March 13, 2012 — Ohio Sen. Nina Turner (D) last week introduced a bill (SB 307) that would require men seeking erectile dysfunction drugs to first be screened for heart problems, visit a sex therapist and obtain a signed statement from their sexual partner confirming their impotency, the Dayton Daily News reports.
Turner noted that Ohio lawmakers have targeted women's reproductive health through measures such as the so-called "heartbeat bill" (HB 125), which would prohibit abortion care if a fetal heartbeat is detectable (Borchardt, Dayton Daily News, 3/12). Turner's bill would require doctors to perform a cardiac stress test and refer men to a sex therapist to ensure that "the patient's symptoms are not solely attributable to one or more psychological conditions" (Niquette, Bloomberg, 3/7).
Turner said that "even the FDA recommends that doctors make sure that assessments are taken that target the nature of symptoms, whether it's physical or psychological." She added, "I certainly want to stand up for men's health and take this seriously and legislate it the same way mostly men say they want to legislate a woman's womb."
Ohio Rep. Lynn Wachtmann (R), sponsor of the heartbeat bill, said his measure and Turner's are not comparable. "I understand some women think my bill is a personal affront," Wachtmann said, adding, "Protecting the unborn -- to compare this to Viagra is not even related" (Dayton Daily News, 3/12).
Turner joins a handful of female lawmakers in other states who have proposed legislation to regulate men's reproductive health. For example, a Missouri bill would prohibit a man from receiving a vasectomy unless he was at risk of death or serious injury (Bloomberg, 3/7).