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. vernon

    Very cute, but let me state the obvious. Women can do the same thing with birth control surgery. Vasectomies and tubal ligations are about birth control. Abortion is about the ending of what some might call a human life. While the anti-abortion bill might be legislating women's bodies, it's also legislating a fetus's body. I don't know anybody who advocates abortion at 8 1'2 months. It's a question of timing.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. A Citizen

    You have got to be kidding. First, I believe in choice. Abortions should be legal up to 5 months. I am single no kids, because I am not selfish. I could barely take care of myself and I have a degree and good paying job. Raising kids in this world with so many crazy and inconsiderate people is nuts. I also say this because as a single male, I have to pay more taxes. People with kids, pay less. Not only that, their larger families use more of the infrastructure. For example, kids get free school (I support this), use our parks and all these things paid for by my taxes, not their parents that get a $3k or more credit per kid. Some couples can afford to raise kids without being a complete burden on society. However, there are many more that cannot and pop out kids every year, allowing them to become a burden on society. In the end, laws defining abortion and vasectomies should exist to make sure there is no abuse, but nothing should be on the books banning them.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Julie

    Let us also ban the use of Viagra and other such drugs. If it is God's will that a man cannot "get it up" in order to perform the function to create a child, then so be it.

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

      Viagra is not for men who want to have kids. Any male at a certain age has no problems reproducing. Viagra has nothing to do with it.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • AustinIsFull

      As well as invitro. If the good Lord thinks that you shouldn't have kids, then that is the lot you have been dealt. Never made sense to me anyway. Whine and cry about abortions, but they never seem to adopt any. No one I know who is Pro-Life has adopted anyone.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Sooo.Viagra is to be used for reproductive purposes only, correct?
      No?
      Ok.
      I see.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. frogs

    Absolutely right! Maybe the government, in the interest of all these unwanted children we have now, ought to require vasectomies of all of-age males until they are properly married. They are causing all these unwanted babies, aren't they?

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

      Frogs you dumb enough to believe the liberal hype that vasectomies are reversible, I'm a surgical nurse, 90 percent of men who try to reverse a vasectomy will not succeed. I think you listening to too much Anderson Cooper.

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

      Liberal hype? Only liberals claim vasectomies are reversible? BTW did a quick Google search. Mayo clinic states that sperm returns to the seminal fluid in 75 to 97 percent of patients who seek a reversal. Hmmm believe a lady who stands there and hands out forceps or the Mayo Clinic.....tough one.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jane

      Go on wikipedia and find out how much of a percentage of men get women pregnant after reversals. It's not the number Mayo clinic boasts. Do you believe BP is beyond petroleum too. Look it up at a few different sites, the stats are so far and few between that you won't get straight answer. Of all reversals only about 5 percent impregnate a woman again. Their data is based on the success of the operation, not the ability to have kids again. Its self serving advertising. Fools

      February 22, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • AustinIsFull

      Frogs was trying to make a point.....Since everyone wants to be all up in women's business, then it's about time we got up into mens too. Women can't get pregnant on their own, yet we have to deal with all of it. Even when strangers think it's their business to tell us what to do with our bodies. I want to tell men to SNIP it because they obviously keep getting women pregnant..until they can prove that they are responsible to take care of the child, then they don't even get a right to make any decisions. See how we flipped it?

      February 22, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Vasectomies are reversable.
      The sperm may not be viable, but the procedure IS reversable.
      And yes, they work sometimes.
      My nephew, not 10, was born to his parents after a vasectomy reversal.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jane

    A real comparison to abortion would be for men to be able to terminate their parental rights at 20 weeks if she doesn't want an abortion. The problem is, women don't like that idea so they won't table that. Even though its the only real comparison. Liberals are very bad at logical reasoning anyway, I don't expect them to ever think in terms of real equality. Just the kind of equality that makes men pay and lets women off the hook.

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

      Jane, you're the first women (other than me) I have ever heard to make that fair comparison. Thank you.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      Is that like letting women "off the hook" when they decide to walk away from their unborn child? Can't walk away from a pregnancy, men can. Men have more of a choice than women. I know, I am a man.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lennyb00b

      @ adam: THAT'S debatable

      February 22, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jane

      And Adam if you walk away from a pregnancy the government will put you in jail if you don't pay up. So using your logic you can walk away from first degree murder too as long as the police don't catch you.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      Seriously? Are you just going to keep repeating the same thing on different pages? classy

      February 22, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. allie8

    "the rewards of unwanted pregnancy"?!?!?! Are these people INSANE? Let me guess... when these unwanted babies come into the world the same people supporting this moronic bill will also oppose welfare, minimum wage increases, and Obama's health coverage. These same idiots will support cuts to education, reduction or dissolution of social security and cuts to social programming that could keep these kids off the streets. STOP. You people are KILLING this country with your stupidity.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • allie8

      ahem. ok, posting again after actually reading the article. Pretty funny bill but I wouldn't be surprised if someone took it seriously. lesson learned – read before ranting. 🙂

      February 22, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christy

      Sarcasm people. Ever heard of "A Modest Proposal"?

