Georgia Democrats propose limitations on vasectomies for men
State Rep. Yasmin Neal's bill comes in response to an abortion-restrictions bill that Georgia legislators are considering.
February 21st, 2012
06:23 PM ET

Georgia Democrats propose limitations on vasectomies for men

As members of Georgia’s House of Representatives debate whether to prohibit abortions for women more than 20 weeks pregnant, House Democrats  introduced their own reproductive rights plan: No more vasectomies that leave "thousands of children ... deprived of birth."

Rep. Yasmin Neal, a Democrat from the Atlanta suburb of Jonesboro, planned on Wednesday to introduce HB 1116, which would prevent men from vasectomies unless needed to avert serious injury or death.

The bill reads: "It is patently unfair that men avoid the rewards of unwanted fatherhood by presuming that their judgment over such matters is more valid than the judgment of the General Assembly. ... It is the purpose of the General Assembly to assert an invasive state interest in the reproductive habits of men in this state and substitute the will of the government over the will of adult men."

“If we legislate women’s bodies, it’s only fair that we legislate men’s,” said Neal, who said she wanted to write bill that would generate emotion and conversation the way anti-abortion bills do. “There are too many problems in the state. Why are you under the skirts of women? I’m sure there are other places to be."

Personally, Neal said, she has no qualms with vasectomies.

“But even if it were proposed as a serious issue,” she said, “it’s still not my place as a woman to tell a man what to do with his body."

The anti-vasectomy bill was a response to a bill that would punish abortions performed after the 20th week of pregnancy with prison sentences between one and 10 years. Georgia law currently prohibits abortion after the second trimester, except to preserve the life and health of the mother. Neal's bill borrows some language directly from the anti-abortion bill.

The anti-abortion bill makes exceptions to avert death or “serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function” of the mother, but doesn’t include “diagnosis or claim of a mental or emotional condition.” If an abortion occurs after the 20th week, the bill requires doctors to attempt to deliver a living baby.

Earlier discussions about the bill have been “outstanding,” said Rep. Doug McKillip, a Republican from Athens, Georgia, who introduced the anti-abortion bill this month. He said legislators are “drilling down" on questions about when a fetus can feel pain and what exceptions can allow abortions later in pregnancy, and he expects more testimony late this week.

“I’m just disappointed in my colleague, that they would take this opportunity to make light of a very important topic,” McKillip said. “I believe this is a serious topic deserving of serious debate. It feels like a poor attempt at humor.”

Neal said she's serious about making legislators recognize women's rights to make private decisions about their bodies.

"I hope that through the madness this has caused, it gets him to understand where the woman is coming from," she said. "There are a number of women in other states trying the same ploys we’re trying here."

Earlier this month, Democratic Oklahoma Sen. Constance Johnson added then withdrew a provision to an anti-abortion bill that read "any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman's vagina shall be interpreted and construed as an action against an unborn child." The state Senate passed the bill this month.

In January, as the Virginia state Senate debated a bill that required women to have an ultrasound before an abortion, Democrat Janet Howell attached an amendment that required men to have rectal exams and cardiac stress tests before they could receive prescriptions for erectile dysfunction medication like Viagra. The amendment was rejected in the Senate, 21-19.

CNN affiliate WAVY reported that hundreds gathered this week to protest the ultrasound bill,  which is up for a vote in Virginia's House of Delegates, and another that says life begins at conception.

On the Georgia House floor, Neal doesn't anticipate her anti-vasectomy bill will generate much serious debate.

"If it moves anywhere," she said, "that’ll be a very interesting day."

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Filed under: Abortion • Georgia • Health • Politics
soundoff (1,942 Responses)
  1. clnee55

    what a childish act.

    February 22, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Bahoola

    Ok, I am really not understanding this. A vasectomy would be a male equivalent to a tubal ligation not an abortion. If she is trying to stir up discussion about abortion then I don't get it. Is she saying that she also wants to restrict tubal ligations for women or only vasectomies for men.

