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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Virginia State Senator Janet Howell is an American Hero

Posted by Dan Savage on Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 9:44 AM

I'm in love with this woman:

Irked by abortion bill, Va. senator adds rectal exams for men

The state Senate this afternoon gave preliminary approval for legislation that would require pregnant women to undergo ultrasound imaging before an abortion, but not before rejecting a Democratic senator’s attempt to add what she described as “ a little gender equity” to the bill. Democrat Janet Howell of Fairfax County proposed requiring men to undergo a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test before getting prescriptions for erectile dysfunction drugs such as Viagra. “This is a matter of basic fairness,” Howell said.... “It’s requiring [women] to have unnecessary medical procedures, it’s adding to the cost and it’s opening them up for emotional blackmail,” she said on the Senate floor today. “And I was upset because it’s disrespectful of doctors. It’s forcing them to perform procedures they don’t think is necessary.”

She said she was watching television in her hotel room that evening and saw an ad for an erectile dysfunction drug that included a recitation of “all the serious things that could happen to a man who was going to take this medication.... So, I said, it’s only fair, that if we’re going to subject women to unnecessary procedures, and we’re going to subject doctors to having to do things that they don’t think is medically advisory, well, Mr. President, I think we should just have a little gender equity here,” Howell said, explaining her amendment.

Send her an email, tell her she's awesome: SenHowell@gmail.com. (And, no, I haven't looked into her positions on other issues because, at least for right now, I don't want to know.)

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