Virginia State Senator Howell Attaches Rectal Exam Requirement for ED Medication To Anti-Abortion Bill

State Senator Janet Howell, a Democrat from Fairfax (VA), attached an amendment that would require all men to have a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test before obtaining a prescription for erectile dysfunction medication to a bill that requires women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion.

To no one’s surprise the amendment was rejected on Monday by the Republican-controlled senate by a vote of 21 to 19, but the mandatory ultrasound bill still passed in a voice vote. Although there are only seven women in the Virginia senate, six of them voted in favor of the amendment, along with 13 male senators.

Howell told Huffington Post “We need some gender equity here. The Virginia senate is about to pass a bill that will require a woman to have totally unnecessary medical procedure at their cost and inconvenience. If we’re going to do that to women, why not do that to men?”

Female representative of the Virginia state house, Jill Vogel, R-Fauquier, the chief sponsor of the ultrasound bill, countered that erectile dysfunction and pregnancy clearly are not the same.

Vogel said on the senate floor ““I do believe that erectile dysfunction in this context is different from pregnancy.”

Vogel’s bill will be up for a final Senate vote Today. The bill requires all women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound image taken to determine the age of the fetus.

After the ultrasound, women would have to wait at least 24 hours before having the abortion except in the event of a medical emergency and if they live less than 100 miles from the medical facility. Women who live more than 100 miles away would have to wait two hours.

If you would like to reach the Senator for comments or questions or in my case to thank for her ingenuity, you can do so here: [email protected]