Politics & Government

Lawmaker mocks male colleagues with bill suggesting they’re experts on women’s health

State Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville
State Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville LRC Public Information

Kentucky universities would stop training doctors and nurses and instead refer citizens who need medical advice to members of the General Assembly, since lawmakers have proclaimed themselves experts on the human body, under a sarcastic bill filed Tuesday by state Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville.

Marzian, a registered nurse, said in an interview Wednesday that she filed House Bill 234 as a protest of male lawmakers who every year promote bills on abortion, birth control, sex education and other issues affecting women’s health.

For example, she said, state Rep. Joe Fischer, R-Fort Thomas, is sponsoring a bill this session to require doctors to provide women with a written medical description of images from a required ultrasound before they are allowed to have an abortion.

“It’s obvious that our legislators think that they know more about women’s health than women and their physicians do, so why bother training medical professionals anymore?” Marzian asked. “Let’s just have everyone consult their lawmakers when they get sick. Lawmakers are clearly the ones who know best.”

Fischer, an attorney, did not immediately return a call seeking comment Wednesday.

Marzian has a history of filing protest bills in the General Assembly, including a 2016 measure that would have limited men’s access to Viagra and other erectile-dysfunction drugs — purportedly for their own good.

In a spoof of the cautionary language often used in the legislature’s anti-abortion bills, Marzian’s 2016 Viagra bill warned men of the health risks of sexual-enhancement pills, “such as an erection that will not go away and lasts more than four hours,” and it required them to have two visits with their doctor on separate days before they could get a prescription, so that they would have time to truly contemplate what they were doing.

Marzian said she doesn’t expect her protest bills to ever see the light of day in a committee hearing.

“I file these because I think it’s important to expose these people for the hypocrites that they are,” Marzian said. “And also, there are a lot of us out here — women and men, in my district and around Kentucky — who deserve to know that they’re not the ones who are crazy.”

John Cheves: 859-231-3266, @BGPolitics