Satirical Texas Bill Would Fine Men's Masturbation, Set Viagra Waiting Period | KERA News

Satirical Texas Bill Would Fine Men's Masturbation, Set Viagra Waiting Period

Mar 13, 2017
Originally published on March 13, 2017 3:40 pm

A bill introduced in the Texas House of Representatives on Friday would fine men for masturbating, allow doctors to refuse to prescribe Viagra and require men to undergo a medically unnecessary rectal exam before any elective vasectomy.

State Rep. Jessica Farrar, who introduced the bill, tells The Texas Tribune she knows the satirical legislation will never be passed. But she hopes it will start a conversation about abortion restrictions.

The measure turns the language of abortion laws against men.

One section would protect doctors who refuse to perform vasectomies, prescribe Viagra or perform colonoscopies. It mirrors a Texas law passed earlier this year that bans "wrongful birth" lawsuits — when parents sue a doctor for failing to inform them of a fetus's disability or their abortion options. That kind of suit was already virtually nonexistent, the Dallas Morning News reports.

Another section would require men seeking health services to review a pamphlet called "A Man's Right to Know" with their doctor. The bill specifies that the pamphlet must include "medically accurate, objective and complete" information. Texas' legally mandated "A Woman's Right to Know" pamphlet has been sharply criticized as including inaccurate and misleading information.

The bill would require a 24-hour waiting period for men's vasectomies or Viagra prescriptions, just like Texas' 24-hour waiting period for abortions.

It would also mandate a "medically-unnecessary digital rectal exam and magnetic resonance [imaging] of the rectum" before any elective vasectomy, colonoscopy or Viagra prescription. Texas, like several other states, requires that an ultrasound be performed before any abortion, even if it's not considered medically necessary by a doctor. The suggestion of a digital rectal exam brings to mind transvaginal ultrasounds, in particular — a procedure that was required by one Virginia anti-abortion bill, though not specifically mandated in the law's final form.

And the proposal that men's masturbation be regulated, with fines for any emissions that are "outside of a woman's vagina" or not saved for future conception? It's justified on the grounds of preserving the "sanctity of life."

Farrar, a Democrat from Houston serving her 11th term in the state House of Representatives, has been an outspoken critic of a number of Texas laws limiting abortions, the Tribune reports. This session, she has spoken against bills that would require hospitals to bury or cremate fetal remains (similar to a state rule that was recently blocked) and that "would charge both abortion providers and women who receive an abortion with murder," the newspaper writes.

Farrar spoke to the Tribune about what she hopes to accomplish with her Men's Right to Know bill:

" 'What I would like to see is this make people stop and think,' Farrar 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.' ...

"In proposing a fine for masturbation, Farrar says that if a man's semen is not used to create a pregnancy, 'then it's a waste ... because that semen can be used — and is to be used — for creating more human life.' "

"Men have to answer for their actions," Farrar told the paper.

Rep. Tony Tinderholt — who introduced the bill that would cause both women and their doctors to be charged with murder for an abortion — told the Tribune he was "embarrassed" for Farrar and that her attempt to compare men's reproductive health care to abortion "shows a lack of a basic understanding of human biology."

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