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. Jane

    Its funny that feminists can't draw a good comparison of this, shows how out of touch with reality they are. A comparison to vasectomies is tubal ligation, not abortion. Abortion is after the fact. Feminists don't seem to get that your decisions got your there, not republicans. Republicans didn't force you to get pregnant. You can get condoms or birth control at any store where I live.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • DJL

      What you don't get is that this is irony. It's point to show that men are dictacting what women can do to their bodies. If MEN could get pregnant, abortions would be 100% legal in every state!

      February 22, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. desperado

    All this controversy would be avoided if women who do not want children would keep their damn legs closed!!

    February 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • ProgressiveMike

      "Just Say No", huh, desperado? And it's up to women to put limits on both their own and mens' libidos, I guess, huh? Yeah... if only they'd keep their damn legs closed, those damn women! You're a real peach, pal.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carrie

      In all truthful reality, it has little to do with the position of a woman's legs. And the same could be said that the man should keep it in his pants...however you don't hear that side of things nearly as oftent.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jane

      The truth hurts to most liberals. They say the same can be said about men, and it is said all the time. But if you didn't notice women have the last line of defense.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zowe

      Back to your cave!

      February 22, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • asdf

      Well its a good thing men don't get pregnant or abortion would be a sacrament.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • rapierpoint

      Carrie, I hear "keep it in your pants" about as often as "keep your legs crossed"

      February 22, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gellin

      A vasectomy is prior to conception...an abortion is after a life is already created, why is that so hard to understand? I think it's a joke to compare the two. I love how people would fight tooth and nail for a child a day old, but only a few months earlier it's considered waste. What a horrible world that we selfishly undo our own consequences so we do not have responsibilities! !

      February 22, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tanya

      Hey Moron...Keep it in your PANTS!!!

      February 22, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mihalyim

    Does this bill also stop Women from having their tubes tied or Ovaries removed?

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

      It's an attempt to show the MALE legislator that they are dictating to women what they can do to their bodies, since men cannot get pregnant, there was no other way to make an "apples-to-apples" comparison. If men COULD get pregnant, then abortion would be 100%, because MEN write the laws!

      February 22, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • rapierpoint

      Sorry, but the apples to apples comparison would be if legislation was introduced to ban tubal ligations.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      rapierwit:
      By that same token, men should have a say concerning women's CHOICES when they have all the same biological functions as a woman.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tanya

      The equivalent to tubes tied would be snip-snip....removing the ovaries is a hysterectomy. So possibly the male equivalent would be removal of the testicles. removing ovaries takes away the ability of the body to produce hormones...it is major surgery. Let's see how you would enjoy life without your hormones. You just don't get it!

      February 22, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. denim

    She should push this. I think we should push this on a nationwide basis.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. KC Frey

    IT IS MY BODY AND I WILL DO WITH IT WHAT I WANT AND HOW DARE ANYONE SAYS ANYTHING ELSE.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • R

      You are talking as if you live in free society. Sorry, this is christian Al Quaeda rule.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lars2012

      Good luck with that, KC. Now there's a Blunt amendment before Congress (supported by Scott Brown) that would let your EMPLOYER make decisions about what health care procedures they'd pay for. This has all jumped off the Insanity Cliff.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. joe

    This is just insane! At a time when we are in dire need of less government, this idiot drags the government into the bedroom! In another 50 years, if the population keeps growing, there won't be enough food to feed everyone! i say limit people to 1 child and if they want another one, adopt!

    February 22, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • lysander77

      You've obviously missed the point. Read again.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • rhs98

      So you think the government should stay out of our bedrooms but you are for the government limiting the number of children we may have?

      February 22, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Monika

    If she wanted to make a point, she should make vascetomies MANDATORY if the man is deemed unworthy of reproduction. This would cut down on the number of abortions and reduce the need for oral contaceptives. Of course this is not a dictatorship: the wife, the church and the man's doctor will be given a say in this. But not the man himself, since we can't expect a hormonal man to think rationally about his own self interests in this sort of situation. It would really drive home the "it's MY body" arguement for the people who just don't get it. (Because it's not their body.)

    February 22, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • KIlldeer

      Then just who's body is it?

      February 22, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • RN

      I heard that someone proposed having a basic intelligence test required in order to avoid a vasectomy.
      If you passed the test then you had a choice. If you failed the test you had to have the operation.
      This could help eliminate – or at least reduce the nuts out there.
      Unfortunately, when this was explored in more detail it had to be dropped. The sponsors were afraid it would be struck down because it targeted primarily republicans.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. YoursIsNoDisgrace

    We should ban Vasectomies because it is a sin in my religion. Since it offends ME then I will force everyone else not be able to get the procedure. BTW, I am not a Christian.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Lol.

