State Watch

Texas state rep proposes fines for masturbation

A Texas state representative has introduced legislation that would fine men for masturbating and require them to undergo counseling before obtaining a prescription for Viagra, in an effort to highlight anti-abortion laws that place restrictions on women.

The legislation introduced by state Rep. Jessica Farrar (D) would impose a $100 civil penalty for “masturbatory emissions” that take place outside of a woman’s vagina or a hospital. Each incident would be “considered an act against an unborn child, and failing to preserve the sanctity of life,” the bill reads.

{mosads}Farrar’s measure — which she dubbed “satirical” — would allow doctors to refuse to conduct vasectomies, write prescriptions for Viagra or perform a colonoscopy if those actions violate the doctor’s personal, moral or religious beliefs. Patients would be required to wait 24 hours before a procedure is performed, and doctors would be made to read a state-printed booklet, “A Man’s Right To Know,” to the patient.

Doctors would also be required to perform a “medically-unnecessary digital rectal exam” and an MRI before performing vasectomies or colonoscopies or before prescribing Viagra.

In a post on Facebook, Farrar said the measure is meant to highlight laws already on the books that impact women’s health. 

“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 on Facebook. “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.”

Texas’s Republican-dominated legislature has passed several measures intended to reduce the number of abortion providers and the number of abortions performed in recent years, part of a nationwide trend of conservative-backed measures passed since the Republican wave of 2010.

In 2011, Texas legislators passed a law that required women seeking an abortion to undergo a sonogram and listen to a description of the fetus before the procedure was performed. The law required the state to publish a booklet, “A Woman’s Right To Know,” which describes those rules.

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