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Designed to Provoke, the 'Masturbation Bill' Has People Talking

From Texas Standard:

When the Texas Legislature passed the Woman’s Right to Know Act, abortion rights advocates decried what they saw as a paternalistic attitude on the part of majority-male sponsors of the law. The law requires patients seeking an abortion to wait 24 hours before the procedure and to be informed of potential medical risks. It also tightly regulates where abortions can be performed. 

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 bill 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. “

Rhonda joined KUT in late 2013 as producer for the station's new daily news program, Texas Standard. Rhonda will forever be known as the answer to the trivia question, “Who was the first full-time hire for The Texas Standard?” She’s an Iowa native who got her start in public radio at WFSU in Tallahassee, while getting her Master's Degree in Library Science at Florida State University. Prior to joining KUT and The Texas Standard, Rhonda was a producer for Wisconsin Public Radio.
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