8 Laws That Would Exist If Men's Bodies Were Treated Like Women's
Every so often, some genius lawmaker proposes restrictions based on abortion laws to show just how absurd they are.
For instance, last month State Rep. Mary Lou Marzian of Kentucky proposed a law requiring men to swear fidelity on a Bible when they request a prescription for erectile dysfunction medication.
This got me thinking: What kinds of laws would be on the books if men's bodies were treated the same way women's are?
These made-up rules are all related to sexual and reproductive freedom and how (mostly male) legislators humiliate, judge and restrict women through laws.
Here are some of the ways men would be treated if gender were flipped.
1. You have to go to an ambulatory surgical center to take a Viagra.
The Supreme Court is currently arguing a case about abortion laws in Texas. One of the Texas requirements (which also exists in other states) is that women can only get abortions in ambulatory surgical centers.
This law means that to get a medication abortion -- which only involves taking a pill -- women have to go to an ambulatory surgical center. As Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor confirmed, there are no other medication treatments that require going to an ambulatory surgical center to take a pill.
2. If your employer is religious, you can't get pain medications.
No ibuprofen for you if you work for someone religious!
In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that religious employers are not required to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives in the controversial Hobby Lobby case. The court is currently arguing a similar case with Zubik v. Burwell.
The religious objections to birth control ignore the fact that women go on the pill for a variety of reasons -- including lessening pain from menstrual cramps.
3. You must hear medically false "information" before getting a vasectomy.
Seventeen states require that women get counseling before obtaining an abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
These state-mandated counseling scripts are filled with medically inaccurate information, such as there being a link between abortion and breast cancer (there is not) and that there are negative long-term mental health effects on women who get abortions (95 percent of women do not regret their abortions).
4. You have to pay for and arrange a cremation every time you jerk off.
Sounds insane, right?
Well, a proposed law in Indiana requires that women pay for and arrange a cremation and/or funeral for an abortion, which means planning services for what amounts to, in many cases, a tiny amount of cells. So now you have to do it, too.
5. If you're under 18, you need parental consent to ask a woman if you can sleep with her without protection.
To be honest, this one would be kind of helpful given that condom use is super important and too many f*ckboys try to get away with not using them, but it also speaks to how invasive and potentially dangerous abortion laws can be.
Thirty-eight states require parents either to give approval or get notified for someone under 18 to have an abortion. While there's some amount of logic to this, you have to consider that this is an extremely difficult requirement for teenagers with abusive or absent parents. The only way around it is to get a judicial bypass -- so teen girls have to go to court and argue to get a judge to approve their abortions.
Meanwhile, teenagers do not need parental approval or notification to actually have a baby, which has more health risks and would almost definitely affect their -- and their families' -- lives much more than an abortion.
6. Your doctor needs to have hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles for you to get a colonoscopy.
Part of the Texas law in the Supreme Court is that abortion providers need hospital admitting privileges. This is a crazy requirement because: A. Hospitals see everyone regardless of "admitting privileges" and B. Abortion is an extremely safe procedure.
In fact, as John Oliver pointed out, colonoscopies are actually more dangerous than abortions. So from now on, if your doctor doesn't have admitting privileges, you need to go find someone who does, which may mean driving well out of your way.
7. To use toilets, you have to pay $7 per month for 40 years.
A majority of states have a so-called "tampon tax," which is exactly what it sounds like. Women are charged extra for the "luxury" of using tampons and pads -- which most women would tell you are a necessity.
So, men, unless you want to piss and sh*t your pants, you've gotta pay up.
8. You have to wait weeks to get an appointment, then drive hundreds of miles, consult with a doctor and wait another 24 hours to get condoms.
This is what is currently happening for Texas women seeking abortions. As clinics are shut down under the new laws, wait periods for appointments increase and women have to go farther to reach a clinic. Many states require women first consult with a doctor and wait around 24 hours before getting an abortion.
Now consider you have to do all this just to not have a baby. This means you have to figure out transportation, take time off from work, rent a hotel room and pay for childcare (if you already have kids, which many women seeking abortions do). Aside from your personal health, this hurts your financial health as well.
As Teresa Fedor, a member of the Ohio House of Representatives, said when she told the House about her rape and abortion:
I don't want government in my business. I want my freedom.
We couldn't agree more.