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Kelly Cassidy Proposes 'Viagra Amendment' To Ultrasound Mandate In Illinois

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An Illinois lawmaker proposed an amendment to a state mandatory ultrasound bill that would require men to watch a graphic video about the side effects of Viagra before legally being able to receive a prescription for it.

The amendment's sponsor, State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D), said she wanted to add gender equity to the "Ultrasound Opportunity Act" proposed in the Illinois House, which would require women to undergo a sometimes invasive, medically unnecessary ultrasound procedure before having an abortion. Cassidy said her proposal should not be dismissed as a merely symbolic "protest amendment."

"If they're serious about us not being about to make our own health care decisions, then I'm just as serious about them not being able to make theirs," she told HuffPost on Monday.

Rep. Joseph Lyons (D), the sponsor of the ultrasound bill, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cassidy is one of a string of female lawmakers across the country who have introduced gender-equity amendments to anti-abortion bills. Wilmington, Del. City Councilwoman Loretta Walsh authored a resolution that declares "each 'egg person' and each 'sperm person' ... equal in the eyes of the government." Oklahoma Sen. Constance Johnson (D) proposed a "spilled semen" amendment to the state's fetal personhood bill that would declare it an act against unborn children for men to waste sperm. Va. Sen. Janet Howell (D), meanwhile, introduced an amendment to a mandatory ultrasound bill that would require men to have a rectal exam before being prescribed Viagra.

Cassidy's Viagra amendment is currently in the Rules Committee and has yet to be officially attached to the ultrasound bill, but she hopes that it will get its point across either way.

"Women are capable of handling their own medical and reproductive health decisions without interference from legislators," she said.

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