Don't spill Texas seed

Cindy Beringer explains why a satirical bill in Texas may not be so satirical.

Texas State Rep. Jessica FarrarTexas State Rep. Jessica Farrar

TEXAS LAWMAKERS who propose legislation restricting women's right to abortion could see their right to masturbate taken away--with a new bill that uses their own language against them.

State Rep. Jessica Farrar from Houston recently filed House Bill (HB) 4260, which would institute a $100 fine each time a man engages in masturbation, an act which extreme abortion opponents consider to be a crime against an unborn child and a failure to preserve the sanctity of life.

The bill also establishes a 24-hour waiting period for elective vasectomy or colonoscopy procedures or for Viagra prescriptions. A rectal exam must be performed before administering either procedure or prescribing Viagra--an exam that the bill acknowledges is medically unnecessary.

The other name for HB 4260 is "A Man's Right to Know," a title inspired by "A Woman's Right to Know," a booklet that Texas doctors are required by law to provide a patient seeking an abortion. In one section, the booklet for women lists "Breast Cancer Risk" as a potential danger of abortion, something that actual scientific research has debunked.

Farrar's bill requires a booklet for men similar to the women's booklet, and it "must contain artistic illustrations of each procedure."

According to the bill, the Texas Health Department must provide abstinence counseling, and doctors must champion "fully abstinent sexual relations or occasional masturbatory emissions inside health care and medial facilities, as a means of the healthiest way to ensure men's health."

As is the case with the anti-abortion regulations, according to the anti-masturbation bill, doctors have the right "to invoke their moralistic or religious beliefs in refusing to perform any elective procedures."

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ALTHOUGH MEMBERS of the media and Farrar refer to HB 4260 as satire intended to point out the insulting nature of Texas' abortion restrictions, there's much in the bill that's in line with the agenda of the rabid theocracy that has ruled over the state of Texas for many generations.

Students of theology have spent centuries pondering whether early Christian pundit Thomas Aquinas considered masturbation worse than rape or incest. The verdict is still out.

The crime of masturbation is codified in the book of Genesis. Onan had been ordered by Judah, the founder of the Israelite tribe of the same name, to impregnate Onan's brother's wife so his brother could have offspring. Knowing it wouldn't be his kid, Onan "wasted his seed on the ground."

This seed spilling was displeasing to God, so he zapped Onan, thus proving centuries before the appearance of Christ that masturbation was a deadly sin. Apparently extra-marital sex in the interest of child swapping is okay.

The Texas theocratic reign of terror has twisted ancient Biblical scriptures to stick their fingers into human sexual activity in many bizarre ways.

Before having an abortion, women in Texas must have a trans-vaginal ultrasound while they listen to the fetal heartbeat. A Texas judge recently blocked a rule that would require abortion clinics to bury or cremate fetal remains from abortions and miscarriages. Both procedures are expensive, not to mention insulting.

An anti-abortion priority for the current session of the Texas legislature was removing "wrongful birth" as a justification for medical malpractice lawsuits. Wrongful birth refers to cases where doctors could be sued for malpractice if they fail to warn parents of a genetic disability before birth or fail to advise parents that abortion is an option in such cases.

Opponents of the bill say it gives doctors the right to lie to their patients and prevents them from making informed decisions.

The anti-abortion groups argue that the bill would prevent doctors' lying to their patients to avoid litigation The bill's author, Texas State Sen. Brandon Creighton, doesn't believe that any births are "wrongful."

The Senate State Affairs Committee unanimously passed the bill and sent it on for consideration by the full Senate.

Seven states have passed "wrongful birth" lawsuits. In Texas such lawsuits are extremely rare, "almost non-existent" according to one source.

Texas Senate Bill 415 targets second-trimester abortion procedures that anti-abortion forces call "dismemberment abortions." Lubbock Sen. Charles Perry argues that his bill doesn't ban the procedure, it just requires the fetus to be dead first. According to abortion rights advocates, the current procedure is the safest for the woman.

Meanwhile, with many issues including school funding and crumbling infrastructure facing the Texas legislative session, Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick consume time on local media ranting and raving against abortion rights, transgender bathrooms and sanctuary cities.

Come to think of it, in light of the Texas legislature's current shenanigans, $100 fines for masturbation and mandatory rectal exams are beginning to sound quite reasonable.