After sailing through the Oklahoma House and Senate like an HPV infection in Valley Brook, the Oklahoma legislature sent SB 220 to Governor Kevin Stitt yesterday afternoon. Authored by State Senator Stephanie Bice, it will “modernize” how physicians report new cases of sexually transmitted diseases to the health department.
Here’s the full bill that was sent to the governor:
When you consider a good chunk of sexually transmitted diseases are spread under the influence of alcohol, I guess it makes sense that the State Senator who “modernized” Oklahoma’s alcohol laws is also modernizing our state’s venereal disease laws.
Seriously, kudos to Stephanie for showing the courage to get this bipartisan legislation passed. Generally, the only time Republican lawmakers will even only touch the topic of venereal disease is when they’re in a southside hotel room with a teenage male prostitute. Getting them to vote yes on this bill and not tie any draconian abortion restriction amendments to the bill is a big accomplishment.
That being said, if we’re truly going to modernize our state’s venereal disease laws, shouldn’t the state stop using the outdated term, “venereal disease?” The World Health Organization stopped using it in the 1990s and we should, too. If not, I’d suggest doctors use terms like The Clap, Crotch Crickets and Junk Funk, when emailing the health department about new diagnoses.