      Nice nod to YES, BTW.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. TC

    Are we really heading towards a right-wing religious nutjob country? It's bad enough that losers like Santorum are running (and ahead in the polls). That just goes to show how many dumba$$es there are in this country.
    As a responsible, tax-paying and ethical man, I had a vasectomy at age 29. I had one daughter and always knew I wanted a one-child family. Not wanting to have my wife get her insides ripped out, I took a hit for the team and did the surgery. It was and still is the responsible thing to do. And now religion is being questioned out of this? This is why I can't stand these southern bible-belt idiots...I do believe in God but I don't go around screaming Jesus at the top of my lungs like the freaks they are. What do I think God wants? Caring, law-abiding and rational people, not mentally unstable losers, most of which are hypocrites anyways. What a total waste of time, energy and money even thinking about putting this bill out there. This is why I hate you stupid southern bible-beating inbred ignorant redneck white-trash morons with an IQ of less than 3 having anything to do with politics. I think the US should just officially separate the north from the south. The North (and CA) can be for smart people, the south for those who are mentally unstable.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      I don't think you were paying attention to her intent. If men can control what women do with their bodies then she's proposing what men can do with theirs. It's a protest bill.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • KIlldeer

      You give them more credit than they deserve. IQ of two steps below plant life comes to mind.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fran Marden

      I have lived in both the north and the south. . .believe me you are SO WRONG!! Everybody thinks that just because a few idiots (like the north doesn't have any) bring out something like this, that is the opinion of EVERYONE in the south. That just is not true at all. I am certainly glad that I have moved BACK to the south. Not that everybody in the north are dumb, stupid or whatever; but the people in the south sure are more friendly and care more about their fellow man. The north has their idiots just the same as the south, sorry to burst your bubble!

      February 22, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ak2k

    BRILLIANT!!!!!!! This should be persued to the highest level! AND Catholic hospitals should not perform nor allow their medical insurers to perform vasectomies! SUCK ON THAT BIGGOTS!!

    February 22, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • brunkst

      Catholic hospitals already don't perform vasectomies or tube ligation.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Fran Marden

    This is the MOST ridiculous thing that I have ever heard of! Abortion has nothing to do with preventing pregnancy in the first place. Abortion is about ending a life! Vasectomy is about preventing pregnancy. . .two completely different things. Wow, just when I thought our elected officials couldn't get any crazier they REALLY want to bring up something like this!

    February 22, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • ak2k

      In the eyes of the Catholic church – it's all the same. And this ALL stems from the same issue. Religious nuts trying to force their beliefs onto other people that don't share the same opinion.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • readagain

      you are missing the point. this is not a serious proposal......she is saying that if men can make laws about a woman, then women can do the same. obviously abortion and vasectomies are not the same, but i guess it is the closest comparison she could find. it is basically a way of showing how she feels about the anti abortion rules by drawing a comparison to gauge the reaction of males. it's kinda like the whole religious freedom argument. if someone says don't violate religious freedom, people applaud but if they say don't violate religious freedom for muslims they somehow look bad? it's sad that people can read this article and not understand it......or maybe they didn't read the whole thing.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fran Marden

      Readagain, I did read the article all the way through and I did understand it (I am not completely stupid)! However, I stand behind my comment! There is no comparison there. There are more similarities between a man murdering a newborn baby and abortion than the issue of vasectomy. After all, these two are the same thing. . .ending a life either way.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mel

    I don't understand why you would not come to the conclusion to terminate a pregnancy before the 20th week. I could feel my son move at 18 weeks. I think that 12 weeks is more than enough time to decide what to do. Better yet , make birth control more readily available and remove the necessity for an abortion except dire of cases!!
    It is not rocket science, folks! Keep your religion out of it!

    February 22, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alyssa

      Define "dire." I consider any situation where a woman's body must be misshapen and her internal organs rearranged so that she can spend 24 to 48 hours in extreme pain to be dire.

      February 24, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  13. nick

    This lady is wasting everyone's time with this stuff. A vasectomy prevents life that does not yet exist. An abortion terminates an existing life. Not the same thing. Both bad, in my opinion, but not the same.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Norm

    Our country moves closer and closer to Sharia law every day.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. George

    This is an apples and oranges comparison. Vascectomies compares with tube tying, pre-conception acts to prevent pregnancy, which there is no legislation against. The question is post conception, when there is a child. The argument is to limit abortions after this point to prevent "convenience" abortions, rather than health related. As far as separation of church and state, the bill is not dictating your beliefs, or telling you what to believe, it is simply protecting the rights of the child growing inside. The same people that fail to consider the rights of an unborn child are the same people that protect the rights of killer whales. Go figure.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • RN

      But, according to my religion, that fetus is NOT a child until it can live on its own outside the womb.
      So, yes, this DOES tell me what I am supposed to believe. It is forcing your belief of when life begins on me.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • George

      RN, I will concede the point that when a child is a child depends upon your religious belief. But comparing vasectomies to abortions is unequal. And considering that the government is dictating to private, religiously affiliated organizations that they must provide health care to fund abortions, the government is already violating religious freedom. Furthermore, the state is involved in enforcing monogamy, and making polygamy illegal, violating some other peoples religious freedoms. So can we only violate some religous freedoms and not others? Appreciate the challenging response.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
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