With proposal to penalize men for masturbating, legislator aims to shake up health debate

TEXAS - When it comes to issues related to health, state Rep. Jessica Farrar says that men should have to undergo the same “unnecessary” and “invasive” procedures that she says Texas women are subjected to under recently passed state laws.

That’s why the the Houston Democrat on Friday filed House Bill 4260, which would fine men $100 for masturbating and create a required booklet for men with medical information related to the benefits and concerns of a man seeking a vasectomy, a Viagra prescription or a colonoscopy. The bill would also let doctors invoke their "personal, moralistic, or religious beliefs" in refusing to perform an elective vasectomy or prescribe Viagra, among other proposed requirements in the bill.

While Farrar knows her "proposed satirical regulations" will not become law, she hoped the bill's filing would at least foster a deeper discussion about what should be a priority during session years.

“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.”

Farrar said her bill, titled the “Man’s Right To Know Act,” takes the argument that “we’re looking at the sanctity of life,” a term that has already been highly debated this legislative session as several Texas Republicans have proposed legislation aimed at abortions.

"Protecting the life of unborn children should not be a controversial issue," state Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, said last month.

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.”

HB 4260 also calls for informed consent for elective vasectomies, colonoscopy procedures and Viagra prescriptions. Consent is informed only if at least 24 hours have passed since a man’s initial health care consultation for the procedure or prescription. The bill would also require a rectal exam before administering an elective vasectomy or colonoscopy procedure, or prescribing Viagra — an exam that the bill acknowledges is medically unnecessary.

An outspoken proponent of abortion rights, Farrar has fought against Texas legislation mandating a 24-hour waiting period between a required consultation and receiving an abortion, and another measure requiring women to have a transvaginal ultrasound while listening to the fetal heartbeat before undergoing the procedure, a measure Farrar says “messes with women’s heads.”

Read the full article on The Texas Tribune's website here.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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