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Want Viagra? Ohio lawmaker wants men to get second opinion

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Men in the Buckeye State seeking prescription drugs for erectile dysfunction such as Viagra will have a tougher time getting their little blue pills if one Ohio lawmaker has her way.

Tony Dejak / AP

Democratic State Sen. Nina Turner in Steubenville, Ohio.

State Sen. Nina Turner, a Cleveland Democrat, this week introduced Senate Bill 307, which is aimed at protecting men from the risks of PDE-5 inhibitors -- drugs like Viagra that are commonly used to treat symptoms of erectile dysfunction -- in an effort to “guide men to make the right decision for their bodies.”

Turner told msnbc.com on Thursday that the measure was her way of sending a message to the Legislature in response to Ohio’s so-called Heartbeat Bill, which is now pending in the state Senate. That measure would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected – sometimes as early as in the sixth week of pregnancy.

 


“I’m fed up over all this concern, consideration and conversation over the feeble and fragile minds of women who are unable to make decisions on their own,” Turner said. “I thought it was time to show our men some love and some regulation. It was time to level the playing field for all.”

Turner said she started working on SB 307 about three weeks ago, and made sure the language  mimicked the abortion legislation.

Turner’s bill would require doctors to get a second opinion from a psychological professional to verify that a patient has a medical reason for the medication.

It also would require doctors to inform patients in writing of the risks involved in taking the drugs; require that records about prescriptions for erectile dysfunction be retained in a patient’s file for at least seven years; and require men to sign a document acknowledging the risks of taking the medication, just like the anti-abortion bill does, she said.

Turner said she has received hundreds of supportive of her cause since she introduced the bill on Tuesday. She said she expected her bill to pass, just like the Heartbeat Bill did in the Ohio House in June.

“By implementing more intensive screenings before prescribing the medication and requiring outpatient educational services, we can do more to prevent the potential side effects linked to PDE-5 inhibitors,” Turner said in a press release announcing the bill. “We must advocate for the traditional family, protect the sanctity of procreation and ensure that all men using PDE-5 inhibitors are healthy, stable, and educated about their options -- including celibacy as a viable life choice. This legislation will do just that.”

Mitt Romney says he's not going to weigh in on the Rush Limbaugh controversy. Critics say it could be because Rush's host company, Clear Channel Communications, has ties to the Romney campaign. Ed Schultz talks with MSNBC contributor Krystal Ball and Ohio State Senator Nina Turner.

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