APRIL 8, 2017 BY MICHAEL STONE
A proposed bill in Texas that would impose a fine for male masturbation is making its way through the state’s legislature.
House Bill 4260, called the “Man’s Right to Know Act,” would punish male masturbation with a $100 fine, and require men who want Viagra to be subject to a rectal exam.
The bill, filed earlier this year by Texas legislator Rep. Jessica Farrar (D), was referred to the House State Affairs Committee on Tuesday.
By focusing on male masturbation, the proposed legislation is an obvious attempt to satirize and draw attention to the unreasonable and dangerous policy proposals concerning women’s reproductive freedom coming from the Republican Party.
Commenting on her bill, Rep. Farrar told mysanantonio.com:
A lot of people find the bill funny. What’s not funny are the obstacles that Texas women face every day, that were placed there by legislatures making it very difficult for them to access healthcare.
Farrar is a vocal abortion rights activist, with a long record of opposing legislation in Texas hostile to women’s reproductive freedom.
The Statesman reports the details of the new legislation prohibiting unregulated male masturbation:
The bill calls “masturbatory emissions” an “act against an unborn child, and failing to preserve the sanctity of life.”
The bill also contains provisions that would also put restrictions on vasectomies, Viagra prescriptions and colonoscopies, including:
- The state must create an informational booklet called “A Man’s Right to Know” that contains information and illustrations on the benefits of and concerns about those three treatments. A man must review the booklet before going through with any of them.
- A man must receive a rectal exam and an MRI of his rectum before any of the three treatments.
- A man would not be able sue a doctor for refusing to provide those treatments or another procedure if the procedure violates the doctor’s “personal, moralistic, or religious beliefs.”
- A doctor must obtain consent from the man before providing the treatment, and the man may give it only if he waits at least 24 hours after the doctor’s visit.
- The state must establish a registry of nonprofit organizations and hospitals that provide abstinence counseling, a supervising physician for “masturbatory emissions,” and semen storage.
- “Masturbatory emissions” must be stored for the wife for conception.
The Statesman also notes that current state law “requires that doctors distribute to women considering an abortion the ‘A Woman’s Right to Know’ booklet, which contains illustrations of gestational periods and the risks and side effects of abortions. Women also must wait 24 hours after receiving the booklet and must undergo an ultrasound before the procedure. Abortion of a viable fetus can bring a penalty of at least five years in prison.”
Earlier this week former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton praised Farrar for promoting the proposed new legislation. After praising Farrar while speaking at an Annie’s List luncheon in Houston on Friday, Clinton opined:
I don’t know. The bill may be satirical but the message sure resonated.
Bottom line: Turnabout is fair play. By focusing on male masturbation House Bill 4260 demonstrates the absurdity and cruelty of the constant and ongoing effort by Republicans to demean and stigmatize women in their pursuit of reproductive health care.