Ky. lawmaker files bill requiring men to meet with doctor, pledge marital fidelity before getting erectile dysfunction drugs

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A Democratic lawmaker from Louisville has filed a bill in the Kentucky House that would require men to be married and to have two office visits with a healthcare practitioner before getting a prescription for an erectile dysfunction drug such as Viagra or Cialis.

House Bill 396, filed Thursday by Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, comes a week after Kentucky’s new Republican governor signed an “informed consent” bill requiring women to have a face-to-face consultation with a healthcare provider before getting an abortion.

Marzian was one of three members of the Kentucky House to vote against the informed consent bill, which passed with 92 “yes” votes on Jan. 28.

Marzian’s bill would also require a man seeking an erectile dysfunction drug to get a signed and dated letter of approval from his spouse and to “make a sworn statement with his hand on a Bible that he will only use a prescription for a drug for erectile dysfunction when having sexual relations with his current spouse.”

"I started thinking, 'how would this body of men feel if the government was injecting into their private medical decisions,'" Marzian said.

In an interview Friday, Marzian said the intent of the bill is to "have government insert itself into the personal, private decisions of men -- since we have already inserted it into our personal, private decisions of women."

She added, "We are very 'family values' in the Kentucky General Assembly -- they are all awash in Christian, family values, so that's why I put that part in there that (erectile pills) can only be used in a marital relationship."

Marzian acknowledged that the bill is tongue-in-cheek, but she said the issue of government intrusion into women's health decisions is "very serious to me." 

"Maybe it will wake some people up in this state to say, 'Hey, wait a minute, where are they going with seven abortion bills?'" she said.  

Brian Wilkerson, spokesman for House Speaker Greg Stumbo, said tongue-in-cheek bills are not unprecedented in the chamber. Stumbo likely has not seen the bill and had no immediate comment, Wilkerson said.  

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