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. Myke

    What is unethical about attempting to deliver the baby prematurely as part of the abortion process?

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

      because so one will take care of it. it will bankrupt hospitals when women abandon their children on life support in intensive care, and the hospitals won't be able to recoup the losses because it takes tens of thousands of dollars to run life support every day. Most abortions occur when the fetus is not viable outside of the womb

      February 22, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. JournalGirl

    Stop the world- I want to get off! Why in the world is Congress even discussing birth control for men or women??? Birth control should be left up to the couple and government should stay the hell out of it. The real issues like ecomony, jobs, wars etc should be priority number one.

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

      EXACTLY!!!

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

      It's about who pays for it. Not about whether or not the procedure can happen.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • momoya

      See Danny's comment above.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Primewonk

      CSMinDC wrote, " It's about who pays for it. Not about whether or not the procedure can happen."

      No. It most certainly IS about procedures and access. Folks like the guys on the right running for \president want to prohibit abortion. Santorum goes even further and wants to prevent access to all contraceptives.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba

      It's about votes and Bibles. Wave a Bible, get a vote. Then you toss the Bible and just do what you feel.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JUGGERNAUT

    LMAO

    THAT IS A GOOD ONE DEMS.

    DAMN, I NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT REPLY WHEN ARGUING WITH THE CRAZY CONSERVATIVES.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. MoMo

    THIS INDEED IS FUNNY.

    IF ABORTION KILL UNBORN BABIES, THAN VASECTOMY MUST KILL BABIES THAT WERE SUPPOSE TO BE BORN.

    LOL.....LOVE IT.

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

      Every sperm is sacred.
      Every sperm is great.
      If a sperm is wasted,
      God gets quite irate.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dott

      Primewonk I wonder if God is irate when an egg is fertilizied in a petre dish instead of the natural way. According to your logic if God wants a woman to get pregnant – she will the normal way if not – then it goes against his will for her to have arfificial insemination. That is how I see it. Keep God out of this – he has enough on his hands to worry about trying to save each bit of semen.

      February 22, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. babs

    My thought on this would be make it manditory for men to take full responsibility for their offspring. And that would be through college.

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

      You got that right! Child support laws need to be adjusted drastically!!!!!! Whith every abortion proposal there needs to be child support proposal!

      February 22, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tamm

    Good one! And no coverage of Viagra and the other pills.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jon Michael

    This is like comparing apples to Volkswagens. A vasectomy is a form a contraception that prevents the fertilization of an egg which would otherwise create a human being. How can the prevention of the creation of a human being be compared to the killing of a human being? It cannot, and is a ridiculous comparison. Many have the opinion that abortion is wrong because the Bible commands against it. Remove religion from the equation and it is still wrong. Do you need a book to tell you not to go around killing people? I didn't think so; how is this any different? Women: we are not telling you what you can and cannot do with YOUR body, we are telling you what you can and cannot do with the body of another human being who is defenseless. 🙂

    February 22, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kindasorta

      Not that much difference. The Catholic church does not believe in the interference of contraceptives when it comes to creating human life.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Primewonk

      Can you provide the specific book, chapter, and verse from the bible where god forbids abortion.

      Thanks

      February 22, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon Michael

      @kindasorta: Who cares what the Catholic church thinks? I am a Christian and I think many of the things that Catholics do are strange and not based on anything in the Bible. That said, if Christians want to debate in the public arena, we must do so based on secular logic, as opposed to religous principle. I lose my argument before it even begins if I use a philosophy that you do no subscibe to as my reason for attempting to pursuade you. The concept is similar to using the word you are attempting to define in its own definition. It just doesn't work. So, I think most rational people would agree that killing an innocent life is "wrong". The debate then becomes not whether or not abortion is wrong, but how we define "life" that deserves protection.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon Michael

      @Primewonk: Why bother? Do you use the Bible as a rule book by which you run your life? You are most likely an atheist, or at the very least agnostic. Do you refrain from shooting/stabbing your neighbor because the Bible tells you it is right or wrong; or do you refrain because you personally believe murdering your neighbor is wrong? If so, why is it wrong? Who says so, and why do you listen to them? Why is the decision making paradigm you use in determining it is wrong to kill your neighbor (a human being) different from that which is used in determining whether or not it is wrong to kill an unborn baby (also a human being)?

