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A Kentucky lawmaker is fighting abortion restrictions with an absurd bill of her own

An eye for an eye, as the saying goes.

Replace “eye” with a different set of organs, and you end up with a new bill from Kentucky state representative Mary Lou Marzian. Kentucky recently passed a law that requires women to get a medical consultation 24 hours prior to having an abortion. Marzian and many others have deemed the law sexist—so she shot back by proposing a bill that would require men seeking Viagra or other erectile-dysfunction treatments to visit a doctor twice and get written permission from their spouses. In addition, men would have to sign a statement promising to only use the drugs for sex within their marriages.

The bill was, obviously, intended to provoke. “I have found that men are very touchy about their sexual lives, and they think that it is very personal,” Marzian told the New York Times (paywall). “So I wanted to hit a chord that men could understand how it feels to have a politician say, ‘Well, you really don’t know enough.'” More than 75% of the Kentucky legislature is male.

Marzian’s tongue-in-cheek bill has gone viral—likely because it comes amid a series of new state restrictions on abortions. Last week, Oklahoma advanced a bill that would require women seeking an abortion to get written permission from their sexual partner. The bill’s author, representative Justin Humphrey, controversially referred to women as “hosts” who are responsible for what they “invite in.”

In a radio interview this weekend, Marzian was asked why her bill has garnered such widespread attention. She replied:

It’s picked up because it’s hit a nerve. And I have heard probably from at least two or three thousand people all across the state and the country, and I think women and men are just sick and tired of politicians dictating personal, private decisions, No. 1. And I think that they feel just great. I’ve had so many, “Way to go, we’re so glad you’re revealing the hypocrisy.” It’s just amazing the response, and I think people have felt very disenfranchised, and that politicians don’t listen and we sit up here and do idiotic things like mandate ultrasounds or whatever for women’s health, and it’s really struck a nerve.

Nerves, indeed.

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