    February 22, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Who

      It is a tongue-in-cheek bill meant to point out that trying to legislate reproductive rights is foolish. My god some of you people are incredibly stupid.

      February 22, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • bczu

      They are trying to show you how absurd it is to let the government decide what a person can do to THEIR body.

      February 22, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  3. Sunflower

    I applaud the effort to show just how RIDICULOUS it is to legislate ANYTHING having to do with reproduction period. This sarcastic house bill was a brilliant way to illustrate the absurdity of all this and violation of rights. Stay out of my private business, stay out of my bedroom, stay out of my body and stay out of my privates!!!

    February 22, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dari

      What's ridiculous is your lack of understanding that a vasectomy is nothing like an abortion. You people make me sad- this country needs a real education system. At least teach common sense. This fool doesn't make any type of valid point- except wasting time and taxpayer money like the rest of them.

      February 22, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • ck2025

      Exactly. I can't believe some people on here really think this is legit. may seem ridiculous...but when you think of government trying to impose restrictions on a woman's right to puts this anti-abortion tyranny into perspective.

      February 22, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Who

      The point is that LEGISLATING abortion is similar to LEGISLATING vasectomies in that the state should not be involved in either choice. Why you sick people want to eliminate abortion so more unwanted children born to parents that don't want them is unforgivable. What do you think happens to these children? You religious people are sick.

      February 22, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Primewonk

      @ Dari – the point is – there are some ignorant fundiots who would ban ALL forms of contraception(for women)

      February 22, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Dari

      Banning contraception is a far cry from banning abortion. Two totally different subjects. And as an fyi- I am for abortion, I think that it's a womans right to choose. I just don't think that this idiot made any points here short of making her look ignorant. Way to score one for the democrats.

      February 22, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • schuyler

      Writing Draconian anti-woman anti-choice bills is a waste of taxpayer money too.

      Sane Taxpayer

      February 22, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dari

    I think it's hilarious that a black woman wants men to have more children. Money on the fact that she most likely doesn't know her own father.

    February 22, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dari

      In addition- since when is a vasectomy equivalent to an abortion. Geez- how do these animals get elected. Ever heard of "having your tubes tied", it's called a tubal ligation- and it's accepted.

      February 22, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Who

      She doesn't want men to have more children. You totally miss the point. You crazy religious zealots are going to be the death of us all with your stupidity.

      February 22, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • judi

      ever heard of sarcasm?

      February 22, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Dari

      I get the point "Who", "It is patently unfair that men avoid the rewards of unwanted fatherhood by presuming that their judgment over such matters is more valid than the judgment of the General Assembly".

      Do you read? Perhaps it should have been presented more professionally. It's called inverse logic- read about it.

      February 22, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • BJB

      Sounds like a racist comment.

      February 22, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Who

      If you get the point, why did you make your semi-racist comment misrepresenting her position. Please explain it to us.

      February 22, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Ronald

      This is the case of one immature, sarcastic action deserving another.

      February 22, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Dari, in your case we will make an exception.
      Please get a vasectomy before you pass that mental dissabillity on to a child

      February 22, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Dari

      Who- because it's the TRUTH. It's a FACT. Her idiotic proposal deserved an idiotic response. I won't back down from facts- see the link I posted.

      February 22, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Carrie

      You should probably read the entire article before you make ignorant and oblivious comments. First, the Representative is proposing this bill in response to the fact that the government is trying to dictate what a woman can do with her own body. It's sarcasm. Check it out; clever people use it from time to time to make a point. Secondly, saying she probably doesn't know who her father is because she's black is not just mildly racist, it's completely mind-blowing stupid. But, please keep up your debate skills. You make it all too easy to shut you down.

      February 22, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  5. deathwombat

    Ironically, this bill is likely to get broad support from men across the state. "Sorry honey, I can't get a vasectomy now that they're illegal. Looks like you're getting your tubes tied!"

    February 22, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. BeccaE77

    I think it is funny how mad the men are when the is a proposed law to legislate their reproductive rights. Ha! It's fine when a womens reproductive rights are legislated, but not for men. So many people are taking this as serious legislation, she only did it to make a point.