      February 22, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon Michael

      @Primewonk: .... but if you insist: Exodus 20:13 – "You shall not murder" (ie. if you believe in the Christian God, He didn't put age restrictions on murder – it applies to any human being

      February 22, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jels

    if we really are concened with allowing women to do whatever they want with their bodies (men for that matter too) then why is no one taking up the fight for legalizing prositution?

    February 22, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon Michael

      Or why do "illegal" drugs exist?

      February 22, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tamm

    Bill Maher said that life begins at an erection! (acc. to the teabaggers, GOP, etc.)

    February 22, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. evrgreen

    No, not good. Men should be able to choose if they want a vasectomy or not without looking over their shoulder. This is an exageration of the initial idea of stopping "child killing" with an abortion. Very different. The man who wants a vasectomy has not killed any one who has already been "created". He is just preventing being a parent if he is not up to parenting. Vasectomy for a man is like contraceptive pills for a woman. Many woman trick the man in order to get pregnant, not giving him the chance to choose if he wants to be a father or not.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danny

      and I know a couple of women whose boyfriends told them they had a vasectomy or were sterile and wound up with a baby they didn't think they were going to have... it happens

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

      And I know a bunch of men who have a bunch of kids with many women and don't take care of any of them. No one seems to bother trying to force their views on their bodies. That was the point of this bill. To show how invasive the government is trying to be with women and their choices. I think all men should have a vasectomy and then PROVE that they can be a good parent...but that would be ridiculous! I truly believe that abortions shouldn't be done late term, or at all if possible, but it needs to stay there as an option to women. It just takes taking away one of our choices then it will be easier to take them all aways.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. WiseGuy

    It is every woman's right to tell a man what to do with his body in some situations, like "get off of me" or "put your pants on".

    February 22, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dane

    watch the video. the representative is clearly making a statement about how ridiculous the abortion debate is. She doesn;t actually want to pass this bill. She just wants to draw attention to the fact that it is not the governments job to get involved in issues concerning womens bodies. It is clearly tongue in cheek

    February 22, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. richunix

    You’ve got to be kidding right! With the world population a little more than 7 billion…you feel that we need to go “hog-heaven” on having more kids. Dude let me clue you in on the numbers of humans:

    1800 – 1954 (the year I was born) there existed on this planet a 1.5 billion people
    1954 – present we have 7.1 billion people that now live on this earth

    In short MORON we have 6 billion people more in the 58 years I’ve been alive compare to 150+ years we had less than 2 billion. At this rate of growth WE will outstripped out natural resources to a point were mankind will be in danger! Either you start birth control NOW, or this planet will give you a WHOLE new meaning of birth control. Are you sure you got elected, or they were being kind and allowing morons run for office.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jane

    I wonder what the men who are sitting in jail for not paying child support think about giving women more rights while men have no "after the fact" solutions.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I onder how many men have gone the process of giving birth.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. get real

    If you decide to have an abortion you could at least have the decency to do it asap, why wait till 20 weeks or later when the fetus could survive outside the womb if your going to wait that long why not just snap it's neck after birth or put it in a cave to die like they do in china. Too many people use abortion as contraception and yea something needs to be done about it, I hope this law gets passed and the unborn for once are given THEIR rights! So read this Firefox!

    February 22, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy Smith

      Of all the women I know, I don't know of one of them that have ever used abortion as contraceptive. If you could give us some details (fact), that would be appreciated.

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

      I would say the largest portion of women get an abortion between 10 and 12 weeks. it is ridiculous to think that women get Partial birth abortions for fun. Women do it out of medical necessity... LIKE RICK SANTORUM'S WIFE... you know a republican. No one is casting fire and brimstone upon her because everyone knows you do not get a medical abortion after the 20th week unless the mother's life is at risk or the child will die anyway. I do not want to be regulated because if women did need an abortion for medical necessity, I have a feeling they would die before they cut through all the red tape

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