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 (1,942 Responses)
  1. Bubba

    One phone call and I can get you all the morning-after pills you want. Government should be afraid of the people. There are plenty of rough and dangerous abortifacents if you want to go the illegal route.

    February 22, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Thinks2010

    Isn't it interesting that the same men (at least among the republican presidential candidates) who cannot get pregnant or carry a fetus advocate legislation governing women's bodies just as they propose sending people to war when they have never served.

    February 22, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Peter

    She is being facetious, right?

    February 22, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ken from FL

      No, she's being an idiot. She misses the entire point about the anti-late-term-abortion debate.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • TRH

      Actually Ken, I think she understands the point perfectly. Who do you think you are insisting what a woman does with her body? All these people who claim to know what is "right" for someone else, yet they NEVER seem to think of their own rights being stripped in a similar fashion.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Wow... Thanks Dems for showing us that idiots in politics goes both ways... Ron Paul 2012 for a little sanity and common sense.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thunder

      Vasectomies deprive thousands of children the right to birth...L.M.F.A.O........Just proves all democrat politicians should be sterilized, as procreation of their brain patterns is detrimental to the world in general.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • mm_pdx

      Ha. Funny. "Ron Paul" and "sanity" in the same sentence. LMAO

      February 22, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. IndyNC

    you know, if it wasn't for the fact that they are SO determined to abridge the rights of other people, it would almost be funny that all the people yelling and screaming about abortion and birth control in this election year are all Old White Men.

    Quit trying to control something you have no need to control. Let people make their own decisions. Because I betcha if they have the chance and the option, they'd take an aborton rather than have a scandalous love child.

    It's a choice... and it's not your choice unless you're the one who's pregnant.

    February 22, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Johnou812

    Who is this fool? Can't she get a date?

    February 22, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Blossom

    Just stop insurances from paying for their VIAGRA and see how loud those old f a r t s scream!!

    February 22, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jill

      hip hip HURRAY for the rectal exam and cardiac stress tests for Viagra scripts. NICE!

      February 22, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jill

    what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

    February 22, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. bruce Heinemann

    you go girl! right on!

    February 22, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. fcarr

    @AnnieM
    the goose can take the gander to court and force him to pay or he can run for the rest of his life..... your right, what's good for the goose is good for the gander – both should have the same right to chose to be a parent or not!

    February 22, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • momoya

      Absolutely correct, fcarr. The sperm donor should get a notice from the fetus carrier by the 10th week, and the sperm donor should be able to have a "virtual abortion" by the 20th week that eliminates him from being responsible for the child in any way. If the child wants to know anything of the father, the mother could show the child the "virtual abortion" paperwork so the child knows her father's choice. There'd still be an inequality because an aborted fetus never knows it was not wanted, but there's not much we can do about that.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dale

    There's a big difference between preventing sperm from escaping a man's body and killing a fetus. Outlawing vasectomies would be the equivalent of telling women they coudn't get their tubes tied, and any rational person would never say that should be illegal. Comparing vasectomies to abortion is apples and oranges. I'm not against abortion per se, but this bill would make it illegal after 20 weeks. Use some damn sense here. If you're a woman and haven't had an abortion by the end of 20 weeks, almost 5 months, you need to carry it to term. Anyone who's ever seen a pregnant women knows they are definitely showing at 5 months, and you can also feel the baby moving and kicking, etc. You can't tell me it's okay to terminate that life at that point.

    February 22, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Katie

      We HAVE to? And who are you to tell us that? Do you have any idea what it's actually like to not only carry but give birth to a child? Didn't think so.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      Well said, and I agree on all points. I'm not against abortion either; however, within a reasonable time frame. Twenty weeks is more than enough time to decide to follow through or not. At that point the fetus is pretty well developed. Folks we have to draw a line somewhere. This is not just a woman’s issue either; it takes a man and a woman to get to this point. Without some sort of standard for a time frame you could argue that aborting a baby at eight months and three weeks is fair game too. I guess what I’m saying to the pro-choice side is, it needs to be a timely choice.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • X

      A few decades prior a woman could not decide to have her tubes tied. Choice was given only to her husband, allowing him to determine when she was no longer fertile. It has happened before. Don't underestimate the desire of power in others, and their willingness to perpetrate injustices to gain said power. My grandmother would have had more than seven children if a doctor hadn't taken pity on her and given her her operation because my grandfather refused to sign.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Most of the reasons women terminate that late isn't because they just couldn't make up their minds until then. Often it's because the woman's life is at stake. Or perhaps they realize the fetus is severely malformed. Or, sometimes women don't realize their pregnant until a few skipped periods (i.e. a few months), and then has to scramble to find a doctor. Especially if it's a teenager, she might have to go out of state if she can't get parental consent, or is too scared to ask for it.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Answerman

      Actually, the Pope and his Bishops consider vasectomies and tubal ligations to be sinful, and would like to make them illegal.

      February 22, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Common Sense PLEASE!

    America is screwed if these yokels are running it... I mean really? Let's ban condoms, the pill, and hell while we are at it let's segreate men from women all together. We can created breeding camps where fertile men and women are forced to mate to create only one child in a life time.

    If you want to see America in the not too distant future just check out the movie fahrenheit 451. Or if you are a tree hugging anti techie you can read the book. I don't care to be honest.

    February 22, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Katie

      If they're tree huggers, they'd read the e-book to save paper.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • X

      For someone desiring common sense you seem to have a thing against people who read.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  12. davonskevort

    I agree with abortion for evil people... the more those evil fokes kill their kids off the better... My kids will take over as I teach my kids that abortion is murder, and murder is evil. When evil people get smart and realize I am winning... ha it will be too late... I will out vote them by out breading them... lets take this to a generational war between familys.

    February 22, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jill

      psyched that you plan to "out bread" us.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • davonskevort

      bread breed its the same difference... one done with yeast the other with sperm.. both go in the oven and pop out nicely... ya i suck at spelling but basicly this is the only way the debate gets done... teach your kids the way you think and this abortion issue will end in time.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • davonskevort

      so jill you wanta make some bread.....

      February 22, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • M

      "I agree with abortion for evil people... the more those evil fokes kill their kids off the better... My kids will take over as I teach my kids that abortion is murder, and murder is evil. When evil people get smart and realize I am winning... ha it will be too late... I will out vote them by out breading them... lets take this to a generational war between familys."

      Will you be raising your children to be animal-loving vegans and anti-death penalty as well? I mean, if you really want them to learn that murder is evil, you really shouldn't half-ass it.

      Also...why are you out breading your children? Do you plan to deep fry them?

      February 22, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. bookgirl

    Holy crap, the people in US government are out of control.

    February 22, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Buk Lau

    What a waste of time and taxpayer money! If these women are complaining so much about not being part of abortion debates, then they should act professionally and not waste time pushing smart-alack legislation for the lulz.

    Regardless of whether you think abortion is right or wrong, the woman is already completely in control of the situation. Women are responsible for birth control, not the men. Even with condoms, the woman ultimately decides whether the man is allowed to wear one when they copulate. Also, if women are allowed to have abortions without consent of the father, then child support should be voluntary for men.

    February 22, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Dan

    My wife and I have 2 kids, We have no desire for any more. I got a vasectomy 3 years ago because since we have no desire for more kids, we decided there was no need for her to be on birth control pills that mess with her hormones, or for us to spend $$ condoms to prevent pregnancy. how exactly is this business of a legislative body? I thought I was making a conscientious choice, but to hear this woman tell it, I am a bad person.

    February 22, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • oysta

      Think you missed the point, Dan...

      February 22, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
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