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Tit-for-tat: U.S. senator proposes Viagra restrictions for men

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What's good for the goose is good for the gander – especially if that male is having trouble getting his gander "up."

At least, that's the new tactic being adopted by female American legislators, who are pushing back against the spate of laws and motions being introduced to restrict female reproductive rights. One example: Ohio's so-called Heartbeat bill, which would prohibit abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected (which can be as early as six weeks).

This week, Democratic Ohio State Senator Nina Turner put forth a bill restricting men's access to Viagra unless eight increasingly embarrassing standards are met, including getting an affidavit from their partner attesting to their erectile dysfunction and undergoing a cardiac stress test "to ensure that the patient's cardiac health continues to be compatible with sexual activity."

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"Can you imagine men subjecting themselves to a stress test every 90 days, let alone getting a paramour to put in writing that his junk's busted?" wrote Washington Post blogger Jonathan Capehart.

Yesterday, Ms. Turner told MSNBC: "For far too long, elected officials, especially women, have abdicated our responsibility to show men as much love in the reproductive health arena as they have shown us over the years."

She's not alone in wanting to show men a little tough love. Other female state politicians have put forward legislation that would require Viagra-seekers to undergo rectal exams, as well as view graphic videos about potential side effects. In February, Oklahoma State Senator Constance Johnson put forth an amendment to the so-called Personhood bill (which seeks to define personhood at the moment of conception), declaring wasting sperm " an act against unborn children."

"This about setting and levelling the playing field," Ms. Turner said on MSNBC. "We are not going to continue to take this lying down."

Do humour and politics make for strange bedfellows? Or should politicians use any tool to make their point?

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About the Author

Shelley Youngblut is the Western Editor of The Globe and Mail (and the mother of identical twins). The former editor of Calgary’s award-winning Swerve magazine, she is a veteran of ESPN the Magazine, and has commented on pop culture on ABC, CTV and CBC Radio. More

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