    February 22, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. justDad

    I really think abortion or vasectomy is completely up to the individual. Personally I think abortion is killing an unborn human, and that issue is going before the supreme court, values have been screwed up by liberals wanting things both ways, but they do not stand up for the unborn. If they want to kill their own childrenfor the time being then fine, but quit lying about where the funding comes from, analysis of planned parenthoods annual report reveals that 90% of what they do is abortion related , we may not fund the procedure but we fund everything but the procedure and that is deciet. STop the funding. Let them pay to murder their own young.

    February 22, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • TexasCatholic

      I agree....abortion is murder....stop kidding yourselves.

      February 22, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Carrot Cake Man

      It's WAY too late for anti-abortion types to criticize the majority of Americans who support legal, safe abortions because we know the only alternative, what anti-abortion types are really trying to get, is botched back room abortions and butchered American women–what we had in the US before legal, safe abortion. we know anti-abortion types spit out HATE SPEECH they know will cause assassins to rise from their ranks to MURDER doctors, like how Dr. Tiller was murdered in cold blood in his church. Face the fact, anti-abortion types, we all know you have NO values.

      February 22, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • KateB

      er, 3% of Planned Parenthood's services are are incorrect. That 90% has been dissproven again and again.

      February 22, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      you can't be anti-choice when it comes to abortion and be anti-choice on contraceptives too.

      Men are notorious for getting some woman pregnant and skipping out. (deadbeat dads)

      who gives the government control over the right to choose contraception or not. That is betewwn a woman and her doctor

      February 22, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Who

      Abortion is murder? Not according to the laws of the USA. If you don't like it, get out of my country. The rest of us will continue without you.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Taroya

    Too bad it won't go anywhere. It makes every bit as much sense as a man telling me whether or not I will have this kid, and then taking off because he doesn't want the responsibility, and not paying child support because he thinks it is too expensive, and not really his problem anyway. After all, even if court-ordered, are they going to throw him in jail for it?

    Why is it always a woman's fault, anyway? Men don't have sufficient self-control to keep it zipped? Or maybe they are held at gunpoint and told to get it up or else?

    How many times have you men lied just so you could get your nuts off? Masturbation doesn't work for you?

    February 22, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. james

    Why should women have ANY legal exit to pregnancy when men don't? I seriously can't believe the ProLife crowd hasn't figured this angle out yet. Let me guess: because it's "her body" ???

    I mean, it's "her body" when we're deciding medical matters.. but suddenly it's "our baby" when financial matters come into play? Uh, you can't have it both ways ladies. You want to be strong? Independent? You want to run the country and wear the big pants? Fine, then suck it up and take care of "your body" then. If you want the baby, pay for it. Let the man legally exit. Keep your choice. Keep your abortions. Just give me a choice too.

    February 22, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob

      if she has the choice to have an abortion, She wont have an unwanted child and you wont pay for it.
      you have the choice to not get her pregnant if you don't want to support a child. use a condom

      February 22, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  10. Ronald

    Getting a vascetomy does not kill another living being. Abortion does. There is a little bit of a difference there. She might as well say that if your ejaculation has 1,000,000 sperm and only 1 finds an egg, that you have prevented 999,999 children the right to live.

    Congratulations on the people of Georgia for electing someone who wastes legislative time with this garbage.

    Regardless, anyone with any kind of surgical experience could easily and safely perform their own vascetomy in the privacy of their bedroom. I did my own in less than 10 minutes.

    February 22, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • doc is a waste of legislative time to propose legislation on an already workable and acceptable law- the right for a woman to choose. Get your hands off of women's bodies. Men have NO right to tell a woman what to do with her body.

      February 22, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Ronald

      I don't think anyone is telling a woman what to do with her body. They are just asking her not to murder another one.

      February 22, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • doc did your own vasectomy? Really...... you are definitely a candidate for the Darwin award. At least you won't reproduce anymore! GEEZ!

