Republicans in the state legislature are fond of claiming that the stringent bills they routinely file aimed at making it even more difficult to obtain an abortion in Texas are simply about safeguarding female reproductive health and "the sanctity of life."
However, women aren't the only ones carrying around key life-giving ingredients and Farrrar, a Houston Democrat, has come up with a gloriously pointed way to potentially address this oversight with a bill that is just as invasive as the treatment women are currently subjected to under state laws. On Friday, Farrar filed House Bill 4260, proposing a plethora of regulations designed to, you know, "protect" men's health and preserve the sanctity of life in all of its forms.
If passed, the "Man's Right to Know Bill" would allow state authorities to do just about everything — from fining men $100 per, masturbatory emission to requiring doctors to hand out illustrated informational pamphlets to mandating rectal probes before getting a vasectomy, a colonoscopy or so much as a single tablet of Viagra. This would, in Farrar's thinking, protect the health of Texas male nether regions, ensuring that men in the Lone Star State are given every opportunity to make sure all that potential life in male possession stays sacred.
The proposed legislation promotes full abstinence, with masturbatory emissions only pulled off, so to speak, in health care or medical facilities. This set up is the "healthiest way to ensure men's health," the bill states. The bill also proposes to "ensure a doctor's right to invoke their personal, moral, or religious beliefs in refusing to perform an elective vasectomy or prescribe Viagra." And if a doctor does refuse to perform any men's health procedure the patient won't be able to sue under HB 4260.
And that's not the end of it yet. If this legislation were to become law, the Department of State Health Services would be required to produce a "medically accurate" informational booklet, complete with "artistic illustrations," covering the health benefits and concerns a man seeking a vasectomy, colonoscopy or simply a prescription of those little blue pills may face. Patients would have to verbally consent before they could undergo any medical procedures related to men's health or to simply obtain a Viagra prescription. The doctor would also be required to administer a "medically-unnecessary" rectal exam and sonogram of the patient.
Under HB 4260 a casual round of self gratification — defined as "emissions outside of a woman's vagina, or created outside of a health or medical facility" — would see the self pleasure-er in question slapped with a $100 civil fine per emission. Every time a man would masturbate in Texas, the resulting discharge would be considered an act against an unborn child and viewed as a failure to preserve the sanctity of life.
(The bill says nothing about who would actually be charged with counting up each emission, but the money collected for this unlawful tug on the metaphorical turnip would then be deposited in a fund to go to the children in conservatorships with the Department of Family and Protective Services as another way of underscoring the "sanctity of life.")
Of course, there's no chance this bill will become law or even get out of committee. Farrar has already said she wrote and filed this satirical legislation to highlight how ridiculous the justification for similarly stringent legislation aimed at women's reproductive health and rights actually is. And she's made her point. What reads as pure farce when applied to Texas men is just a shade more harsh than the actual laws being put forth to regulate what Texas women do with their bodies.