A Texas state lawmaker introduced a bill that would fine men who masturbated for committing “an act against an unborn child.”

Texas House member Rep. Jessica Farrar (D) said in a statement that the “Man’s Right to Know Act” was meant to highlight the disparity in reproductive health care regulations concerning men and women:

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. 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. Texans deserve to be treated with the same amount of respect when making healthcare decisions, regardless of their gender.

The bill, which Farrar introduced on 10 March 2017, would fine men $100 if they masturbated outside of a vagina or a medical facility. Doing so, the bill stated, would be considered “an act against an unborn child, and failing to preserve the sanctity of life.”

On 4 April 2017, it was forwarded to the Texas State Affairs Committee, which regularly deals with measures related to abortion.

The measure also requires a 24-hour waiting period for anyone seeking a Viagra prescription, a vasectomy, or a colonoscopy after their initial consultation, during which they would be issued a pamphlet called “A Man’s Right to Know.”

Under state law, women seeking abortions are issued a pamphlet called “A Woman’s Right to Know” and must submit to a transvaginal ultrasound at least 24 hours prior to undergoing the procedure. Farrar’s bill suggests similar requirements for men:

An attending physician must administer a medically-unnecessary digital rectal exam and magnetic resonance imagining of the rectum before administering an elective vasectomy or colonoscopy procedure, or prescribing Viagra. This digital rectal exam and rectal sonogram must take place during the initial health care consultation before an elective vasectomy is performed, a prescription is given for Viagra, or a colonoscopy is performed.

The bill has already been criticized by Republican Rep. Tony Tinderholt, who said he was “embarrassed” for Farrar:

Her attempt to compare [HB 4260] to the abortion issue shows a lack of a basic understanding of human biology. I would recommend that she consider taking a high school biology class from a local public or charter school before filing another bill on the matter.

We contacted Farrar seeking a response to Tinderholt’s comments, but she has yet to respond. In January 2017, Tinderholt introduced a separate bill that would charge women who underwent abortions, as well as their providers, with murder.

Sources:

Chang, Julie.   “Texas Lawmaker Files Bill That Would Penalize Men for Masturbating.”
    Austin American-Statesman.   10 March 2017.

Samuels, Alex.   “With Proposal to Penalize Men for Masturbating, Legislator Aims to Shake Up Health Debate.”
    Texas Tribune.   12 March 2017.

Guillen, Darla.   “Criminalizing Abortion Makes Women ‘More Personally Responsible,’ Texas Lawmaker Said.”
    Houston Chronicle.   24 January 2017.

Leighton, Heather. “Texas masturbation bill is now in the hands of the Texas State Affairs Committee.” Houston Chronicle. 5 April 2017.