      February 22, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Carrot Cake Man

      No matter how many times anti-abortion nuts scream that abortion is "murder," we all know it's a safe medical procedure.

      February 22, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Ronald

      After 5 kids, I don't need to reproduce any more. And I am completely qualified to perform my own vascetomy and trust myself to do the procedure without a "mishap" a lot more than anyone else.

      February 22, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • parmel

      A "doctor" who performed a vasectomy on himself? Not believable. The writer is not a doctor nor is he even a good liar.

      February 22, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      In the first trimester there is no human life. just a clump of reproducing cells, Just like a tumor.

      and if you want no abortion how come you guys are also fighting Contraception which would eliminate unwanted pregnancy and abortions ?

      February 22, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alyssa

      What makes your zygotes any less alive than a fertilized egg?

      February 24, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  11. fcarr

    Interesting (serious or not) that she wants to impose (sterilaization) on men but not women. I contend that if a women can chose to terminate an unwanted pregnancy than a man should have the same right to do so, given this has a direct and dramatic impact of his life. A significant number of men are forced to suffer emotionally and financially due to unwanted pregnancies.

    February 22, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Taroya

      Before or after a woman makes her choice?

      I think that a man's first choice is whether to zip or unzip. He already had his say.

      February 22, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Taroya

      What if he wants the kid and she doesn't? Is he going to be a single dad?

      What if she does and he doesn't? Does that absolve him from responsibility all of a sudden?

      February 22, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Jerry

      A woman has that same zip or unzip choice. So to that point they are even.

      February 22, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Louis

      I think that if a man wants a child and a woman doesn't, he can raise it as a single dad, without financial support. As long as the same is true for a woman who has a child that a man does not want.

      February 22, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Taroya

      Louis: Agreed!

      February 22, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • dabble53

      You read it wrong. She's not forcing sterilization, she's prohibiting it.

      February 22, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  12. hmmmm

    Wow this is dumb. Equivalence much? Ladies...go ahead and get your tubes tied, nobody cares...even the pro-life folks. Comparing vasectomies to abortions is like comparing healthy eating to liposuction.

    February 22, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • doc

      DUH!!! it isn't the procedure we are comparing is the practice and policy of men telling women what they can and cannot do with their bodies. Pay attention!!!

      February 22, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • hmmmm

      Cool dude. So a pregnant woman's attacked, loses the baby she's dreamed about having her whole life, and oh wait...too bad 'bout the kid, assault charges only? Doesn't work that way in most states. In most states, that's a homicide, depending on the situation. New situation...same woman, same baby, but this time she just doesn't want to have to deal with it. No problem...abortion. Totally cool. It just doesn't add up.

      February 22, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Who

      You are right hmmm. It is much better that the woman give birth to a child she doesn't want. That way both the child and mother can be miserable for the rest of their lives. God would want it that way.*

      * This is sarcasm.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. doc

    If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament of the church!!!

    February 22, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Primewonk

    TexasCatholic wrote, "I agree....abortion is murder....stop kidding yourselves"

    Cool. In that case, you have a huge problem.

    Your version of a god claims omnipotence and omniscience, stating that he knew you before he formed you in the womb. In that case, your version of a god is personally responsible for all spontaneous abortions. This could be up to 50% of all pregnancies – most before the woman even knows she is preggers.

    Why are you not charging your god with genocide?

    February 22, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Darren94

      I don't think you can compare death by natural causes to the willful killing of another life. That is no different than saying that a 80 year old man that dies of old age is the same as an 80 year old man who is beheaded by an axe wielding psycho.

      February 22, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      You know exactly what Primewonk is talking about.
      Don't be disegenous.
      If God lets 50% of the souls he supposedly knows spontaneously abort, what does that say about said God?

      February 22, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. GomezAddams

    This is so awesome!!! I'm proud of the Democrats for fighting stupid with stupid. The Christian Taliban and Republicans must be stopped – if it means calling out how idiodic their proposals are by creating equally idiodic ones – so be it. Fight on!!!

    February 22, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • doc

      BINGO!!!! I agree!!!

      February 22, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
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