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. bobcat (in a hat) ©

    No abortions, No vasectomies, No birth control.

    Pro Life gone wild.

    February 21, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • asdf

      then like most Catholic countries our main export will be unskilled labor.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. gord

    the united states has gone completly nuts

    February 21, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. chrissy

    Roflmmfao! Poetic justice! But look out, over population!

    February 21, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ron

    I hate to tell you but in many states there are restrictions on men. If you are married, try to get a vasectomy without your wife's consent, even if you are separated. That said, the south remains the bastion of religious idiots. If you realize that, stop voting for Republicans or you are one of them.

    February 21, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carl

      I'm a fiscal Republican and am sick of religious republicans...shoving their beliefs down your throat like Taliban. But what is the alternative? Liberals taking my money and shoving social policy down my throat?

      February 21, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      @ Carl
      It’s called an independent.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      The Republicans are still arguing about abortion 40 years after Roe v. Wade and you are worried about Democrats pushing social policy down your throat? Are you insane?

      February 22, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • JonB

      Let's all agree that once a law has been in place for more than 40 years, we can stop questioning its morality. Now, please excuse me, as my slaves have stopped working and I need to correct this.

      February 23, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. chrissy

    @ Ron, the same is true for women. Married women cannot get their tubes tied without husbands consent and that is in the northern states also! Regardless, this rule is stupid. Who will be paying for all the unwanted kids of deadbeat dads?

    February 21, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Where do you people live that they stop anyone from getting vasectomies or tubes tied? I barely got an "are you sure you're sure" from the doctor and I was scheduled.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©

    This has, by far, the funniest thing I have heard!
    Of course, my opinion is that a woman goes to have an abortion, the father of said child goes with her into the room next to her and get snipped.
    Or maybe half-snipped?
    I don't know, I'm still LMAO!

    How about this: people keep their own noses clean about their s ex life, and not legislate away anyone's reproductive activities?
    Yeah, I'm talking to YOU: what goes on in someone's body or in someone's bedroom is *none* of your business.

    February 21, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dana

    A liberal nothing more to say.

    February 21, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      Spoken like a true republican.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. JMissal

    FINALLY someone is being smart in response to governmental control of a woman's body. If such control is ok for women, then why not the same governmental control over a man's body? You know, good enough for the goose and all....

    February 21, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • slik

      Because it isn't the same, they aren't saying women have to have their tubes tied so men have to get vasectomies. Pregnancy involves a sperm and an egg. Abortion is murder, vasectomies are a form of birth control. Common sense people. Stupid legislation trying to prove the wrong point.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • snake

      Thank you slik. Your body may be yours, but that childs body is theirs. That legislation makes no sense. And to all those bringing up population. Abortion is your lazy answer to no self-control. We have contraception. USE IT! No problems then. If you had an abortion you may very well have aborted the next Einstein. You will never know. But you sure as hell cut that baby's life to ensure the safety of your own. Selfish

      February 22, 2012 at 1:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Roma

      Abortion is birth control, too! Wow! Funny how that works.
      It's so weird how Republicans want to take birth control away, too. But I guess it's okay if poor people and college kids can't get their pill or their shot. We don't count anyway.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:43 am | Report abuse |
    • rh93


      If you can't afford birth control, try self-control. It works wonders and will prevent you from having to worry about killing a child in the long-run. Just a suggestion.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      Does that apply to married couples also? O wait we are back to telling other people what they can do in their bedroom.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • rodericksmom

      the people against this aren't very clever. They can't tell the difference between abortion and contraception. They don't care about womens rights.

      February 22, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Andy

    I was just thinking about this in relation to the recent birth control & insurance coverage debate. Would opponents of birth control also oppose coverage for a vasectomy?

    February 21, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. n2video

    Along with banning vasectomies, they should introduce a bill that bans Viagra, Cialis and ALL erectile dysfuntion medication...just to see how much the right wingnuts scream.

    February 21, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Henry

    Awkward moment for the right...

    February 21, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      How is it awkward? Some moron has compared birth control to ending a life. That kind of stupidity and people's inability to grasp the concept is awkward.

      February 21, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • bczu

      Its the right to do whatever you want to your own body. You have no claim in what someone else does to their body. Mind your own business.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • bczu

      The right wants to force people to have unwanted kids. And they want to take away all government funding to help people with unwanted kids. "We want less Government intrusion, unless its something I dont agree with!!!"

      February 22, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      Its awkward this needs explained to you. Simply put your definition of life is irrelevant. You also have no business telling other people what to do AT ALL let alone their reproductive choices.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mortalc01l

    So it's OK for Republicans to take control of a Woman's body away from her, but when a Female Democrat tries to make a point by introducing something that would in essence do the same thing to Men, the Republicans can't deal with it?

    Republicans have literally become insane.. deeply, truly bonkers.

    February 21, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mortalc01l is Wrong

      It wouldn't do the same thing, "in essence" or otherwise. You're the insane one if you think an abortion is at all equivocal to a vasectomy.

      February 21, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Apples and Oranges

      The problem is not that she wants to make a point. The problem is that introducing a bill like this is juvenile and ultimately not an equal comparison. Now if there were laws to prohibit a woman from getting a hysterectomy or a tubal ligation, this would be an equally absurd counter.

      February 21, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Thereals

    Outlawing vasectomy would increase the number of abortions– that is, in other words, it has the exact OPPOSITE effect of restricting abortions. This legislator apparently either doesn't understand that or wants to play dumb for political gain.

    February 21, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      That thing flying over your head? That was the point of her intended legislation. Just ignore it, no big deal.

      February 21, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dan

    Liberal morons are insane. Vasectomy is birth control. Abortion is ending a life. No one is trying to legislate tubals or the pill... because they are birth control.

    February 21, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      What exactly do you think the fight in the last few weeks has been about, partial birth abortions?

      February 21, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      It doesn't matter Sam. If I'm driving drunk and kill mom and unborn "fetus" do I get charged for taking one life or two? You know the answer and you know why it's the right answer. Only when you want an excuse to wash away stupidity does that life cease to exist. How convenient.

      February 21, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • bczu

      Because you had no right to take away that unborn fetus. BECAUSE IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU! If that girl chooses to get an abortion. Thats her right!!! Again, where do you come in? If you ended the babies life it was not her choice. Its her body, her decision.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • SconnieGuz

      People that can't tell the difference between a child and a bunch of male and female baby batter are just too stupid to try to help.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Tired

    Why don't they just legislate what they REALLY want, no abortions for white christian republicans. Problem solved.

    February 21, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
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