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‘Caveman caucuses’ overreach



Published: Sun, March 18, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)


Ohio Sen. Nina Turner, a Democrat from Cleveland, was so touched by the concern of her Republican colleagues — mostly middle-aged white men — about the sex lives of women, that she decided to respond in kind.

Turner has introduced Senate Bill 307 that requires a man who wants a prescription for Viagra or other erectile dysfunction drugs to see a sex therapist, receive a cardiac stress test and get a notarized affidavit signed by a sexual partner affirming impotency, the Dayton Daily News reports.

“It is crucial that we take appropriate steps to shelter vulnerable men from the potential side effects of these drugs,” the senator said in a statement. “The men in our lives, including members of the General Assembly, generously devote time to fundamental female reproductive issues. The least we can do is return the favor.”

Turner is to be commended for showing such empathy for men and their delicate egos.

However, her bill doesn’t go far enough. She should amend it to include this language:

“Any male legislator in the Ohio General Assembly preoccupied with a woman’s reproductive organs will undergo a proctology examination at least once a year to determine the extent of brain damage.”

It’s reasonable to conclude that a large number of Republican legislators not only in Ohio but around the country have their brains planted firmly in their (expletive). How else to explain their preoccupation with issues that are best left to women, their doctors and their gods?

Abortion ban

Turner’s legislation is a response to House Bill 125, which would effectively ban most abortions in Ohio because it prohibits them if a fetal heartbeat can be detected, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Such detection can occur as early as six weeks after conception and it can be before a woman knows she’s pregnant. There is no exception for rape or incest.

The bill has passed the House and is now before the Senate. Republicans control both chambers. If the measure passes (and is signed into law by Republican Gov. John Kasich), Ohio would have one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, the Plain Dealer reports.

But the GOP’s attack on women is not confined to Ohio. Republican legislatures and governors around the country have been pushing bills designed to shackle women.

In Arizona, a measure has passed the House and is now before the Senate that would require women who wish to have their contraception covered by their health insurance plans to prove to their employers that they are taking it to treat medical conditions, the Huffington Post reports.

The American Civil Liberties Union contends that the bill would give Arizona employers the green light to fire a woman upon finding that she took birth control for the purpose of preventing pregnancy.

The Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that focuses on reproductive health, reports that states passed 92 abortion-related bill in 2011. It is worth noting that fewer than one in four state legislators nationwide are women, the National Conference of State Legislatures, reports. In Ohio, women make up 23 percent of the General Assembly membership.

This trampling on women’s rights by men has triggered a national uprising that will not go away.

The cavemen caucuses in legislatures around the country resemble science classes where groups of males huddle around biology books giggling at illustrations of the female reproductive system.

Presidential election

But what exactly is going on with the GOP’s attack on women? It’s about the November president election and the attempt by Republican parties around the country to get conservative voters riled up — the way the Ohio GOP did in 2004 when it scared voters into believing that the state would be overrun with homosexuals and lesbians unless voters approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and woman.

Republican voters came out of the sticks to cast ballots for the amendment and for President George W. Bush. Bush narrowly defeated Democrat John Kerry in the state.

Republicans in Ohio and elsewhere seem to believe they have a winning strategy in defining women who want control over their own bodies as immoral and irresponsible.


Comments

1chuck_carney(499 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

As one of the middle-aged white men, I am proudly supporting Dr. Agana to replace timmie ryan as our Congressperson. Our district has never has a female to represent us in Congress and now is the time.

i suppose it is acceptable to endorse and justify a male representative for our district because of his alleged experience and supposed ability to bring home the bacon for the district.
As I recall isn't timmie ryan supports providing contraceptives in our public schools, but not a peep from out media.

Being a Pelosi pal is no longer a positive as she continues to lose power as the economy stagnates and inflation worsens

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2doubled(210 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

The gop/tea feels offended when the gov't gets involved in healthcare and calls it "socialism" -- unless it's the gov't getting involved in womens' healthcare.

The gop/tea wanted to spend their time and energy pushing this issue instead of doing anything to create jobs in order to get their "base" riled up?? Well, they riled one base up, that's for sure. I wonder how well they'll do in Nov now that they've managed to lose the female vote. The gop has been led around by the nose by the small minority tea party. And their ineptitude at leading a large and diverse group of citizens - which is exactly what America is - is truly stunning. In Nov they will realize how much the majority disagrees with them, and they will be gone.

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3bobhogue(102 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

This has to be one of the best Bertram de Souza columns EVER.

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4doubled(210 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Hey summers - so how much per yr does the the federal govt allocate for subsidizing pre natal care, the birth, and neo natal care. Do you think it's more or less than 360 million per yr? Well, I'll tell you it about 3 times the amount you cite in your comment. The following is from a March 5, 2012 NY Times column....

"A new paper makes the economic case for government-financed birth control, along with other pregnancy prevention programs: they save taxpayers money.

Measuring savings on publicly financed medical care for pregnant women and other means-tested benefits provided to children under age 5, Mr. Thomas found that a mass media campaign aimed at promoting safe sex could save taxpayers $431 million a year, while sex education and teenage pregnancy prevention programs could save $356 million. The biggest savings would come from increasing the amount of subsidized birth control available to poor women. At a cost of $235 million a year, such programs could save $1.32 billion annually."

So summers - do everyone a favor and sell your wares somewhere else -- b/c if you're trying to sell us on the insane antics of the gop/tea regarding birth control as the basis for saving taxpayer money --- Well, we're not buying, b/c it just isn't true.

Anyone else want to try and make something up, then give it a shot. Otherwise, just be honest and don't try to salvage the political debacle that is the gop/tea with lies and half truths.

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5Hlecter(60 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Bertram, Bertram, Bertram

Man, you try hard but as in so many of your columns, there is no clarity.

There is NO contraceptive controversy re women's right.

The controversy started with the WH trying to force religious organizations to subsidize contraception and has been cleverly morphed by Obama into a "battle" over women's health.

It is an election year ploy akin to the class warfare rhetoric that the President so skillfully uses.

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6Westsider(224 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Does anyone know anyone out there who does not have access to birth control ------------ I didn't think so - many women are deliberately forfeiting their access to birth control to augment their welfare checks. I don't want to pay for anyone else's birth control. As a woman I am in control of my own reproductive rights, thank you very much

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7essen(9 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Thank you Westsider and other intelligent people commenting. There is no attack on reproductive rights. The only question is who pays for birth contol. As someone who has worked in health insurance for years, birth control pills have ALWAYS been covered for medical conditions, even if they are not covered for contraceptive purposes. AND erectile disfunction pills are limited to a few a month, regardless of medical necessity.

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8praxis95(51 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Is it a legitimate function of Government to protect the helpless? I find it odd that the "reproductive rights" crowd never acknowledge that they are advocating a position that allows for the termination of a human child's life.

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