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Kentucky bill requires spouse consent to husband's Viagra use

A picture dated 9 September 2003 shows viagra pills in Karlsruhe, Germany. An international network of smugglers has been uncovered by the public attorneys office in Stuttgart. Among the most popular things dealt with was Viagra. Photo: Uli Deck DPA/LANDOV   Photographers/Source: ULI DECK/DPA /Landov

Story highlights

  • The legislation is intended as a protest over new abortion restrictions
  • Men would have to get a letter of consent from their current spouses

(CNN)Angered by a new law requiring women receive medical counseling at least 24 hours before an abortion, a Kentucky lawmaker decided she was going to "strike a nerve" with her political opponents -- in particular, the men.

State Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, a Louisville Democrat, has introduced a bill that would require any man seeking a prescription for drugs to treat erectile dysfunction -- such as Viagra, Cialis and Levitra -- to "have two office visits on two different calendar days" before receiving the desired medication.
    Marzian's House Bill 396 would only allow married men access to the treatments and call on them to "produce a signed and dated letter" demonstrating the consent of their current spouse. They would also have to give a sworn statement -- "hand on a Bible" -- that the prescription would only be used for sex with their legal partners.
    "As a woman and a pro-choice woman and as an elected official, I am sick and tired of men -- mostly white men -- legislating personal, private medical decisions," Marzian, a retired nurse and 22-year statehouse veteran, told CNN. "It's none of their business."
    Earlier this month, Republican Gov. Matt Bevin signed into law a bill beefing up the state's "informed consent" requirement for women seeking an abortion. Previously, patients could listen to a phone recording that listed the potential health risks associated with the procedure. Now, women will have to speak to a medical professional in person or via video teleconference.
    Passage of the new restriction set off a social media campaign against Bevin and anti-abortion lawmakers, and while Marzian concedes her bill will have little practical effect on the new law, she said the measure was written to hit opponents where it hurts.
    "When I put this out here, I thought, you know, I will strike a nerve because what is more sacred to men than their ability to have sexual intercourse?" she said with a laugh. "Let's regulate that."
    "I think it illustrates how intrusive it is," Marzian continued, "how wrong it is, for any type of government, whether it's state legislature, whether it's Donald Trump, inserting themselves into personal, private medical decisions."