abortion rights

Texas Lawmaker Proposes Fining Men $100 Every Time They Masturbate

State Representative Jessica Farrar in 2007. Photo: Harry Cabluck/AP

If you’re a woman looking to get an abortion in Texas, you have to get an ultrasound prior to the procedure. Per the Women’s Right to Know Act, you’re also to receive mandated counseling from a doctor — which includes often-misleading information about adoption and potential medical risks — and then you have to wait 24 hours. And while abortion is outlawed after 20 weeks except in cases of health endangerment, state representatives have introduced bills to criminalize abortion, as well as to require hospitals to bury or cremate fetal remains.

In the face of such stringent anti-choice laws and proposed legislation, Democratic State Representative Jessica Farrar introduced a bill on Friday that turns the tables: H.B. 4260, or the Man’s Right to Know Act.

It would apply the same sort of hoops women jump through to obtain abortions — such as counseling and doctor’s right to refuse a procedure on religious grounds — but to sexual-health procedures that men undertake, such as vasectomies, Viagra prescriptions, and colonoscopies.

Here’s an excerpt:

An attending physician must administer a medically unnecessary digital rectal exam and magnetic resonance imagining of the rectum before administering an elective vasectomy or colonoscopy procedure, or prescribing Viagra. This digital rectal exam and rectal sonogram must take place during the initial health care consultation before an elective vasectomy is performed, a prescription is given for Viagra, or a colonoscopy is performed.

It would also fine men $100 every time they masturbate. “Men have to answer for their actions and so forth,” Farrar explained to the Texas Tribune. “So if there’s going to be an emission, it would have to be done in a hospital where the semen could be preserved for future pregnancies or it would be directly deposited into the vagina of a woman.”

Farrar’s intention, of course, is not to get the bill passed but to open up a debate about the increasing abortion restrictions in her state. “What I would like to see is this make people stop and think,” she said. “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.”

Texas Lawmaker Proposes Fining Men $100 For Masturbation