Texas lawmaker wants to fine men $100 for masturbating

From mandatory waiting periods to transvaginal ultrasounds, women all over the country are being forced to jump through ridiculous legal hoops in order to access basic reproductive healthcare (particularly abortion). Now a Texas state lawmaker has introduced a similar bill, but with the novel twist that it’s targeted at men.

In an effort to show two can play at this game, State Rep. Jessica Farrar (D-Houston) filed a law called House Bill 4260 (title: “The Man’s Right to Know Act”) on Friday. In addition to fining men $100 for masturbating, it would require them to wait 24 hours, read a pamphlet, and undergo a medically unnecessary, intentionally invasive rectal exam before getting a vasectomy, a Viagra prescription or a colonoscopy. It would also let doctors refuse to perform vasectomies or prescribe Viagra due to “personal, moralistic, or religious beliefs.”

Via The Texas Tribune:

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.”

Farrar continued: “Men have to answer for their actions and so forth. 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 says she knows her “proposed satirical regulations” will not pass, but wrote the bill to make people think about what it would look like if lawmakers intruded upon men’s medical decisions the same way they currently intrude upon women’s:

“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 response, Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington) — who recently introduced a bill that would make abortion a crime equal to murder for doctors and patients alike — said there’s no comparison between Farrar’s efforts to protect microscopic sperm and his efforts to protect microscopic zygotes, because science:

“I’m embarrassed for Representative Farrar,” Tinderholt said. “Her attempt to compare [HB 4260] to the abortion issue shows a lack of a basic understanding of human biology. I would recommend that she consider taking a high school biology class from a local public or charter school before filing another bill on the matter.”

He did not say which part of science proves that a clump of cells on a uterine wall has more rights than a fully formed human being.

Unfortunately, Farrar is heavily outgunned and anti-choice lawmakers in red states will most likely keep turning the clock back on abortion rights until they’re regulated out of existence or Roe vs. Wade is overturned, whichever happens first. Still, as a humorous effort to raise consciousness on the issue, she can count her bill a success.

[Photo: AP]