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 (1,943 Responses)
  1. Keepthemout

    comparing Vesectomies to Abortions has to be the dumbest thing I have ever heard of....Apples and oranges.

    February 22, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Keepthemout

      vesectomy = hesterectomy
      vesectomy abortion
      georgia democrats = dumb

      February 22, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • TheFamousChris

      Hahahaha, I think it's AMAZING :D

      February 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • seter

      Nope..totally valid and glad she did it. It's about control. Ever see that Monty Python spoof "every sperm is sacred"??? We should start taking that very seriously! For every drop that doesn't lead to a child..there should be jail time!

      February 22, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      And compareing Access to Contraceptives to abortion is just as stupid
      but isn't that what the catholic church is doing wit the full voice of the republicans.

      Point is that a woman or a man should have the right to decide these things not the government

      February 22, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. skategirlq

    YOU GO GIRL!! Give those wretched politicians a taste of their own medicine. I hope John Steward picks up on this bill.

    February 22, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • jcam

      Why is this newsworthy, there is an undeniably huge distincition between a procedure that prevents conception and one that is post conception. Stupid liberals, this is not even a close comparison.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. The Rev. Kevin A. Robbins

    Birth control is a responsible social and spiritual choice. The fact that legislators want to remove what is ultimately the least invasive, single most effective method does not represent a spiritual ideation, but a political agenda. Any politician who can support this legislation while uttering anything about freedom is grossly hypocritical. This is about the state controlling the lives of the people. China has been controlling reproductive freedom for decades in the opposite way. How many here have decried their efforts as draconian.

    February 22, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Mgfx

      Read the article one more time... it's not a serious bill, it's meant to point out the hypocrisy of legislating what women can do with their bodies but not men. From the article: "...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."

      February 22, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Katie

    Interesting argument. I would also say that Viagra be outlawed. If men cannot perform, they should accept it as God's will.

    February 22, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Knucklhead

      Someone, I believe in Texas, tried to get something passed that would force men to have a prostate and full medical exam before being prescribed Viagra. It was in response to a bill that forces women to watch an ultrasound at their cost before getting an abortion. I like the approach. Keep it up, girls.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • SR8CReliant

      I love it !!! You are so right! I think it should be illegal for men over 65 to get ED pills since it can be proven that sperm of men that age can result in birth defects. Besides which, at my age, I'm tired of the old fart not letting me get any sleep.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gene

      LOVE IT! LOVE IT! LOVE IT!

      February 22, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Garden Lobster

    The two are not equivalent. Vasectomies and tubal ligation are sterilization procedures. Abortion is an invasive termination to a life. It should NEVER be used as birth control. That's what birth control is for – to PREVENT pregnancy, not end it because you decided to be irresponsible. Yeah we live in an instant gratification society, but look where lack of foresight has gotten our economy! You can't punish or cause pain to another human because you "oopsed" – that's wreckless endangerment and manslaughter outside the womb. Self defense is one thing, but killing someone so you don't have to deal with them is murder. The difference is a few months of age. I'm sorry, but this legislation is a waste of taxpayer money and correlates two unrelated medical procedures in some extreme misguided satire.

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

      Agreed!

      February 22, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • robin

      No one uses abortion as BIRTH CONTROL. That argument has to stop right now.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      If one doesn't grasp the concept of what this woman is doing, one shouldn't comment.
      If one is not female, one should not have a say in legislation of any sort concerning females reproduction.
      Period.
      Pun intended.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. doc

    This whole argument (choice vs. no choice) and men's participation in it is just their way of gaining some power and control over women because men lack a womb.... no way....ever...that they could ever have a baby. Women don't need men to have babies anymore...nothing more than a sperm donation needed. Men can't stand the fact that women have the ability to give life to another. So, they want to insert themselves again into the equation.... Men, women do not need you! Get over it.

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

      The X chromosome is dying out and will not exist in another 200,000 years or so. No men, then.

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

      Sorry, Y chromosome is dying out. = no men

      February 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • doc

      Yep. The huwoman race just needs to develop the technology to keep sperm donations viable for eons....and we are set!!!

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

      Well since the worl is going to end in Dec. this year who cares. They will still be argueing till then

      February 22, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alyssa

      @momoya, though it is true that the Y chromosome has degraded significantly in over millions of years of our evolution, recent studies by scientists on this matter suggest that the Y chromosome's shedding of genetic material has seen to have stopped.

      February 24, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mgfx

    The comments here just back up what I thought while reading this article: those at whom the irony of this bill is aimed are just too stupid to get it. There's simply no way to get through to these people, and cleverness in any form is certainly not going to do the trick.

    February 22, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  8. Kenneth Porter

    This woman has been drinking too much of the koolaid. I have never heard of anything as outrageous as this.

    February 22, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • doc

      Really? Nothing as outrageous as this? How about men proposing legislation to prevent a woman from choosing to have or not have a baby?

      February 22, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jane

      They aren't doing that. That's just how your phrasing it to whine about your want of killing things. Any woman can have an abortion. Would you like it if they could kill children too, I think you would.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Jane, look up irony.
      Then get back to us.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Keepthemout

    vesectomy = hesterectomy
    vesectomy abortion
    georgia democrats = dumb

    February 22, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Keepthemout

      speaking of dumb cnn does not allow the 'does not equal" sign

      February 22, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ugottabekidding

    I knew this was coming.. first they want to retrict what women do with their bodies and now men Roe-v-Wade will continue to haunt our nation.. No one has ANYright to tell a Woman or Man what to do with their bodies... If PRO lifers are so adamant about the life of an unborn, then they should feed the child care for it, and educate it for its first 18 years... Lets see how that goes... Too many children are born to unwanting parents that should have gone thru an abortion.(Sad yes..but true).. If the social services system was not so ridicuously convoluted, then adoptions would flurish...instead its not about the welfare of a human being, but about how much money can be sucked out of a couple who deperately wants a child. A person wanting an abortion is being responsible even though they did not take the measures to prevent the pregnancy.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • robin

      This isn't serious, it's meant to as a response to the Birth Control legislation.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Brian K

    A vasectomy limit would be the same as a tubal ligation limit. It's not the same as an abortion limit (which I disagree with BTW), so these politicians are off the mark - as usual.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. sillybean

    ...a group of men dictating what a population of women can/cannot do inside their uteri...As soon as they give me rule over their testicles, I'll allow them to vote on my girly bits... GROW up America and mind your own private parts!!!!

    February 22, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Peter

    Hey Republicans: Stop your false accusations that Obama is trying to control everyone's life and GET THE HELL OUT OF MY BEDROOM!!!

    February 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jane

    Maybe she never heard of tubal ligation.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. dd

    Great idea! Let's castrate all Democrats and get this reproductive rights issue "fixed". Bill Clinton would have left a clean Oval Office floor! Obama is correct. Require all Democrat women to have abortions. Give all forms of contraceptives to Democrats. The fewer the better. This is just like a mosquito abatement program ;-)

    February 22, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alyssa

      Democrats are the only thing stopping Republicans from going hog wild and killing everyone and everything around them. It's in their nature to destroy.

      February 24, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
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