Texas Rep. Jessica Farrar (D-Houston) is out to make an important statement about the disparities between men’s and women’s healthcare. Farrar has proposed a bill, HB 4260, that would impose some pretty severe restrictions on men seeking vasectomies, Viagra prescriptions, or colonoscopies.
Under Farrar’s law, men would be required to read a booklet titled “A Man’s Right To Know” before any of these procedures, and they would be fined $100 for masturbatory emissions outside of a woman’s vagina or a health or medical facility. The reasoning for this fine is that the act of masturbating would be “considered an act against an unborn child, and failing to preserve the sanctity of life.”
Additionally, HB 4260 proposes allowing doctors to share with patients their “personal, moralistic, or religious beliefs” and “promote fully-abstinent sexual relations…as a means of the healthiest way to ensure men’s health.”
Does Farrar’s proposal sound ridiculous?
That’s exactly her point. Farrar believes that, as long as women in Texas are forced to undergo “unnecessary” and “invasive” procedures when they seek an abortion, men should be subject to those procedures as well.
Some of the hoops that Texas women must currently jump through before receiving an abortion include a mandatory 24-hour waiting period between the consultation and the procedure and a transvaginal ultrasound — during which the woman must listen to the fetal heartbeat — prior to the abortion.
In an interview with The Texas Tribune, Farrar explained that she wants to make a statement to her colleagues and constituents with HB 4260.
‘What I would like to see is this make people stop and think. Maybe my colleagues aren’t capable of that, but the people who voted for them, or the people that didn’t vote at all, I hope that it changes their mind and helps them to decide what the priorities are.’
Farrar further clarified her bill, which she has described as “satirical,” in a Facebook post on Saturday. She explained that, while people may laugh at HB 4260, “women are not laughing at state-imposed regulations and obstacles that interfere with their ability to legally access safe healthcare.” She also argued that all Texans, “regardless of their gender,” should be guaranteed respectful, non-biased medical treatment.
While pro-choice activists around the country are cheering Farrar on, not everyone is impressed with her efforts.
Another Texas representative, Tony Tinderholt, for example, has said that, with her proposal, Farrar has shown herself to lack “a basic understanding of human biology.”
Tinderholt, who proposed a bill that would charge both abortion providers and the women who receive abortions with murder, added in his statement:
‘I’m embarrassed for Representative 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.’
Criticism aside, Farrar feels very strongly about her bill, especially with the current political climate in mind. She believes Donald Trump’s presidency in particular will make it even harder for women to receive the care to which they are legally entitled. She explained:
‘Especially with Trump as president, I think these folks are on fire now. They’re off the chain now. If they can elect someone based on making racist remarks and derogatory remarks toward women and such, then we’ve just given them license to offend and license to be even worse than before.’
Read the bill in its entirety here.
Featured image via Facebook.