to Get as an Abortion? This S.C. Lawmaker Thinks So

Representative Mia McLeod introduces a bill that limits access to medically enhanced erections much in the same way that her state regulates women’s health.

Image via (cc) Flickr user loauc

A bill filed in South Carolina’s House of Representatives last week seeks to regulate the sale of, and access to, male erectile dysfunction medicine according to the same rules that the state has in place regarding abortions. The proposed legislation, introduced by Representative Mia McLeod, is meant to call attention to ongoing attempts to further legislate abortion in South Carolina, often at the expense of what McLeod sees as more pressing issues.


“Those who are adamant about introducing some type of abortion bill every session, that’s really what this is about—I’m just sick of it,” McLeod explained to the Columbia, South Carolina-based Free Times newspaper. “We’ve got much bigger fish to fry. I just decided that until they could stay out my uterus I would refuse to stay out of their bedroom.”

Per H. 4544, any physician preparing to prescribe an erectile dysfunction drug, such as Viagra or Cialis, would need to:

(a) obtain from the patient a notarized affidavit in which at least one of the patient's sexual partners affirms that the patient has experienced symptoms of erectile dysfunction during the ninety days preceding the affidavit's date;

(b) refer the patient to a sexual therapist licensed by the State Board of Examiners in Psychology for an assessment of the possible causes of the patient's symptoms of erectile dysfunction and obtain a written report in which the therapist concludes that the patient's symptoms are not attributable solely to one or more psychological conditions;

(c) conduct a cardiac stress test and obtain a result, described in writing, indicating that the patient's cardiac health is compatible with sexual activity;

(d) notify the patient in writing of the potential risks and complications associated with taking drugs intended to treat erectile dysfunction and obtain the patient's signature on a form acknowledging the patient's receipt of the notification; and

(e) provide a written statement, under penalty of perjury, that the drug the physician is prescribing is necessary to treat the patient's symptoms of erectile dysfunction, which includes the physician's medical rationale for issuing the prescription.

(2) A physician must not issue a prescription for a drug intended to treat symptoms of erectile dysfunction any sooner than twenty-four hours after the patient provides written acknowledgement of receipt of the notification required pursuant to item (1)(d).

(3) A physician shall place all documents described in item (1) in the patient's medical record and retain the documents as part of that record for not less than seven years.

This is not McLeod’s first time championing women’s reproductive rights as an elected official. Last month, she petitioned South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to boost the security at three health facilities that provide abortion services, days after the November 27 shooting attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado. As she told The State at the time, “I’m afraid some of the rhetoric being tossed around by some South Carolina politicians may motivate someone here at home to try the same thing.”

Neither is this the first time that legislation has been drafted to draw parity between restrictive abortion regulations and access to other controlled items. Earlier this month, Missouri Representative Stacey Newman proposed a bill that would control the sale of firearms according to the same rules that a woman would need to follow in order to terminate a pregnancy.

As for whether H. 4544 will eventually be signed into law, McLeod is realistic.

Oh, I don’t think it’ll pass,” she told Charleston NBC affiliate station WCBD. “I mean, we’re in a male-dominated legislature, of course, and I really just want to broaden the discussion and get people thinking about and talking about some of the issues that women face who are seeking legal abortion services in this state.”

[via NBC News]

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