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. Going to Mexico

    If they try and take away my right to a vasectomy, I am going to Mexico and have an unsafe vasectomy! If I go to Canada, would it be free? (Secretly, I hope this things passes, how funny would that be??)

    February 21, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. swohio

    I can't believe I'm even reading this. Tthere's a HUGE difference between telling a woman what she can or can't do with her body when it involves a child that has already been conceived, and telling a man what he can or can't do to his body BEFORE a child is even conceived. For the woman considering abortion, it's not just about "telling her what she can or can't do with her body". There's a third life involved here – the baby's. And yes, it's a baby. No one can tell me otherwise (although many have tried). For a man considering a vasectomy, it's simply a matter of cutting the tubes in order to PREVENT him from fathering a child.

    February 21, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • adam

      Any of else can tell you different but you can be closed minded and not listen.

      February 21, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Republicrat

      if you would just read the article they are merely trying to make a point not suggest they are the same thing....they are just saying there is a double standard with the treatment of men and women when it comes to what they can and cant do with their bodies. You have a group made of primarily old white men making decision about the biology and anatomy of women, its just not right.

      February 21, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thomas Alex

      A fetus is not a baby and it will never be one, unless it is born. You can remain ignorant and close-minded, but it does not change the Fact that it is a fetus and not a baby. If you want to give the fetuses rights then do so, but they can't go beyond the mothers right to an abortion.

      February 21, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • pplr1

      I agree. While I do think this is an attempt at humor I think one of the main unacknowledged problems many who are "pro-choice" have is that there is a 3rd person at this point.

      Thus "choice" doesn't give a choice to the person most impacted by the decision to have an abortion.

      February 21, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Nonia

    REALLY?!?! GET OUT OF OUR PANTS! Here's one for you Congress: why don't you focus on how to educate the kids that exist, find jobs for their parents, help the whole family have health care, and LET PEOPLE HAVE CONTROL OVER THEIR OWN BODIES! How can people not be completely furious with this? And why does this country keep electing these idiots?

    February 21, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ken margo

    First of all IT IS NOT A BABY. IT IS AN EMBRYO. ANDREW VRBA If you are concerned about the baby's rights fine, THEN HELP PAY FOR IT. The kid needs to eat, have a place to live, needs HEALTH CARE, (there's that dirty word again) needs clothing and finally EDUCATION. If you are willing to raise YOUR taxes to help the child get these important requirements, Then I can see your point. IF NOT birth control for everyone.

    February 21, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Republicrat

      seriously lets do a little math....there have been approx. 50 million legally induced abortions since roe v wade in 1973. According to a report done it costs approx. $222,000 to raise a child from birth until the age of 18. Multiply it all together and what do you get? Just under 12 trillion dollars. Now considering the fight republicans are making over the debt of 17 trillion or whatever the exact number is. Now add 12 trillion to that and please tell me.....HOW ARE WE PAYING FOR THAT REPUBLICANS? Better get out your checkbooks cause I sure as hell am not.

      February 21, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • slik

      How about using some birth control before it becomes an embryo and solve the problem before it starts then you won't have to kill it to avoid paying for its health care and education.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • BG

      @ slik

      Because birth control isn't 100% effective. You can be using EVERYTHING . . . and still get pregnant.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      @ slik

      Consider, please, how easy it is to get condoms versus effective female birth control. Condoms are cheap, readily available, and do not require a doctor's prescription. The only female BC that are over-the-counter are spermicides and diaphragms. Otherwise you have to be able to AFFORD A DOCTOR to write you a prescription, PAY FOR THE BIRTH CONTROL, and hope to whichever god/dess that it'll work without horrible side-effects....because that isn't always the case.

      Added to all the aggravation of females trying to get BC, some are going to be denied it because they can't pay and their workplaces don't want to allow insurance companies to cover it for them.

      February 22, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • slik

      @Chris
      So your solution to not being able to afford BC is abortion? So its cheaper to get an abortion than to get BC? Is that what you are saying? Oh ya I guess it is if you have the government pay for it right? Where do you think that money comes from? Also is it bad manners if you can't afford BC to insist the man use a condom? If they are so cheap maybe a woman could afford to keep some of those around?

