Texas men need protection: When will Governor Perry and the state legislature enact TRED laws for Erectile Dysfunction sufferers?
Surely Texas males need TRED (Targeted Regulations for Erectile Dysfunction) laws as much as Governor Perry and Republican legislators think women need TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) laws. Actually the TRAP laws cut off access to women’s reproductive health care so let there be no mistake about their intent. It is not just abortion that the proposed Texas law wants to gut, but access to contraceptive and reproductive health care as well.
The vasectomized governor shows little regard for the reproductive health of Texas men and this is a growing concern among observers of state-legislated reproductive health laws from Texas to Ohio.
Should a Texas male develop Erectile Dysfunction (known as ED in medicalese) he can go to any physician and ask for “the blue pill.” This is sold under the trade name Viagra, but there are five drugs approved by the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) to treat ED through oral drugs: Cialis, Levitra, Staxyn, Stendra and Viagra.
All these drugs work by increasing the flow of blood into the penis so that when a man is sexually stimulated, he can get an erection. But the drugs are not without risk and there have been deaths reported by combining ED drugs with blood pressure medications.
There are additional problems with dispensing these drugs in that there are no standards that must be followed before a physician prescribes this fix.
Clearly something must be done—first in Texas, let them lead the way.
The legislature must enact laws for doctors and clinics that prior to prescribing ED drugs, a transanal ultrasound be preformed in a surgical clinic to match the standards legislated through SB-537 for women’s health clinics. Of course this legislative action would sharply decrease male access to clinics, particularly in rural areas but so-be-it; the crown jewels of Texas men must be protected.
Perhaps neither Governor Perry nor Texas State Legislators understand the risks presented to their male population by allowing men to get their preferred genital/reproductive health fix through their local doctor or the Internet.
Should the transanal ultrasound show that the prostate gland is enlarged, then the legislature should clearly mandate that a prostate biopsy be performed immediately. Men, by legislative decree, may not refuse this procedure. It is for this reason that prescribing ED drugs and transanal ultrasound procedure be performed only in approved surgical clinics. This should decrease male access to health care to approximately that of Texas women’s access.
Lest Governor Perry and the Republican legislature think that ED and enlarged prostates are not a problem in Texas, let me review the statistics:
- Approximately 8.4 million men over the age of 50 in the United States are candidates for treatment of enlarge prostate glands. Both erectile dysfunction and inability to void are potential outcomes of prostate enlargement.
- According to Johns Hopkins Medicine “almost all men are affected by ED at sometime in their lives, including 30 to 50% of the men between the ages of 40 and 70.”
- Texas does not provide ED or enlarged prostate statistics for their state but it can be assumed to be on par with national statistics. In fact, it may be much higher because of the high animal protein diet of many Texans.
Clearly in this second special session called by Governor Perry, the Republican-dominated legislature can craft a bill (perhaps SB-538) to show the males of Texas that they also care for their well-being.
Perhaps Governor Perry can get former South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint to state that Texas men would welcome a mandated anal ultrasound, similar to the one he proclaimed on Meet the Press about women welcoming their mandated transvaginal ultrasound procedures.
Then again, perhaps not; if vasectomized Governor Perry has felt the wrath of women since he and his legislature tried to push through SB-537 on June 28, 2013, just wait until the Second Amendment Texas males join the protest.
Sara DeHart, MSN, PhD is a health and political writer living in the Northwest.