For some time now, we have experienced efforts by anti-choice scofflaws to strip Roe v. Wade of virtually any meaning by imposing so many restrictions on obtaining an abortion as to make attainment of one almost impossible. Legislative efforts to curtail abortions, led overwhelmingly by GOP governors and GOP-controlled legislatures, have included waiting periods, pre-abortion counseling, reguirements that teenagers get parental permission, restrictions on interior room sizes limited to abortion clinics, invasive sonogram testing, and other onerous restrictions too numerous to mention. It is good, then, to see pro-choice folks fighting back, with what Mother Jones magazine calls “intentionally absurd counterproposals.”
1) As the Virginia state Senate debated requiring transvaginal ultrasounds for women seeking abortions, Sen. Janet Howell proposed mandating rectal exams for men seeking erectile dysfunction meds. Her amendment failed by just two votes.
2) By an 8-to-4 vote, the Wilmington, Delaware, City Council recognized the personhood of semen, because “each ‘egg person’ and each ‘sperm person’ should be deemed equal in the eyes of the government.”
3) When a zygote-personhood bill came before the Oklahoma state Senate, Sen. Constance Johnson penned an amendment declaring that ejaculating anywhere outside a woman’s vagina constitutes “an action against an unborn child.”
4) Texas state Rep. Harold Dutton proposed that the state pay the college tuition or health care costs of children born to women who decide against an abortion after being required to see a sonogram image.
5) Responding to a Georgia House bill banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, Rep. Yasmin Neal wrote a bill outlawing most vasectomies because they leave “thousands of children… deprived of birth.” Democratic lawmakers sponsored a similar bill in Missouri.
6) A bill by Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner would require men to undergo psychological screenings and stress tests before getting prescriptions for impotence drugs.
7) Illinois state Rep. Kelly Cassdidy proposed requiring would-be Viagra users to watch a video depicting the treatment for the side effect of persistent erections: “It’s not a pretty procedure to watch.”