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. Teacher

    This is not serious. She is pushing this bill to show how crazy it is to interfere in an individual's reproductive rights. Also, to put an end to the endless debate, "Where does life begin?" Maybe soon it will begin at Last Call.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. longtooth

    Ban all legislation on everything until people recognize the right to think differently.

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

      Whoa, whoa, whoa. Your saying I can do drugs, rob liquor stores, and not pay child support... longtooth for President!

      February 22, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Nope. long"s got a point.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. BCass

    ITS CALLED BIRTH CONTROL!!! but they are against that too....

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

      Exactly. I do not understand why someone would oppose abortion and oppose birth control pills.

      I oppose abortion. I also believe that birth control pills and the "Plan B" pill should be given out like candy. And I believe that because those drugs prevent abortions! No woman WANTS to have an abortion!!!!

      February 22, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. 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 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      And nothing there applies to a clump of cells without a heartbeat, either.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phillip

      Exodus 32:27
      Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side ... and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.

      A bit hypocritical I'd say.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Eve

    You go girls.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zabbot

      Yes, you go girls and make yourselves look ridiculous and stupid.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dr. Graves

    If only we could get this bill introduced to Congress- maybe it would make all of the old white men consider asking a woman's opinion on the topic of contraception. Creating a committee to debate the topic that doesn't include ANY women is an utter disgrace.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      But in keeping with the whole control over women thing going....
      And they invite different clergy to chime in...most notably, the RC priest...(lmfo!)
      Were there any women there AT ALL?

      February 22, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. RealityCheck

    A better bill would be to ban Cialis and Viagra. Maybe God wants some of you limp for a reason.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tha Chikin

      AGREED!!

      February 22, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ivorylena

    I dont like abortions, but I realize this is America, and if you dont believe life at conception then who am I to tell you when life begins? Having said that, There does come a point where newborns feel pain. This is when I draw the line. At 23wk gestation we will give fentanyl drips for pain when they are outside the womb. I cannot accept "It's my body," as a valid aurgument when it comes to causing physical pain on others. This bill is in response to the other bill that says no abortion after 20 wks gestation. By 20wks you should have made up your mind and if not, the choice should be taken from you.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      They're not talking about a life outside of the womb.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bob

    This attempt to compare vasectomies to abortions is TERRIBLE. Birth control PREVENTS conception, and an abortion terminates a pregnancy.

    Not to mention the purpose behind limiting abortions is aimed at protecting the fetus which they view as human life. I don't view a partially developed fetus that's not viable outside the womb as being a human being, but IF I did their view would make complete sense since it's aimed at protecting human life. The real debate here is whether or not a fetus is a human life worth protecting.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      Yeah, somebody had to have been exceptionally stupid and a liberal to have compared abortions to vasectomies.

      Vasectomies would be a sensible target, if there were actually groups were seeking to outlaw female sterilization (getting one's tubes tied). I haven't heard anything at all about that.

      This democratic move was stupid beyond all reason and a shame to upright and sensible democrats.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dan

    Brilliant!

    February 22, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Matt

    This is the worst display of playing politics I have ever seen. This idiot should be thrown out of office. She is simply wasting tax payer money. I am pro-choice, but the idea that a vasectomy is the same as an abortion is just asinine. A vasectomy is the same as a tubal ligation not abortion. This woman needs some schooling or should just simply pose a better argument against abortion instead of playing politics with the bodies of men. Good luck getting elected again sweetheart.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tanya

      Don't like playing politics with MEN's bodies huh? But it's okay to play politics with women's! bodies! I am pro-choice and believe the woman should be able to make a choice. Personally, I don't believe I could do an abortion if I was in that situation, but I should be able to make that decision for MYSELF. The Government has no place in making any decision about my body and what happens to it. I don't understand why women are not included in the policy discussions. The entire idea of this proposal is to make it extreme to bring forward more discussions by both men and WOMEN!!!

      February 22, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Les

      Matt- its not about vasectomy being equal to abortion, its about the government legislating what a person (man or woman) can do with their bodies; and using their own terms against them to highlight how unfair and riduculous it is.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • anon1234567

      I think you are missing the point. The point is that just as it is ridiculous to have legislative rights over a man's body and medical care, it is ridiculous to have legislative rights over a woman's body and medical care. You also have most legislative decisions about abortion being made by men with little and often no input by women.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      Let me try posting these thoughts again!
      I think the repliers here are the ones that missed the points.
      The comparison between vasectomy and abortion is ludicrous, but go ahead and legislate it – I'm not stupid enough to believe that vasectomy is the only viable option for men to prevent not only a childbirth but pregnancy in the first place.
      Then, such a law will pave the way for something that actually matters, an anti-abortion law, that much easier.

      It would just be a woman's body, if it wasn't the baby's.
      It would just be a woman's body if, a man wasn't required for conception – its rightfully his too (and yes men should bear the responsibility of fatherhood if they're going to disseminate).

      February 22, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tha Chikin

    Okay so I jumped the shark... I get it... fight fire with fire. BRILLIANT!

    February 22, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Thomas

    Ha! Awesome. No men allowed to the debate I hope!!!!!

    Power to you.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JB

    This is ridiculous. Obviously a fetus and sperm are two different things.
    There is no law against a women having her tubes tied, the equivalent to a vasectomy.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tanya

      Equivalent?? It's not a process of Snip Snip for a woman to get her tubes tied! It's major surgery! But do understand the point you are trying to make. Too bad you aren't the one that could become pregnant and be faced with an extremely difficult decision about what to do, but not be able to make it because the Federal Government has made that decision for you. I'm not sure I could get an abortion if I were in that situation, but the point is I should be able to make that choice - a choice that I will have to live with - instead of what Congress decrees! The entire point of this proposed bill is to bring into light how would you as a man feel if you didn't have any choice should you want to get snipped or not. You couldn't because Congress already decided for you!

      February 22, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      In many cases in elective abortion the woman has a choice about what gets put IN her body – why not make that the focal issue?

      February 22, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. youloze

    All African American viewers that posts comments, find and watch the movie African American genocide. Guaranteed to be an eye opener. It shows the origin of birth control/plan parent hood and why it was created.. I'll stop here I don't want to ruin the movie for you but its a must see!

    February 22, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      This isn't the video of that pimp talking about how PP was established in his hod just to service his stable, is it?
      Seen it.
      Laughed at it.
      Dismissed it.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
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