      February 22, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jim

    Sperm is not equal in value to a person born or unborn. I can't believe GA put Rep. Yasmin Neal in office... my toddler argues like that, I expect more from an adult.

    February 21, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thomas Alex

      Don't sperm deserve rights?

      February 21, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Twister

      A vote for every sperm.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • youloze

      It was meant as satire Jimmy Boy..

      February 22, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. leeintulsa

    every sperm is sacred, every sperm is great. if a sperm is wasted, god get's quite irate.

    let the heathen spill there's on the dusty ground. god will make them pay for each sperm that can't be found..

    so ahead of their time..

    February 21, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. BOMBO ©

    I saw the headline and thought, what does that mean you only get one?

    February 21, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Calcommuter

    It's a stupid concept, but so is Republicans telling a woman what they can and cant do with their bodies. They believe a baby is conceived when the guy thinks about going to the bar to meet a woman for a one night stand! Each time Santorum opens his mouth it's more about religion and who can and cant love one another more than economy, jobs and gas prices. Separation of Church and state. Read about it conservatives....

    February 21, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Moral Compass

      A woman's choice to pregnancy ends when she has consensual sex. Once a mans sperm enters into a woman his choice ends as well. The purpose of Sexual intercourse is for procreation, thus common sense would tell you that even though you may be engaging in sexual intercourse for the pure pleasure of it you are taking the risk of pregnancy. In plain English if you do not wish to have a child do not engage in the activity that can put you in such a condition. For those of you who have had children and then allowed them to be adopted I applaud you as your unselfish love is not unnoticed. You see only a narcissistic person would have an abortion as it is a selfish immoral act of illogical self importance.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Bein4real

      So, moral compass, As a married woman I would have to refrain from sex??? Sorry dear, I played by "the rules" and waited for the ring. I am going to enjoy the sexual pleasures that I get from my husband!! I love doing it with him!!!

      February 23, 2012 at 2:05 am | Report abuse |
    • xvet

      Moral compass, are you married, if not I doubt if you ever will be and if you are I feel sorry for your spouse? You are one of the few who actually believe sex is for procreation only. You must live in such a lonely world.

      xvet

      February 26, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lila

    They have it all wrong. All men should be required to have vasectomies by the Gov at birth and it can only be reversed when they show proof they are in a stable relationship and can financially provide for kids. The abortion issue would be solved.

    February 21, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aly

      I give this two thumbs up! 🙂 But I think both the man and the woman should have to meet those requirements 🙂

      February 21, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • youloze

      why not..it solves the issue.

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

      In India, they're close to a long-term reversible procedure for men that prevents them from impregnating a woman. I completely agree that men should be required to have one for their own good and for the good of society... as long as we're legislating people's bodies.

      Of course, if you allow women the right to what they want to do with their body, we don't have to take such actions against men.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. James

    Die Teapublicans!

    February 21, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Cobra

    There is no doubt the fool is a left wing progressive socialist/communist.

    February 21, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thomas Alex

      What do you call anti-abortionists? Right wing conservative socialist/communist. FAIL

      February 21, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. leeintulsa

    hindus, taoists, mormons, spill theirs just anywhere
    god loves those who treat their semen with more care

    every sperm is wanted, every sperm is good
    every sperm is needed in your neighborhood

    February 21, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Portland tony

    ALL THE NEWS THAT'S FIT TO PRINT. Is that what CNN does? Jesz...........

    February 21, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ANONYMOUS

    In the early '80's, an older woman who I knew and whose judgment I respected, told me that the only reason the anti-abortionists were protesting in front of the local planned parenthood clinic was that there weren't enough white babies being born to be adopted by them. With abortion they would have to go to other countries to adopt children. She might have been right. 1st there was Rumania and then....

    February 21, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • youloze

      Watch the movie African American Genocide..It explains it all in great detail..

      February 22, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Chip

    Less vasectomies -> more unwanted pregnancies -> more abortions. What on earth are these people thinking?

    February 21, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
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