Designed to Provoke, the Texas ‘Masturbation Bill’ Has People Talking

Houston Rep. Jessica Farrar thinks men should have “the right to know” just as Texas women do.

By Rhonda Fanning and Alexandra HartMarch 13, 2017 9:07 pm|

When the Texas Legislature passed the Woman’s Right to Know Act, requiring patients seeking an abortion to wait 24 hours, and to be informed of potential medical risks of the procedure, as well as tightly regulating where abortions can be performed, choice advocates decried what they saw as a paternalistic attitude on the part of majority-male sponsors of the law. This session, at least one legislator has decided to fight fire with…irony?

Jessica Farrar (D-Houston) has filed the Man’s Right to Know Act, aka HB 4260, which has been dubbed the ‘masturbation bill’ for its penalties against that activity. There’s also a waiting period for purchases of Viagra and for non-essential vasectomies and colonoscopies. Farrar says the bill’s goal is to bring to light the “stark reality of where women’s health to today.”

On why she filed the bill:

“Some people might look at the bill and say ‘this is absurd. I can’t believe this is happening.’ Well guess what. Texas Women undergo these procedures every day when they’re trying to access what should be a safe and legal procedure.”

On why male “emissions” are targeted in the bill:

“Some of my colleagues…under the claim of sanctity of life fail to realize there’s another party to this formula. So if we’re looking at ways to make women have children…I’m just saying…we have to look at it from beginning to end. We can’t have any wasted sperm, because those could potentially be life at some point.”

On response from legislative colleagues:

“Honestly I think some of my colleagues are relieved. They don’t like having to deal with those issues either, but they…face a Republican primary that they have to get out of. And that’s my real point…that decisions are being made by lawmakers that have nothing to do with best medical practices and everything to do with making political statements and scoring well on a certain political scorecard.”

On how politics imperils health care:

“We have three major world-renown medical centers. [Women] should be accessing the best in scientific advancements, and instead, politicians are inserting themselves between…a doctor and a patient and deciding what’s best for them. “