Iowa Legislator Proposes “Masturbatory Emissions” Fine

Iowa State Representative Lisa Heddens of Ames is simply looking to achieve “equality” in Iowa’s laws on men and women’s health procedures with a new amendment she proposed to Republicans’ 20-week abortion ban. Heddens is encouraging her colleagues to pass her “Men’s Right to Know Act,” which would allow doctors to refuse prescribing erectile dysfunction drugs on moral grounds, require rectal exams for men seeking such medication, and impose an $100 fine on every “masturbatory emission.”

It’s all in response to a series of Republican bills this session designed to vastly restrict women’s healthcare options, abortion rights and funding for Planned Parenthood.

“With the number of pieces of legislation that have been sponsored this year in regards to women’s health and women’s reproductive rights, I’m focusing on equality,” Heddens told Starting Line. “We need to be looking at men’s health and potential reproductive capacity. It’s basically a statement saying we need to look at both parties involved.”

Heddens’ amendment to Senate File 471 would have given the state of Iowa sweeping new powers in regulating mens’ reproductive healthcare options. Much like Republicans’ attempts to allow doctors or employers to refuse birth control to women based on their religious beliefs, Heddens aims to have the same standards apply to men.

“[E]nsure a physician’s right to invoke personal, moral, or religious beliefs in refusing to perform an elective vasectomy or colonoscopy or to provide erectile dysfunction services, including prescriptions for erectile dysfunction drugs,” read her amendment.

It would also have added additional steps to men’s healthcare consultations with their doctors, mandating a new booklet that doctors would discuss with their patients, which “shall include, as applicable, an artistic illustration of each procedure.” Men would need to sign a form acknowledging they had received the information.

Most importantly, the legislation would have imposed a $100 fine on every “masturbatory emission” that was not done in pursuit of creating a baby.

“A male who releases masturbatory emissions outside of a health or medical facility registered with the department of public health, with the intent that the masturbatory emission be used for a purpose other than procreation, is subject to a civil penalty of one hundred dollars for each such emission, and such act shall be considered an act against an unborn child and failure to preserve the sanctity of life,” Heddens proposed.

However, a hospital or private nonprofit organization could have created a program to help men produce such “masturbatory emissions” in a regulated, observed environment. Those programs would need to be registered with the state public health department and would “be required to provide for storage of any masturbatory emissions to be used only for the future purpose of procreation.”

Clearly, it might be difficult to enforce such fines, so Heddens also proposed essentially a “see something, say something” provision.

“Any person witnessing the release of a masturbatory emission by a male in violation of this section may maintain a cause of action against the male as an act against an unborn child and failure to preserve the sanctity of life,” the amendment read. “If the plaintiff prevails in an action brought under this section, the defendant shall pay a civil penalty of five thousand dollars to be remitted to the department of public health to be used as  provided in subsection 3.”

Finally, in a nod to other states’ efforts to impose transvaginal ultrasounds for women seeking an abortion, Heddens sought to require extra medical procedures for men.

“[A]dminister a digital rectal exam and magnetic resonance imaging of the rectum before performing an elective vasectomy or colonoscopy procedure on the male patient or providing a service or prescription to a male patient to address erectile dysfunction,” her legislation proposed.

None of this was expected to pass. And it’s all similar to legislation Democrats introduced in protest in Texas last month. But pro-choice advocates in Iowa are fed up after multiple attempts by Iowa Republican to use their new majorities to defund Planned Parenthood and impose new abortion restriction bans.

“In my opinion it’s not my place to arbitrarily set a timeline for her,” Heddens said. “I think it’s something that needs to be discussed between her, her physician, her spouse or partner or family or minister, whomever she prefers to consult with. It’s not for the Legislature to interfere in … I think people are taking notice and rising up and saying enough is enough.”

This evening Heddens spoke in favor of her amendment on the Iowa House floor during the debate over the 20-week abortion ban, but withdrew it with unanimous consent instead of giving a chance to be voted on. Before that happened, however, Democratic Representative Bruce Hunter of Des Moines gave opening comments in support of it, quoting Monty Python’s Every Sperm Is Sacred song.

“The next section is so important, masturbatory emissions,” Hunter said in the House chambers. “The reason we feel this is important can probably best be summed up by the words of Michael Palin and Terry Jones when they declared that ‘every sperm is sacred, every sperm is great. If a sperm is wasted, God gets quite irate. Let the heathens spill theirs on dusty ground. God shall make them pay for each sperm that cannot be found. Every sperm is wanted. Every sperm is good. Every sperm is needed in your neighborhood.'”

A “fetal heartbeat” amendment, introduced by a Republican legislator, which would effectively ban nearly all abortions after six weeks, was withdrawn as well. Still, the 20-week abortion ban is expected to pass tonight and be signed into law by Governor Terry Branstad.


by Pat Rynard
Posted 4/4/17

11 Comments on "Iowa Legislator Proposes “Masturbatory Emissions” Fine"

  • I heartily endorse Representative Hedden’s amendment to SF 471. One more provision must be added. The state of Iowa must withdraw all funding to any medical facility currently providing any reproductive services to men. Equality is the rock hard foundation of our democracy. We must erect a legislative agenda to stand up and raise this sacred principle to new heights.

  • I agree too! I am tired of having to be the responsible one when it comes to birth control and the government doing what they can to stop me from controlling my own body. I say lets do something to the men since they are the ones doing the impregnating. If you cut their ability off till they are responsible adults women wouldn’t have to worry about birth control.

  • Perhaps this lady should take Human Biology 101. Her example doesn’t quite get there. Life begins at conception.

  • According to who? You? Please stop assuming you have any standing in my decisions about my medical decisions–or let me make it super simple for you–I will keep track of my parts and you concentrate on yours.

  • Is she Jewish? Not spilling your seed is straight from Rabbinic commentary on Torah! Kudos to her!

  • I find her proposed legislation disgusting. This congresswoman and this article are totally excluding the trans community as if they don’t exist. Your sex is based on YOUR state of mind, LISA. How dare you say women don’t have a CHOICE?! Humans have been gender fluid since the beginning of time, and if you don’t like what you’re born with, guess what sweetheart? You..can…change it!!

  • This is how sad and pathetic the Democrats have become. Is it any wonder, really, that they continue to get their clock cleaned at the ballot box?? Keep up the protesting and pushing this insanity, and the Republicans will keep controlling the Presidency, the House, the Senate, the Courts, most Statehouses and most Governorships. I guess for that reason, I can salute you Lisa Heddens and applaud your idiocy! Keep it coming….(pun intended)

  • What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Well done , Rep. Heddens.

    The Monty Python bit is on another plane and not germane.

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