Link Roundup of F*ed Reproduction Regulations

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The last few months have been like a post-apocalyptic dystopian young adult novel re: women’s health.

First there was Nancy Pelosi’s GOP Oversight hearing photo showing five men testifying on women’s health. ”What qualifies me to be an expert on women’s reproductive health? I’m a 59-year-old man.

Then Sandra Fluke testified, arguing in favor of requiring private insurance plans to cover contraception coverage. For this, Rush Limbaugh called Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” who is “having so much sex she can’t afford contraception” and is someone who “wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex” and then “post the videos online so we can all watch.” Hey, Rush, watch this.

Rush also said: “Have you ever heard of not having sex? Have you ever heard of not having sex so often?” “[Fluke] wants all the sex in the world, whenever she wants it, all the time…they’re lined up around the block…We’re talking sex-addict frequency here…Immoral, baseless, no-purpose-to-her-life woman…Mrs. Fluke, who bought your condoms in junior high?” “She’s having so much sex, I can’t imagine she can still walk.” Hey, Rush, I can’t imagine you can still walk after this. Also, to be fair, I’ve heard of not having sex; it’s called loneliness. Ladies, am I right?!

Foster Friess, the billionaire funder to the super PAC supporting Rick Santorum, said, “And this contraceptive thing, my gosh, it’s such [sic] inexpensive. Back in my day, they used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.”

And Virginia introduced a bill that would require any woman getting an abortion to submit to the invasive procedure known as a transvaginal ultrasound, allowing a woman to “view her child.” Of the bill, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell said: “This was about empowering women with more medical and legal information that previously they were not required to get in order to give informed consent.”

Rep. Regier equated a pregnant women to pregnant cows and half built houses. He even provided pictures.

All of this relied on the de facto thinking: I’m an an old white man, so I know all things. Do these men think their proximity to vaginas empowers them? Hey, I’m vagina-adjacent, so listen to everything I have to say and take it as ironclad truth. The evidence: People Who Know Nothing about Birth Control…Talking about Birth Control. After watching that, I suggest you watch this.

[On a personal note, I am over these desperate attempts to limit a woman’s power and autonomy and intelligence and choice and desire, attempts that render these attributes secondary and therefore not so threatening. To maintain the status quo. The above proposed legislation and verbal abuse and personal assault makes 2012 look like an unenlightened, medieval period. It’s a twist on what Voltaire once said about inventing ways for the people in the power to stay in power. See also: the venerable Roxane Gay's "The Alienable Rights of Women."]

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Now female lawmakers are submitting bills regulating men’s health to see how the men like it. Bless the backlash.

Cleveland Sen. Nina Turner introduced Senate Bill 307 this week to regulate men’s reproductive health, according to the Dayton Daily News: “Before getting a prescription for Viagra or other erectile dysfunction drugs, men would have to see a sex therapist, receive a cardiac stress test and get a notarized affidavit signed by a sexual partner affirming impotency.”

Instead of asking, “Do you have a condom?,” imagine asking, “Do you have a notary?”

“Turner’s bill joins a trend of female lawmakers submitting bills regulating men’s health,” and Hannah Levintova at Mother Jones compiled a list of such bills here: Insane Sex Laws Inspired by Republicans.

My favorites:

Delaware: By an 8 to 4 vote, the Wilmington, Delaware, city council recognized the personhood of semen because “each ‘egg person’ and each ‘sperm person’ should be deemed equal in the eyes of the government.”

Think of how many children you’re shooting into tube socks every hour of every day, gentlemen. Shame on you!

Virginia: As the state Senate debated requiring transvaginal ultrasounds for women seeking abortions, Sen. Janet Howell proposed mandating rectal exams and cardiac stress tests for men seeking erectile dysfunction meds. Her amendment failed by just two votes.

Put that in your poop-shoot and smoke it. Or something equally nonsensical.

Illinois: State Rep. Kelly Cassidy proposed requiring men seeking Viagra to watch a video showing the treatment for persistent erections, an occasional side effect of the little blue pill. As she explained, “It’s not a pretty procedure to watch.”

I propose an addendum: compile a video of every movie/medical TV drama scene of a dick being forcibly deflated/amputated/otherwise lobbed off. Off the top of my head, I can think of scenes in Grey’s Anatomy, Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever, and House. [Shockingly, I could not find YouTube evidence. Just trust me.]

Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update had some good jokes in the segment Really!?! With Seth and Amy: Birth Control, Seth Meyers says: ”[Virginia also] passed a bill saying life begins at conception. What’s next: Life begins at ‘last call’? Life begins when you click ‘save’ [sic] on your Match.com profile?” Life begins with a glint of libido in the eye?

Poehler spoke for all women when she added, “Don’t tell me what to do!”

Similarly, stop trying to silence us.

See also: Subject for Debate: Are Women People? ”This debate has reached critical mass, and leaves me uncertain of my legal and moral status. Am I a person? An object? A ward of the state? A “prostitute”? (And if I’m the last of these, where do I drop off my W-2?).”

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In response to female lawmakers submitting bills regulating men’s health, Janine Brito, a lazy old back-up singer named Jewelie, and I, a.k.a. “The Transvaginal UltraWand Singers,” invented a few of our own. See today’s “Funny Women #77: Penal Codes.”


Elissa Bassist edits the Funny Women column. Follow her on Twitter, and visit elissabassist.com for more literary, feminist, and personal criticism. More from this author →