Texas Legislator Introduces Bill to Penalize Male Masturbation

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Texas state Rep. Jessica Farrar was fed up with men making laws restricting women’s reproductive choices and decided to get back at them. Farrar, a Democrat, introduced a bill on Friday that calls for a $100 fine on men who masturbate, and would place additional requirements on doctors prior to performing vasectomies and colonoscopies or prescribing Viagra. Under the proposed legislation, men would have to go through the same invasive scrutiny that women face today when seeking an abortion. House Bill 4260 would also allow doctors to refuse to perform a vasectomy and prescribe Viagra because of religious beliefs.

Farrar realizes that her bill, unfortunately, has very little chance of becoming law, but she said she hopes it will open up people’s minds–even though she admits this may be too much to ask of her fellow politicians. “What I would like to see is this make people stop and think,” she told The Texas Tribune. “Maybe my colleagues aren’t capable of that, but the people who voted for them, or the people that didn’t vote at all, I hope that it changes their mind and helps them to decide what the priorities are.”

The new bill is named the “Man’s Right to Know Act.” Given that many male politicians cite the sanctity of life when fighting against abortion, Farrar said it’s only fair to view a man’s sperm as a contribution to that life and that it would be a shame to waste it. Therefore she proposed a bill that would require men to be responsible for their own actions–only allowing them to masturbate at a clinic where the sperm can be stored to fertilize a woman in the future.

Mirroring yet another law that currently affects women, the bill also calls for a 24-hour waiting period after a man’s first consultation for an elective vasectomy procedure or a Viagra prescription. This is a reality today for women seeking an abortion. Also, Farrar’s bill would require a rectal exam before a vasectomy or colonoscopy, even though it is not medically necessary. Today in Texas, women are required to have an ultrasound and listen to the heartbeat of the fetus before an abortion is performed, which is also medically unnecessary and, as Farrar says, “messes with women’s heads.”

It probably goes without saying that Farrar is an outspoken advocate for a woman’s right to choose abortion, and she has long fought against Texas legislation that restricts access to abortions. Lately, a lot of bills have been filed in the state targeting women’s reproductive rights. A bill by Rep. Tony Tinderholt goes as far as charging women who have an abortion, and their abortion providers, with murder. In a statement responding to the “Man’s Right to Know Act,” Tinderholt said, “I’m embarrassed for Representative Farrar,” and suggested that she take a biology class, obviously missing the point Farrar was trying to make.

Another bill by Rep. Byron Cook requires Texas hospitals to bury or cremate all fetal remains rather than disposing of them as biological waste. Texas is only one of many states with pending legislation like this. Advocates say it’s inhumane to “throw the bodies of human beings into a landfill.” Opponents say this is an ideological viewpoint that the state shouldn’t impose on women and that it could affect the access to abortion by imposing additional costs on clinics and hospitals.

As expected, many men and conservatives attacked Farrar and the bill on social media, claiming that she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. But most people got the joke and if the satirical bill could help people open their eyes to what women go through every day, that’s at least one step in the right direction.

Emma Von Zeipel
Emma Von Zeipel is a staff writer at Law Street Media. She is originally from one of the islands of Stockholm, Sweden. After working for Democratic Voice of Burma in Thailand, she ended up in New York City. She has a BA in journalism from Stockholm University and is passionate about human rights, good books, horses, and European chocolate. Contact Emma at EVonZeipel@LawStreetMedia.com.



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