"Fair’s fair" -- that’s the tone of a new bill just introduced at the Texas Capitol last week that would regulate the very personal lives of men.
According to State Rep. Jessica Farrar, a Democrat, HB 4260 is a satirical bill. However, she wants it to send a serious message about the inequities in the laws that regulate men's and women's health.
“The state of Texas has interfered with the doctor-patient relationship,” Farrar said, addressing what she considers too much regulation of women’s health. “My Republican colleagues believe this is the direction we need to be moving in, so I'm saying that it's got to stop and the only way to stop it is to bring attention to these issues."
Her proposal would add a lot of rules for men considering a vasectomy, colonoscopy or Viagra prescription. For example, it creates an informational booklet called "A Man's Right to Know." Like the existing "A Woman's Right to Know," doctors would be required to review it with patients.
HB 4260 doesn't stop there. It also mandates rectal exams and MRIs for any man who wants a vasectomy, colonoscopy or Viagra prescription, enforces a 24-waiting period on those actions and allows a doctor to refuse to perform any men's health procedure due to "personal, moralistic or religious beliefs."
There is also a proposed $100 fine for a man's masturbatory emissions, "considered an act against an unborn child."
As news of the bill spread across the state and country, Farrar said she’s received a lot of support from women and men. Some, though, have pointed out that her bill is a waste of time and money.
“Oh, let me tell you about that. I agree that the things the legislature is working on is a waste of time and money,” she said, adding that instead of focusing on regulating women’s bodies, lawmakers should work on reforming Child Protective Services.
Farrar said she knows her bill won't pass but adds it already succeeded in her mind.
“My hope is that it generates a conversation, and I think it's already done that quite a bit,” she said.
KHOU 11 reached out to Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who've supported some of the women's health laws at which HB 4260 is aimed. Neither responded to our request for comment.