On Monday, state Rep. Lisa Heddens, D-Ames, along with her Democratic colleague Bruce Hunter of Des Moines, introduced a tongue-in-cheek “Man’s Right to Know Act” amendment to a GOP bill that would ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy.
The amendment has also been introduced in Texas and mocks controversial Woman’s Right to Know Acts passed by conservative lawmakers in several states that require women to be told information about alternatives to abortion and subjected to invasive and humiliating exams before undergoing the procedure in an effort to deter them from doing so.
Heddens’ amendment includes stipulations requiring the state Department of Public Health to distribute educational booklets with information for men seeking elective vasectomy or colonoscopy procedures or erectile dysfunction services that include an “artistic illustration of each procedure.” It also includes protections for physicians who refuse to perform vasectomies or dole out boner pills because of their religious beliefs.
The amendment would also hit men with a $100 fine each time they produced “masturbatory emissions” for non-procreative purposes “outside of a health or medical facility registered with the department of public health.” Chronic masturbaters would be considered guilty of committing an “act against an unborn child” and failing “to preserve the sanctity of life” for each offense. If someone were to walk in on a man choking his chicken, they could take him to court under the proposal and, if they prevail, force him to fork over $5,000 to a Department of Public Health family planning fund.
For men who can’t get their desires under control, the amendment would also provide assistance for them through hospitals and nonprofits they could visit to ensure that their jizz would be safely preserved for future procreative use.
The 20-week abortion ban bill, which was passed by the state Senate March 14 by a 32-17 vote, is being debated on the House floor this evening, where Hunter just quoted the song “Every Sperm Is Sacred” from Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life. A significantly more restrictive personhood bill that would have defined a human life as beginning at the moment of conception died in a Senate committee last month.
Heddens’ fellow Ames Democrat in the House, Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, has also introduced several amendments to the bill intended to ensure continued contraceptive access; exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother; and protection against penalties for accidental termination of a fetus.