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. Mr. Scratch

    This is great, I want the government to control every aspect of my life, even if they have no business. Obviously we need this, I don't know how i could sleep at night if I didn't have Christians controlling my life.

    February 24, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jr

    AMAZING how many idiots posting here didn't get the JOKE!
    This was not an actual push to deny vasectomies, brain surgeons! It was a somewhat sarcastic response by a woman to the pressing need that so many men have to control the reproductive decision-making of women.
    Get it? "If you want to get involved in my crotch, whatsay we get involved in yours?"
    Still don't get it? Maybe there's a bible verse that can help you. As I understand it, that NOVEL has all the answers a person will ever need...

    February 24, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jr

    Women of sense... TAKE BACK YOUR BODIES! There are a lot of men like me out here that will support you on that
    100%!!!
    This is 2012 and this is America. Our decisions should not and cannot be made based on narrow interpretations of 2 or 5 thousand year old storybooks!!

    February 24, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jr

    (When decisions about women's rights are made for them based on interpretations of ancient texts by Moslems, we call them terrorists or worse. When they are made here by CHRISTIANS, we call them holy or sanctioned by the lord.)

    February 24, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Firefly

      Well said and so true! Christian hypocrites – America is full of them.And the best part is many of them are women!

      February 24, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tbyrd

      Wow! I NEVER thought that way. You have opened my eyes!

      February 24, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • vbscript2

      When Moslems mutilate a woman's body, we call that an atrocity and an outrage to human rights. When a woman's body is mutilated in the U.S., we call it abortion and a (different) woman's right. Hypocrisy indeed.

      Isn't it interesting how all of these "satire" bills have tried to equate something that kills a human with something that doesn't even harm one?

      February 24, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Laudan

    what is appalling about this abortion issue is the lack of attention payed to racial undertones of the abortion industry. Abortion providers like Planned Parenthood have been targeting minority communities and killing their children since its inception. Margaret Sanger was a member of the KKK and started "women's health clinics" to control the black population. It is genocide.

    February 24, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • bob

      That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard....

      My wife went there and she is native american. Does that mean they are trying to exterminate indians again? Give me a break.

      February 24, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tex Gritter

      Thank you, Laudan. I have always wondered about "Ms." Sanger.....

      February 24, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • vbscript2

      Bob, you should check your history. While I don't think Sanger was actually a member of the KKK, she did speak at a KKK event on at least one occassion. She was also most certainly an avowed proponent of eugenics. She stated as much in her own writings. Look it up before you call someone stupid.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • paintpaintpaint

      Are. You. Serious? Stupidest comment ever.

      February 24, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • D PEterson

      Well, I give everyone else one guess where you got your propaganda from! The Army of GOD!
      Planned Parenthood is there for people who can't afford medical treatment through health insurance and other means, mostly low income people use the services provided by PPH...of ALL races for both women and men! Procedures like abortions are a SMALL percentage of what they do and NOT the MAIN focus. Having an abortion be an easy decision and is a PERSONAL decision between patient and doctor and the government shouldn't butt their noses in PERSONAL issues. Gov't, stick to infrastructure, military and the ever growing invasion of illegal aliens!

      February 24, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cat

    Why does it matter if we want to have abortions, who are they(govt) to tell me I can't? WHO would want to have a child with society & govt the way it is now? NOT ME! BIRTH CONTROL prevents unwanted pregnancies!!!!

    February 24, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jamie

    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" Isn't that everybody's right by default to have or not have children. They have nothing better to spend money and time on?

    February 24, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • jeffrey

      What rewards of unwed fatherhood? Don't see alot of upside to that one.
      Also, since when does the General Assembly have a greater wisdom than the general population?

      February 24, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • paintpaintpaint

      You guys can't be bothered to read the whole article, huh? It's facetious! It's in response to the stupid men who think they can/should tell a woman when she can and should reproduce.

      February 24, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jane

    OMG! This is unbelievable. Here's my suggestion....then all politicians at the federal, state and local level should be taxed so that they can provide meals, healthcare, housing and education to all of these children who would otherwise be unborn.
    Oh, and let's tax all of the politicians now so that meals can be provided to all of the children going hungry TODAY!!! While I get the underlying message of this proposal....I am absolutely disgusted and appalled at the invasion of personal choice, rights, and privacy now being proposed in our government. We are truly in trouble as a society. As a "more spiritual than religious person, I am absolutely enraged that my personal rights are now in jeopardy of being terminated.

    February 24, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jane

      I am the poster above. For the record.....I am pro-choice....pro-choice for abortion, vasectomies (and yes, I get what is being proposed here and how it's not necessarily a serious proposal....and I agree with the woman proposing this), I am pro-choice for gay marriage. I swear, it the religious right succeed in taking over this country, I will leave. And, people are afraid of Islam because of it's extreme views and abuses of women. Gee....I don't see too much difference between the extreme views of far-right Christians and any other extreme sect of a religion.

      February 24, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • vbscript2

      Yes, clearly there is no difference between stopping someone from killing a child and mutilating women's bodies or making them wear burkas. Please feel free to leave, by the way. No one's stopping you.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mimi

      I'll help you pack

      February 24, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Love it

    Sometimes it just feels too good to pull out I guess...

    February 24, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ingyandbert

    Absolutely brilliant! Thank you, Rep. Neal, for so astutely highlighting the hypocrisy surrounding this issue.

    February 24, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Where did you leave your brain

    In this economy where responsible adults are postponing parenthood until they are mature enough to handle the emotional and fiscal needs of a child, it is patently stupid to force children upon people who are not ready for them. Our foster care system is overwhelmed, schools are overwhelmed, and there are more children living in poverty than ever before and these morons want to expand upon that?? What happened to our freedom to choose what makes us happy? This is idiocy in its highest form.

    February 24, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jeffrey

    Equating abortion with vasectomy is completely flawed. The equal procedure in women would be tubal ligation. Both are methods of sterilization; abortion is not. Sterilization and contraception are not the same as abortion, never have been and never will be. They do not end the life of a embryo or fetus like abortion does. Any semi intelligent person knows this but this Yasmin Neal is not even semi intelligent. Her bill is a stupid political stunt.

    February 24, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • vbscript2

      Shhh.... Didn't you get the memo? You're not supposed to use logic or reason in political discussions these days. Only bizarre, unfounded emotional appeals are allowed.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zak

      Can somebody please answer why this is worse than dropping an atomic bomb on innocent people, or invading a country and killing thousands of innocent people in the process?

      February 24, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. joe

    A Catholic member should add an amendment that includes a ban on Tubal Ligations just to throw it back in her face.

    February 24, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • paintpaintpaint

      Here's a Catholic applauding her.

      February 24, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. The Shrink

    The two most selfish acts in the world. The first is suicide, killing yourself, the second is abortion, killing another person because you don't want to raise the kid.

    February 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zak

      And the third is sending your own son off to kill hundreds of people in the name of your flag.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • paintpaintpaint

      Oh, but they're not killing any babies. Their aborting embryos. Way different. Babies are BORN.
      Republicans have gotten their daughters abortions (oh, excuse me... D&C's) since WAY before it was legal for everyone. Fact.

      February 24, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. The Shrink

    There are to very selfish acts. The first is killing yourself, suicide. The second is abortion, killing another person because you don't want the responsibility of raising the child.

    February 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
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