Texas Masturbation Bill Referred to House Committee

AUSTIN (CN) – The satirical “masturbation bill” that would fine men for “unregulated masturbatory emissions” was referred to a Texas House of Representatives committee Tuesday as the bill’s author said she is being retaliated against by House Republicans.

House Bill 4260, by state Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, was assigned to the House State Affairs Committee. The committee usually considers legislation concerning abortions.

Farrar filed the “men’s health” legislation in March to hold a mirror to laws the Legislature regularly considers to restrict women’s health care and access to abortions.

If approved, the bill would require men to be given “medically unnecessary” digital rectal exams before getting a “safe and healthy” vasectomy, colonoscopy or prescription for Viagra. Men would be fined $100 for each “masturbatory emission” outside of a woman’s vagina or created outside of a health or medical facility. The money would go to the state’s underfunded Child Protective Services program.

Men also would be given an informational pamphlet titled “A Man’s Right to Know,” incorporating “informational materials that exactly follow the rules and procedures of the informational booklet entitled ‘A Woman’s Right To Know.’”

The bill is not expected to go far in the House. The committee chairman, state Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, would have to hold a public hearing on the bill. Cook has filed or supported some of the anti-abortion bills that Huffman is mocking, the Austin American-Statesman reported. One such bill would require health facilities to bury or cremate aborted or miscarried fetuses.

Huffman said on March 14 that House Republicans have retaliated against her by opposing other routine bills she has filed. Her House Bill 744, which would allow plaintiffs suing certain kinds of companies to collect attorney’s fees, was narrowly approved in a 75-70 vote after a drawn-out debate and procedural disagreements. She said a similar bill two years ago received only eight dissenting votes.

“We’re telling young women that you can grow up to be anything you want to be, except you just can’t disagree with us, with certain men, Republican men,” Farrar said at the time. “The arguments you heard today had nothing to do with policy. They had everything to do with, as I was told, putting a woman in her place for speaking out.”

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