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Women seeking an abortion in Texas have to jump through so many hoops they may as well enter themselves in a canine agility contest: There's the counseling and lie-filled information pamphlet titled "A Woman's Right to Know;" the vaginal or abdominal ultrasound, depending on how far along they are; and the 24-hour waiting period that follows it. Terminations are also banned after 20 weeks based on pseudoscience about fetal pain, and a state lawmaker recently introduced a bill to criminalize abortion.
On Friday, state representative Jessica Farrar introduced the Man's Right to Know Act, which would subject men to the same medically unnecessary restrictions on healthcare and fine them for masturbating. Farrar said she wrote the satirical bill in response to the invasive regulations passed under the guise of women's health that are really about anti-choice lawmakers' desire to protect what they call "the sanctity of life." (The bill gets its name from the 2003 informed consent law called the Woman's Right to Know Act, which required the ultrasounds and pamphlets.)The bill, HB 4260, would require men to have a health consult before they can receive a vasectomy, colonoscopy, or Viagra prescription. During this consult, their doctor would have to review with them a booklet called "A Man's Right to Know" and they must also "administer a medically-unnecessary digital rectal exam and magnetic resonance imagining of the rectum." Then, men would have to wait 24 hours for their procedure or prescription. In the cases of vasectomies and Viagra, doctors have a right to refuse care by invoking "their personal, moralistic, or religious beliefs."The bill would also fine men every time they masturbate, since that sperm could have become a child. It states: "Emissions outside of a woman's vagina, or created outside of a health or medical facility, will be charged 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 fines would go to the Department of Family and Protective Services.)
Since "emissions" are thought to be good for prostate health, the bill would also create a registry of providers that offer "fully-abstinent encouragement counseling, supervising physicians for masturbatory emissions, and storage for the semen" so it could be used later to conceive a child.She doesn't believe for a second that the proposed regulations will become law; she's trying to make a point. "A lot of people find the bill funny," Farrar told the Houston Chronicle. "What's not funny are the obstacles that Texas women face every day, that were placed there by legislatures making it very difficult for them to access health care." She's hammering that point on social media.
She added on Facebook that "Texans deserve to be treated with the same amount of respect when making healthcare decisions, regardless of their gender."Farrar's bill reminds us of a great protest sign: "If abortion is murder, then blow jobs are cannibalism."
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