G.O.P.: Keep your laws off women’s bodies

Nina Turner T shirtLatest petition alerts from Daily Kos and Credo hit my email box letting me know that Sen. Mitch McConnell (my favorite turtle) plans to introduce a bill to ban abortions after the 20-week gestation period.

Here we go again. Another old white man playing doctor so he can legislate another reproductive part of a woman’s body.

On November 20, 2012 I published a blog about Ohio State Senator Nina Turner’s protest against her legislative colleagues who were proposing to cut $1.7 million from Planned Parenthood’s budget. At a press conference with a Planned Parenthood representative, Senator Turner wore the T-shirt shown above, transforming the Grand Old Party into a new acronym –“Get Out of my Panties!!!” Turner had denounced the Ohio legislature‘s recent introduction of the “heartbeat bill”–a radical piece of legislation that would ban abortions as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Ohio Senator Nina Turner is my heroine. She spoke and continues to speak loudly on behalf of women’s reproductive rights–a voice not heard here in Pennsylvania by the pitiful number of women now serving in the hallowed halls of the Harrisburg capitol. Earlier in March 2012, Turner had introduced a Bill in the Ohio Senate proposing that men should be subjected to invasive examinations whenever they seek a prescription for Viagra or any other penile enhancement pill. She was countering a proposal by her male dominated colleagues who had introduced a bill to disallow physician assistants from placing or removing intrauterine devices (IUDs). Checking the 2012 Ohio Senate bill history it appears that her legislation probably died.

Some time ago while chatting with an RN, she shared an incident with me about one of her former male patients, 70 years of age and hospitalized with a heart condition. The nurse described how after administrating the patient’s Physician-ordered medications he had asked her, “Where’s my blue pill?” She replied that there was no ‘blue pill’ on his list of authorized meds. He became so insistent that she checked with his doctor who told her the ‘blue pill’ was Viagra. Doctor then added, “His 50-year old girlfriend is expected in an hour. Give him the pill.”

I’m bewildered: television commercials for penile enhancement drugs always include a caution about health side effects, yet there was a physician allowing his patient to ingest Viagra. And yet, physicians are denied the right to assist women with choices that effect the health or financial well being of their bodies.