Author of Masturbation Fine Bill Says GOP Lawmakers Bent on Retaliation

AUSTIN -- In another battle on the culture war front in the Texas House, a Democratic woman lawmaker said GOP legislators on Tuesday targeted her to show their displeasure with her attempt to satirize Republican efforts to curb abortion."This was, as I was told, a way to put a woman in her place," said Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, calling the move an example of "misogyny" in the Republican male-dominated House. Last week, she filed a bill that poked fun at Republican-led laws that have reduced access to women's reproductive health care in Texas by proposing that men abide by some of the same restrictions that are imposed on women seeking abortions.Many GOP House lawmakers on Tuesday voted against an unrelated bill by Farrar having to do with attorneys fees, action she said was retribution for her satirical proposal. The attorneys fee bill narrowly passed with a vote of 75-70. "This was a retaliatory attempt," Farrar said, adding that "it had nothing to do with policy."The bill Farrar filed last week would levy fines against men for "unregulated masturbatory emissions" and require them to undergo a digital rectal exam before a vasectomy, a colonoscopy or a Viagra prescription.The measure would require the Department of State Health Services to print an illustrated booklet titled "A Man's Right to Know" that would contain graphic illustrations of the medical procedures.Farrar said the bill was meant to show the extreme and unfair lengths to which Republicans have gone in Texas to limit women's access to health care. She said she expects to face GOP backlash throughout the remainder of the 140-day legislative session."I will continue to speak out as long as it's necessary to," she said.Farrar said she was warned before lawmakers convened on Tuesday that her legislation would be targeted by Republicans who discussed the matter in an earlier caucus meeting.Rep. Tan Parker, R-Flower Mound, chairman of the Republican caucus, said he could not comment on whether there was discussion of retaliating against Farrar. And he said the Republican caucus policy committee only voted to take a neutral position on the attorneys fee bill.But Rep. Matt Rinaldi, R-Farmers Branch, made clear that Farrar's bill targeting men's reproductive rights was on his mind when he questioned her about the attorney's fee legislation during debate on the House floor."Is this a satirical bill?" he asked Farrar. "It's my understanding that you filed one or more satirical bills."Farrar asked him to keep his questions related to the bill at hand, but after the narrow vote on her bill, the lawmaker told reporters she would happily continue talking about her satirical bill each time Republicans chastise her over it."Women's health in particular is a target," she said. "It's important that everybody stands up." will contain scientific information that must be verified and supported by research that is recognized as medically accurate, objective, and complete by the National Institutes of Health and affiliated organizations. The booklet must contain medical information related to the benefits and concerns of a man seeking a vasectomy, Viagra prescription, or a colonoscopy. The booklet must contain artistic illustrations of each procedure.   Continue reading...

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