Women’s reproductive rights are seemingly up for grabs under the Trump administration and especially in Texas. But one Texas lawmaker has the right idea in terms of pointing out the hypocrisy in the way men and women are treated when it comes to their bodies. Texas state Rep. Jessica Farrar, a Democrat, has introduced multipoint legislation aimed at restricting men's control over their sexual health, reports The Hill.
Farrar’s proposed legislation, titled "A Man’s Right to Know," a twist on the pro-life pamphlet Texas doctors are forced to give to women seeking abortions, stipulates that men must acquire a prescription before using Viagra and are subject to a $100 civil fine for each “masturbatory emission” that occurs outside of a woman’s vagina or a health or medical facility, as the emissions are “considered an act against an unborn child, and failing to preserve the sanctity of life,” according to the bill.
The bill, which is clearly intended to make a point, also states that doctors would be required to perform a "medically-unnecessary digital rectal exam" and an MRI before performing vasectomies or colonoscopies or before prescribing Viagra, The Hill reports. In addition to the “unnecessary rectal exam," each man seeking the aforementioned procedures would be subject to his doctor reading the "Man’s Right to Know" booklet aloud to him.
"Although HB 4260 is satirical, there is nothing funny about current health care restrictions for women and the very real legislation that is proposed every legislative session," Farrar wrote in a Facebook post. "Women are not laughing at state-imposed regulations and obstacles that interfere with their ability to legally access safe healthcare, and subject them to fake science and medically unnecessary procedures."
The bill also allows for, as stated in its Purpose section, “a doctor’s right to invoke their personal, moralistic or religious beliefs in refusing to perform and elective vasectomy or prescribe Viagra; and promote fully abstinent sexual relations or occasional masturbatory emissions inside healthcare and medical facilities, as a means of the healthiest way to ensure men’s health.”
Farrar’s bill is a rebuke to Texas’s Draconian anti-abortion laws, which do not allow abortions for women past 20 weeks unless their life is in danger, forcing women with unviable fetuses to carry to term, according to CNN. Furthermore, Texas requires women seeking abortions to receive state-directed counseling and undergo an ultrasound that a provider then describes to her so that she has a clear picture of the image of her fetus.
Farrar’s bill, although admittedly satire, has received blowback from Republican lawmakers, including Rep. Tony Tinderholt, who recently proposed a bill that would charge women seeking abortions and abortion providers with murder, CNN reports.
"I'm embarrassed for Representative Farrar. Her attempt to compare to the abortion issue shows a lack of a basic understanding of human biology," Tinderholt said in a statement.
In addition to touching on the ridiculous notion that women seeking abortions must have “A Woman’s Right to Know” read aloud to them by a doctor, along with unnecessary medical procedures forced on them by the state, Farrar also pointed out that Texas has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world.