Politics & Government

SC bill requiring 24-hour wait for Viagra moves ahead

A lawmaker’s symbolic proposal to make it almost as hard to get Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs in South Carolina as it is to get an abortion has made it to the floor of the Republican and male-dominated House.

Rep. Mia McLeod’s bill requiring a 24-hour wait to get a prescription passed the House’s only Democratically led committee Wednesday. It likely will go no farther.

But McLeod said she has made her point. Along with the waiting period, the bill requires cardiac stress tests for men seeking Viagra and counseling for patients that mentions celibacy as a viable lifestyle choice. The requirements mirror South Carolina’s abortion law.

“We play a role in women’s reproductive health. I think it should be the same with men,” the Columbia Democrat said.

The objections to the bill at the House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee were practical.

Rep. Robert Ridgeway, who is a physician, said a requirement that a man get a sworn statement from a sexual partner confirming that the partner has been informed about his erectile dysfunction would violate health privacy laws because someone other than the doctor and patient would know confidential medical details.

“Sexual activity usually requires at least two people,” the Manning Democrat said.

The affidavit requirement was removed right before the bill passed the committee on a 10-7 vote. Ridgeway and Republican Rep. Kit Spires, a Pelion pharmacist, voted against it along with the committee’s four other Republicans and one other Democrat.

The Republicans on the committee did not bring up abortion on Wednesday. But other Republicans have said it is callous to compare getting a drug like Viagra to a procedure that they think ends a human life.