      February 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. asdf

    More more babies. No abortions no contraceptives lets all be good Catholics. And then like virtually every Catholic country in the world our main export will be unskilled labor.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Anonymous

    It appears that some (if not most) of the people commenting did not read the full article. Rep. Neal stated very clearly that she did NOT expect the bill to pass and that she herself had nothing against vasectomies , saying “it’s still not my place as a woman to tell a man what to do with his body." The reason she introduced the bill is to draw attention to anti-abortion bills that would punish women who have abortions after the 20th week with jail time of up to 10 years. Whether or not she succeeded is questionable, however, as Joe Citizen apparently lacks the intelligence to see anything past face value.

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

      No people are just commenting about how absurd the comparison is. I'm for legal right to abortions, but vasectomies are not in comparison. The only real comparison is something that no liberal would ever say, men being able to terminate their parental responsibilities at 20 weeks if she doesn't want an abortion. See, real equality is not the goal, it's to get more more more more more.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      @jane again with the same thing??

      February 22, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      No, Jane, like Andrew before, didn't read the article.
      Just admit it and let's move on.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Katie

    This is BRILLIANT!

    February 22, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. R. Glenn

    We already know that the reason men get vasectomies in the first place is usually because the wife doesn't want anymore children. We are already being directed by women on this in the first place!! If their arguement was to make sense, based on banning vasectomies which benefit women, then men should be able to dictate whether women should be able to have abortions. Very lame argument and accomplishes nothing but government intervention.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Brian

    I can't believe this garbage came from someone in charge of leading this government! This is comparing apples and oranges. Woman can have tubal ligations.. that is birth control... abortions are not meant as a form of birth control.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. John Scotto

    This bill is a poor analog to the proposed limit on later term abortions.
    In addition, the issue is not what women can do with their bodies but rather are there any limits on what poeple (men or women) can do to children growing in the womb.
    This is not the same as limiting tubal ligations or appendectomies.
    No matter where you stand on these issues – frame them properly.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. prochoice

    I am all pro choice and everything, but really, why wait 20 weeks to do it? After having children on my own, I can't help get emotional about killing a developed living thing for no good reason. And you can not deny this, you can feel babies kick by week 20!!! 20 weeks is plenty to find out, decide what you want and don't want and just get it done before it's too late. Plus there are so many unfortunate couples or singles for that matter that would be happy to take a healthy unwanted baby off your hands and be wonderful parents to her/him. The least one can do is sacrifice another 16-20 weeks and deliuver the baby...Is that too much to ask?

    February 22, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. TheBuckStopsHere

    I've seen CNN post some really dumb stuff before, but this might just take the cake. For anyone who truly can't understand how completely idiotic this comparison is, please get a tubal ligation/vasectomy and save future generations from additional suffering.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      Just as dumb as a group of men deciding that women don't have a right to birth control. My wife takes it for a health issue. Too many of you idiots think this is all about pregnancy.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • AustinIsFull

      Thank you Adam. It was trying to let people see how intrusive our government is trying to be. If you don't want us all up in Men's business, stay out of ours.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bible is Truth

    The selfishness abounds, I see. The issue is NOT about YOU and YOUR BODY. It is about a new life, that so many seem to not even give a thought to. Jesus came as a baby only because he chose to become man and enter the world like we do. Jesus ALLOWED himself to be killed to make a way of sacrifice so we have available a way to go to heaven. Jesus will NEXT come as the "Warrior Messiah". If that sounds totally foreign and not understood......be very concerned and look into it.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joeymom

      So I assume you support the vasectomy clause, then?

      February 22, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • momoya

      God is soooo stupid. He could have just popped Jesus into existence without a woman. Come to think of it, being god, he could have just forgiven people without a sacrifice. It takes a screwed-up mentality to think that god sacrificed himself to himself in order save people from a punishment of himself by exploiting a loophole in a plan he made himself. What an imbecile!

      February 22, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • BeckFastPaws

      And yet, even the Bible says that abortion is not murder. In fact, the Bible says that if a man, other than her husband) beats a woman until she miscarries, it's a CIVIL matter, and he must pay a fine. If the husband does it, there's no penalty. (Exodus 21: 22-23)

      Leviticus 27:6 and Numbers 3:15-16 specifically state that a baby is not a person until they are one month old.

      In Numbers 31:15-17, Hosea 9:14, Hosea 9:16, 2 Samuel 12:14, and Hosea 13:16, God not only approves killing the unborn, but even COMMANDS it.

      Maybe you should study your Bible more.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      LOL

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

      Bible is BS

      February 22, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      Is that why God has decided that my wife needs to take birth control or she has medical issues? I am a Christian AND i believe that god put DOCTORS, SCIENCE and MEDICINE here for us to USE. Worry about your own salvation and not everyone else.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Corwin7

      Wow that sounds really scary...hey...what if his name is George W. Bush this time around?

      February 22, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patti

      This is an issue about women having the right to choose and not the government doing for them. Stop bringing God into this and pretending He's on your side.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Be concerned for yourself, Bible Is Truth, for your salvation is the only one you are responsible for.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
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