January 31, 2012 — During a hearing Monday on a bill (SB 484) that would mandate ultrasounds before abortion care, Virginia Sen. Janet Howell (D) offered an amendment that would require men to undergo digital rectal examinations and cardiac stress tests before obtaining medications for erectile dysfunction, the Washington Post's "Virginia Politics" reports. The amendment also stated, "Informed consent for these procedures shall be given at least 24 hours before the procedures are performed" (Vozzella, "Virginia Politics," Washington Post, 1/30).
The senate rejected Howell's amendment 19-21 on a mostly party-line vote. Howell had argued that if the state requires women to undergo an unnecessary medical procedure, then there should be "a little gender equity."
Sen. Jill Vogel (R), the sponsor of the ultrasound bill, said pregnancy and erectile dysfunction are not comparable (AP/WTOP, 1/30). The full Senate is expected to approve the bill on Tuesday ("Virginia Politics," Washington Post, 1/30).