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Texas Lawmaker’s ‘Satirical’ Bill Fines Men for Masturbating

What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

That's the thinking behind new legislation proposed by a Texas lawmaker that would fine men $100 for masturbating and require a 24-hour cooling off period before they can buy Viagra.

Image: Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, speaks during a news conference, April 2, 2009, in Austin, Texas.
Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, speaks during a news conference, April 2, 2009, in Austin, Texas. Harry Cabluck / AP

State Rep. Jessica Farrar is under no illusion that HB 4260, which she freely admits "satirically mirrors real Texas laws," will make it through the Republican and male-dominated Legislature.

"HB 4260 was written to highlight the glaring inequalities in how medical and reproductive health care legislation is handled for men and women," the Houston Democrat wrote. It "mimics how legislators, with no formal knowledge of medical norms or practices, attempt to govern women's health in the Texas Legislature."

So, under Farrar's proposal, which was introduced on Friday, if a woman has to wait 24 hours before she can have an abortion, a man would have to wait 24 hours to get his erectile dysfunction drug or have a vasectomy.

And if a woman has to undergo a vaginal ultrasound before having an abortion, men should also be required to undergo an equally unnecessary rectal exam before they can have a vasectomy or colonoscopy.

Also, under Farrar's legislation, doctors who have "personal, moralistic, or religious" objections to performing vasectomies or prescribing ED pills can opt out.

If lawmakers are so concerned about the "sanctity of life," Farrar contends more needs to be done to protect sperm "because that semen can be used — and is to be used — for creating more life."

To that end, Farrar is calling for a "Hospital Masturbatory Assistance Registry" to store semen "for the purposes of conception for a current or future wife."

"Emissions outside of a woman's vagina, or created outside of a health or medical facility, will be charge a $100 civil penalty for each emission, and will be considered an act against an unborn child, and failing to preserve the sanctity of life," the bill states.

The proposed rules are laid out in a booklet entitled "A Man's Right to Know," which Farrar says is a spoof of the state-mandated "A Woman's Right to Know" that is required reading for women seeking abortions in Texas. She called the latter "a medically inaccurate booklet."

Farrar's fusillade came in response to continued attempts by Texas lawmakers to restrict women's access to abortions. And it drew a quick response from ultra-conservative Republicans like Rep. Tony Tinderholt, of Arlington, Texas, who has proposed legislation that would charge women who get abortions — and the doctors who perform them — with murder.

"Her attempt to compare [HB 4260] to the abortion issue shows a lack of a basic understanding of human biology," Tinderholt said in a statement.

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Texas law requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals — a rule the court said provided no medical benefits and only created obstacles for women seeking abortions.