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. Hal - Los Angeles

    Great balls of fire! What a way to get back at these right-wing wackados who should put on turbans and join their fellow Taliban in Afghanistan.

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

      Because being against abortion is the same thing as being a terrorist...

      -.-

      February 21, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. BOMBO ©

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

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

      LMAO hahaha

      February 21, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat

      Stop that right now! It's Silly.

      February 21, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • rajbhanu

      You know what, for every sperm that fertilizes an egg, millions of sperms are dead ! So, Santorum should never ejaculate !

      February 21, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just me

      This is the best thing I have heard over the last couple of weeks!

      February 21, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jag0419

      If every sperm is sacred then the bathrooms in most American fraternities have a lot of explaining to do.

      February 21, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lila

      Men should be arrested for attempted murder and assault, every swimmer is part human.

      February 21, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      So remember to support the 'missionary position!' Everything else is just too risky.

      February 22, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  3. Rhonda

    "Why are you under the skirts of women? I’m sure there are other places to be." Then why is Obama involved in birth control? It is not a federal issue. Vacectomies prevent births, the way the pill, and other devices do. Abortion, should never be used as birth control. At 8 weeks there is a pumping heart and a functioning brain. Where is your brain?

    February 21, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • j

      Derpa derpa der.

      February 21, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • MelM

      The problem is these jackwagons are trying to take away our access to contraception, too! Look, I get it. These people want to tell me what to do with my body for the bible told them so. Only... it's not my bible, it was written by men with an agenda and it's being interpreted by even more men (and a few women) with agendas. Who's gonna pay for all these babies? The rich government goons and their owners? Yeah. Let me know how that works out for you.

      February 21, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      > At 8 weeks there is a pumping heart and a functioning brain.

      Other than provoking an emotional response, why does this matter?

      February 21, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • longtime reader

      Sorry Rhonda, Brian obviously has no brain.

      February 21, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Old Soldier

    I see what is happening. The females are doing the same thing that the male representatives are doing. Look, there's no way I can tell a woman what she MUST do with her own body. I might advise with my opinions and thoughts but it isn't fair for me to dictate what a woman should do. The only "person" that can truly judge a woman's actions and decisions is God. Until then, keep your faith to yourself. Mine is my own, i refuse to proselytize in a country that was founded on of religious freedom AND freedom FROM religion. Think for yourselves, stop being the sheep.

    February 21, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leaf on the Wind

      Thank you, Old Soldier. Very well stated.

      February 21, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I applaud you for seeing this bill as it was intended...very good post.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
  5. robert

    I think they should limit vasectomies to a max of one per guy. But why do this in the south? I didn't think it was possible for a hillbilly to get a heifer pregnant.

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

      ROTFLMAO!!!

      February 21, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Superman

    Go to georgia fornicate all the women and than see how quick the republipunks change there mind. Could you imagine all those illegitimate hippies running around? They should of stayed out of the publics bussiness. A got a vasectomy years ago and never looked back that was with my Xs ok. Now that im out of the closet and she still has to have any man wrap upmwith her or have a baby with her. Im good though. If a man gets permission from wife should he not get it done. It only costs $500 and thats it and if things dont work out between the couple than he does not have to worry. But her oh yea, ha ,ha!

    February 21, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • STFU

      Holy crap. What are you even trying to say here? ENGRISH MUCH?

      February 22, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dave in Dallas

    It's obvious that some of you are taking this seriously. This was meant more as a joke legislation to show that trying to govern a woman's body is unequal if we're not doing the same for men. And coming from a female legislator makes it more a point when it's usually male legislators that try to make up law governing women's rights and bodies.

    February 21, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      You GET it!
      YAY!

      February 21, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sperm (R-Ohio) "Right In There"

    Let me out! Let me out! You get snipped, that's life imprisonment for me...let me out!!! 😉

    February 21, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bob

    Talk about a waste of tax-payer money! Vasectomies are equivalent to the use of female birth control–oral contraceptives, tubal ligation, IUDs. They are in no way comparable to abortion, and this legislator is wasting time and money with her ill-fated attempts to gain attention.

    February 21, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. PoBoy2

    Are vasectomies covered by medical plans?

    February 21, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Leaf on the Wind

    This is all very amusing, but I hope the male legislators understand that it is also very serious. Stop trying to control what happens in a woman's body. When you can get pregnant, you can have an opinion on abortion. Until then, shut your pie holes.

    February 21, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trino

      It is not very serious. It's not even about people for heaven sake – it's just about women. Even women don't care about women.

      February 21, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. nogodisgreat

    A new suggestion for the Democrats: Just try to outlaw Viagra prescriptions for catholic clergy. I am sure you will get a majority to support this measure.

    February 21, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Renait

    Why don't we just deny chemotherapy for prostate cancer – because it causes birth defects – unless he can consents to chemical castration until the therapy is complete.

    February 21, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      I have been lobbying for something like this for many years. Finasteride, the drug most commonly used to treat prostate cancer, is not just a possible cause of birth defects, it is KNOWN to cause birth defects in male fetuses - of the sort that makes Republican blood run cold - deformed male genitalia. When I prescribe it to men I urge them to talk to their wives about the risks. But every year I have a handful of patients who don't – and they father children who have a really traumatic birth defect. If the law required that the drug be administered in conjunction with a libido suppressing agent, my practice alone would see a minimum of three fewer devastated families every year.

      February 21, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. McKracken

    Ha! I see what you did there.

    February 21, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  15. S-Hug

    Ingenious of the Representative to put things well into perspective. Overpopulation is the biggest problem facing our species and the planet itself. But to hear Republicans talk, the only problems on Earth are taxes, the price of gas, and abortions. In a world where birth occurs half a million times a day, it can no longer be considered a miracle — more like an abomination.

    February 21, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      Might I suggest Swift's "A Modest Propsal" then?

      February 22, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
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