She wants to even the playing field when it comes to regulating men and women's health.
The language of this new Texas bill is unlikely to change those with strong opinions against abortion, but hopefully it causes a few people to stop and think, as Rep. Jessica Farrar, the state representative who filed the bill, intended. The bill is called the “Man’s Right to Know Act” and is said to be the male counterpart to female anti-abortion legislation.
The bill mimics the language in anti-abortion laws to showcase some of the offensive requirements and how those can also be applied to males. One of the first parts is a section that states clearly that men must wait 24 hours between their initial health care examination before undergoing a vasectomy, a colonoscopy, or receiving a Viagra prescription. This is a reflection of the current law in Texas, which was passed in 2011, that requires women seeking an abortion to wait 24 hours after first seeing a doctor before getting the procedure done.
Additionally, males must consult a booklet titled “A Man’s Right To Know” before having either procedure done or receiving the Viagra prescription, which should include illustrations and medically accurate information related to their decision. This section mimes the booklet, titled “A Woman’s Right To Know,” which is given to every woman considering having an abortion, though not all of the information inside of it is medically sound. Per the bill, men must also receive a “medically unnecessary digital rectal exam and magnetic resonance imagining of the rectum” prior to the procedures, which is a play on the medically unnecessary ultrasound women must undergo prior to an abortion. More than anything, this ultrasound is an awkward attempt to guilt the female into not going through with an abortion.
The booklet that women receive has been proven to contain medically false information which, despite being pointed out, has not been retracted from the printed booklet. For example, it points to an increase in the likelihood of women getting breast cancer should they undergo an abortion, which has been proven as false.
“The citations in this booklet point to research from a disputed methodology to find such an association, or cite studies that explicitly say there is no association between abortion and protection against breast cancer,” according to the Fact Checker blog run by The Washington Post.
Perhaps the best part of the satirical bill is the section that regulates men’s masturbatory emissions as a way to point to the lack of choice women are given when it comes to whether or not they can birth and care for a child. The exact language states,
“Emissions outside of a woman’s vagina, or created outside of a health or medical facility, will be charged a $100 civil penalty for each emission, and will be considered an act against an unborn child.”
Though the ‘act against an unborn child’ bit might seem like a stretch, some argue that it is just as much of a stretch to consider the semen that emerges from a male as a potential child as it is to consider a growing embryo as one. Farrar, the representative that filed this bill, is aware that the bill has no chance of passing, but she says that’s not the intention behind it.
“What I would like to see is this make people stop and think,” Farrar told the Texas Tribune. “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.”
This bill might be hilarious, but Farrar points out that it’s these exact requirements that women in Texas face everyday as they attempt to make decisions regarding their own healthcare. While it’s laughable that men might have to go through waiting periods for independent procedures and prescriptions or that they would have to be conservative with their sexual encounters, this is what women endure constantly.
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