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The Women Trolling the GOP with Bills That Restrict Viagra Use and Ejaculation

Throughout the US, female politicians are proposing laws that would regulate men's reproductive choices the way we regulate women's.

by Rebecca Grant
Mar 28 2017, 4:30pm

If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament." This adage—popularized by Gloria Steinem, who heard it from an "old Irish woman taxi driver" in 1971—ignited as a feminist slogan because it pithily evoked the double standard that allowed for men's sexual and reproductive freedom, but not for women's.

Forty-six years later, the slogan remains as apt as ever. Decades of progress have not managed to deter politicians from passing a deluge of laws that restrict access to abortion in ways grounded neither in evidence nor reason, forcing hundreds of clinics to shut their doors. In state legislatures dominated by Republican men, where anti-choice extremism has become the norm, female lawmakers are reciprocating by turning the double standard back on their male colleagues. The most recent example is Texas Rep. Jessica Farrar, who joins a dozen fellow female lawmakers who have wielded satire to illuminate just how hypocritical, unjust, and ridiculous politically motivated abortion restrictions are.

On March 10, Farrar filed House Bill 4260, titled "A Man's Right To Know," which she described as "an act relating to the regulation of men's health and safety" that would create a civil penalty for "unregulated masturbatory emissions." The title of the bill mimics "A Woman's Right To Know," the notorious booklet that Texas clinics are required to foist on women at least 24 hours before an abortion procedure, which relays medically inaccurate gems such as the (erroneous) claim that abortion is associated with death, suicidal thoughts, and breast cancer. With this bill, Rep. Farrar aimed to highlight the "glaring inequities" in how politicians handle reproductive healthcare for men and women.

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