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. bczu

    Wish your dad had a vasectomy...

    February 22, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • evalu8

      Yours did. You aren't who you thought you are.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • fructoess

      he did before you were born

      February 22, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • anul manim

      yezz yezz

      February 22, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carawaigh

      Your dad wishes he had one too.

      February 22, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred

      Lol.

      February 23, 2012 at 6:31 am | Report abuse |
    • aksinglemom

      heeheehee...that's funny!

      February 23, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      straight up

      February 27, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. partysstink

    These people are so full of it.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ?

    This proposed bill assumes that pro-lifers see abortion as a means of contraception instead of the taking of a life. That's why we say "pro-choice" and "pro-life" instead of "pro-choice" and "anti-contraception of any kind".

    February 22, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bigg-E

    Are legislators really this hard pressed to find something useful to do with their life?

    February 22, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Firefox

    That is my choice, not some politician that thinks he or she is God. This is an example of what is happening in America now. BIG GOVERNMENT has been sticking its nose in the family for years. Next thing will be to ban the pill, and other control items. Making the welfare roll bigger because of the lack of control. Sounds like she has been talking to Obama

    February 22, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      You are completely wrong about the Obama reference. The state legislator is trying to make the point that it is a woman's choice what to do. AND, Obama is trying to get the abortion rates down through the use of contraception – not increase the welfare state.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      It's this Christian love that is why I am here. Screw the poor!! Right on!

      February 22, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • 6Cobra

      Firefox, yew is reely smart. Thanks to you, I'm really looking forward to the forwarded mass-emails in all-caps, font 85, telling me how Obama is mandating vasectomies for all white christians.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. oneSTARman

    Spilling One's SEED is like a HOLOCAUST with Millions of Potential Christians 'Martyred'
    Therefore it should be a Capital Offense

    February 22, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jane

    Its obvious that DJL hates men and can't draw comparisons. A real comparison would be for men to terminate their parental rights at 20 weeks if she doesn't want an abortion. But that is taboo to say to women. It's much much much too equal.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • momoya

      You are correct.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. woodrow

    I'm thinking we need more scrutiny over who has children. Our quota of stupid people and criminals is exceeding all expectations.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bill

    Y U PROPOSE BS LAW WHEN YOU GET PAID WITH TAXPAYER DOLLARS? Y U NO DO YOUR JOB?

    February 22, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Anonymous

    I consider myself leaning just to the left of moderate and I think this is a ridiculous waste of time and money. I get that they are trying to prove a point and I happen to be pro-choice but, seriously??? My taxes are paying for fun and games?

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

      Makes you sick to your stomach doesn't it?

      February 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ORLY

    One has to understand the parody, sarcasm, and humor of this legislation.

    If anything, it will spur more debate over women's reproductive rights.

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

      Orly- you are right on! If legislators waste their time worrying about what free women do with their bodies, give equal time to monitoring men's reproductive issues. Our government needs to fix the economy, not worry about whether or not we opt to reproduce. This woman is funny and she has a point.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Kristi

    Are you people Serious??????????????You are missing the point....if the government can tell women what is right or wrong for them personally why cant they do the same to men??If Casey Anthony got pregnant again you all would ebe screaming for the govt to make her abort it. But if men have 10 kids running around with no care in the world nobody says anything.................................

    February 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ab

    How about letting people run their own personal lives?

    February 22, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. enkephalin07

    It's unfortunate Rep Neal's statement is going to fly over the heads of everyone who should hear it. I hope she can keep it on the floor as long as possible, though if it actually passes, it would show just how comatose the Georgia legislature is.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba

      Pray that you never have to live in a backwoods, redneck place like Georgia.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jonathan

    Really? So they're going to waste taxpayer time and money with a ridiculous argument that has absolutely no bearing on the discussion of abortion. That's great, good job people. Abortion proponents want to make abortion a question of the rights of a woman to determine what happens to her own body. Abortion opponents want to make abortion about the protection of an innocent life. The whole issue revolves around what "human life" is, and when it begins. If we could quantify exactly what "human life" really is, and if it was proven that a newly conceived fetus possessed that spark of whatever, then I doubt even the most ardent supporters of abortion would be able to continue to support it. Likewise, if it was proven that, up until x point in a pregnancy, all you're dealing with is a collection of raw cellular material little different than a cancer, with no soul or whatever it is that makes us uniquely human, the abortion opponents would have to conclude that the rights of the woman should come first. But in either case, this isn't a question of contraceptive measures, like a vasectomy is, so their analogy has no merit and these people should be fired for wasting time and being stupid.

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

      They are saying life begins with the sperm, so to prohibit sperm transmission is to prevent a life from being made and the woman's bod will naturally abort the unfertilized egg without sperm. It is the same thing. It is just that now the shoe is on the other foot and that's why men think it's ridiculous

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

      Like. 10,000 times like.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jonathan

      Except that that is patently ridiculous from every scientific standpoint available. It takes 46 chromosome pairs to make a human. Sperm only have 23. Therefore it's not human.

      And life is defined as: the condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, reproduction, and the power of adaptation to environment through changes originating internally.

      Sperm have no metabolism, they can't reproduce, and they don't adapt to their environment and they don't change internally, therefore they're not a living organism.

      They need to be told to stop wasting time and do something productive to actually fix real problems. If they want to try and make a point, at least make it a valid one.

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

      Agreed... it"s Apples and Oranges. Abortion =/= Contraception.

      Logic demands it – Vasectomy : Tubal Ligation "AS" Abortion : Surgical Assassination (past 20 weeks? Undeniable)

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