Hooray for Gender Equity!


    Wow. I’ve decided I really like Janet Howell (D-Fairfax)! As the Virginia State Senate was ready to pass a bill requiring women who seek an abortion to undergo an ultrasound and then be asked whether they wished to view the results and hear the fetal heartbeat, Howell decided the time had come for a bit of gender equity in the General Assembly.  So, she proposed an amendment to SB484, which was introduced by Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-Winchester). Howell’s amendment would have required that men who wished a prescription for the “magic” little blue pill for erectile dysfunction to submit to a digital rectal exam and cardiac stress test to prove they were fit for action.

    The result was a foregone conclusion in the newly organized Senate, but Howell surprisingly got 19 votes for her amendment, with 21 against. Only Chuck Colgan voted against it on the Democratic side.

    The intent of SB484 is obvious. Rather than giving women “informed consent,” Holtzman Vogel’s bill is just another way to shame and intimidate women contemplating abortion and to have the state require unnecessary medical procedures and add to the cost of abortion.

    I wish I could figure out exactly what strange obsession compels Republicans to feel they have to spend so much time talking about and legislating women’s sexual anatomy and behavior. It’s pretty creepy. Maybe Janet Howell has found the best weapon against that stuff. Turn it the other way and show just how absurd it is.

    • I love it – the amendment text is here:




      1. Line 121, substitute, after line 120


      Prior to prescribing medication for erectile dysfunction, a physician shall perform a digital rectal examination and a cardiac stress test.

      Informed consent for these procedures shall be given at least 24 hours before the procedures are performed.

      Great job, Senator Howell; keep making these Republicans look like the fools that they are!

    • Teddy Goodson

      I believe the originator of the bill, Senator Jill Vogel (R-Fauquier County), said when faced with the Howell Amendment, “I do believe that erectile dysfunction in this context is different from pregnancy.” Really, Madame Senator? And just how does the pregnancy occur, by immaculate conception perhaps? The poor dysfunctional male member’s owner might suffer cardiac arrest from the stress of all the procreative activity which he is seeking to be able to perform. Shouldn’t the male also be protected and be warned of the dangers to his life if he proceeds with his procedure? Culture of Life, y’know. Harumph.