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We have to protect unborn children. Life is sacred. We must defend the sanctity of life. Or at least that’s the logic conservative lawmakers regularly invoke in their attempt to limit women’s control over their own bodies.

Texas Rep. Jessica Farrar (D) has introduced a satirical bill to the state legislature, turning this logic back against men by “creating a civil penalty for unregulated masturbatory emissions.”

“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, and failing to preserve the sanctity of life,” reads House Bill 4260.

The bill, titled the “Men’s Right to Know Act,” also requires men to wait at least 24 hours after a consultation before receiving an elective vasectomy, colonoscopy or Viagra prescription, mirroring a Texas law that forces women to have an ultrasound at least 24 hours before undergoing an abortion.

This extra 24 hours will also give men time to pursue the “Men’s Right to Know” booklet, a government-issued booklet explaining “medical information related to the benefits and concerns of a man seeking a vasectomy, Viagra prescription, or a colonoscopy” (as well as including artistic illustrations of each procedure; joy). Doctors are already legally required to give such a booklet (“A Women’s Right to Know”) to women seeking an abortion, treating women as if they couldn’t possibly already know they own needs.

If this all sounds familiar, it might be because women face such attacks on control of their own bodies on the reg. Or it could be because of this satirical French article that went viral in January, parodying the image of Trump signing an anti-abortion law surrounded exclusively by men.

"Breaking news: it is now forbidden to ejaculate outside of procreation in the United States," read the headline.

French article women ban masturbationImage via French feminist group “52” Facebook page

Rep. Farrar has gone and made this joke a reality. Well, almost. Farrar’s bill is not intended as serious, as much as a number of the men in the comments of the Texas Tribune believe it is (“False equivalence. Sperm cells are haploid and will not yield progeny without inseminating an egg. Women aren't fined for discarding unfertilized eggs so men shouldn't be fined for discarding semen,” wrote one man, who has definitely not read beyond the headline).

Farrar is trying to make a point, in response to the recent uptick in bills in Texas attacking a woman’s right to choose. She told the Texas Tribune: “What I would like to see is this make people stop and think. 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.”

One man has written a poem in response, because of course he has (I cannot for the life of me work out if it is satire).

Well there's some Lone Star State legislation
would put a tax on masturbation —
and I want to say that's just asking for a fight!

Those lawmakers better get a grip,
or some cowboy's going to flip —
they want to take away another right.

Be confused by the full poem here.

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/John Loo

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