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Pro-choice Virginia State Senator Proposes Rectal Exams for ED Rx
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Janet Howell (D-Fairfax), a pro-choice state senator from Virginia, came up with a unique way to highlight the fact that she thought that the government was unnecessarily meddling with the reproductive rights of women.

The reason was the bill that the Virginia state senate was considering, which has since passed, which requires a woman who is considering having an abortion to undergo an ultrasound at her own cost. Pro-choice groups believe this step to be unnecessary and as yet another attempt by pro-life groups to restrict the choice of women.

Janet Howell, agreeing with this, introduced an amendment to the bill that would have required men who seek a prescription for erectile dysfunction medication to undergo a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test before they can get their hands on the little blue pills. She justified it by saying that it was a case of gender equity and since women were being made to undergo an intrusive and unnecessary exam, men should get the same treatment.


The Republican-controlled senate rejected the amendment by a close vote of 21 to 19. After the vote, Howell said that she knew that the amendment had a narrow chance of passing but still went ahead with it because it was more of a “message type of amendment” and was pleased with the fact that she even got 19 votes.

Out of the seven female senators, six voted for the amendment. The lone woman to vote against it, Sen. Jill Vogel (R- Fauquier County), is also the sponsor of the mandatory ultrasound bill.

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