Satirical Texas bill sheds light on reproductive laws

Sarah Smith and Sarah Smith

A new bill was introduced last Friday, mimicing Texas’ already existing laws that deal with women’s access to abortions and overall reproductive rights in the state.

Proposed by Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Texas, this bill, called the “Man’s Right to Know” Act, would “require men to wait 24 hours after an initial health care consultation to receive an elective vasectomy, colonoscopy or Viagra prescription,” along with an informational packet with “artistic illustrations of each procedure.”

Of course, Farrar has no hopes of this bill ever being passed. She simply wants it to shed light on just how restrictive anti-abortion laws are for women. In 2011, laws passed in Texas made abortions nearly impossible for some women, including requirements that force women to have ultrasounds 24 hours before an abortion and look at “color pictures representing the development of the child at two-week gestational increments, [which] must contain the dimensions of the unborn child and must be realistic.”

Due to the extremely difficult requirements, Planned Parenthood in Texas has had to cease all medication abortions, giving women even less health care options. Physicians must even inform abortion patients of state-mandated information about medical risks, adoption alternatives and fetal developmental stages; clearly intending to cause a woman to question HER CHOICE. The absurdities go on and on, including that healthcare offices are by law told they must perform abortions more than 1,500 feet away from churches or schools, further hindering women from easily obtaining things that they rightfully have a choice to use. Digressing, these laws have been in effect for years, and I think it’s amazing that someone is finally flipping the script.

But wait, Farrar’s bill gets even better. The bill, HB 4260, would even impose a penalty of $100 for “masturbatory emissions” that occur outside of a hospital or vagina, calling it an “act against an unborn child, and failing to preserve the sanctity of life.” This subjects men to the same dehumanization so many women are faced with  on a daily basis when it comes to reproductive healthcare.

Can we give this woman a Nobel Peace Prize? An Oscar? Something?

“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.”

So what do you think? Is a satirical bill an effective way of shedding light on a huge issue for women in America? I encourage you to educate yourself on these reproductive issues people have gone to such drastic measures to call out, and leave you with a quote from Farrar’s Facebook.

“Although HB 4260 is satirical, there is nothing funny about current health care restrictions for women and the very real legislation that is proposed every legislative session.

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