The Kentucky lawmaker who filed a bill that would require men to jump through hoops to get Viagra or similar drugs — including swearing on the Bible that they won't use it with anyone but their wives — said Monday she hopes the measure will persuade women to declare "enough is enough."
Mary Lou Marzian, a Democratic state representative from Louisville, filed House Bill 396 last week as a response to anti-abortion measures that she said put undue hardship on women, such as a bill that requires women seeking abortions to get counseling 24 hours in advance from a health care professional. Gov. Matt Bevin signed that abortion bill into law this month.
"The conservative movement sweeping Kentucky has put women in the cross hairs of its battle to take over government at all levels, and it's time we recognize this hypocrisy for what it is," Marzian — a retired nurse — wrote in an op-ed in Monday's editions of the Louisville Courier-Journal.
"The best I can hope is that House Bill 396 will galvanize women into saying 'enough is enough' to their governor, senator and state representative with phone calls, emails and protests to end this untenable legislative assault on women's bodies and minds," she wrote.
Marzian's bill, which she acknowledged when she introduced it last week has no chance of passing, would require men seeking erectile dysfunction medication to:
- Make at least two office visits to a doctor.
- Swear on the Bible that they are married and will use the drug only when having sex with their current wives.
- Present signed proof of permission from their wives.
"We do not want government involved in personal, private medical matters," Marzian told NBC station WAVE of Louisville on Sunday.
"Do you want the Kentucky Legislature and the governor, Matt Bevin, sitting in the exam room with you and your physician?" Marzian asked. "No!"
Similar measures have been offered elsewhere to make the same point.
Most recently, state Rep. Mia McLeod filed a measure in the South Carolina House that would force men seeking erectile dysfunction drugs to present notarized proof from a sexual partner that they have the disorder. That bill remains in committee.
And in 2012, Oklahoma state Sen. Constance Johnson filed an amendment to an anti-abortion bill that would have defined male masturbation as a waste of semen constituting a crime against unborn children.
Johnson later withdrew the amendment, which she said in an op-ed article in The Guardian at the time was intended to "draw attention to the absurdity, duplicity and lack of balance inherent in the policies of this state in regard to women."