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. Jane

    She could've made the same point if the bill called for killing all men. That's what the abortion movement is about, it's about women not accepting their biological realities. Men are forced to pay child support if she wants the baby, and no say in the matter if she wants to abort. So the only real alternative is allowing termination of parental responsibilities for men. But that argument is not popular in the feminist or liberal movement. Its a little too equal. Que the misandrists.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Zee

    LOL. However, I do believe that all male politicians should undergo mandatory vasectomies to prevent them from having any kind of off-spring

    February 22, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeanMachiavelli

      I agree on some level. I would agree totally if you had included all politicians in your statement, rather than just the male ones.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jane

    The hatred of men is unreal. Not that a network like CNN would ever recognize that.

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

    what a moron. A vasectomy is the same as tubes being tied – not an abortion. Get a clue

    February 22, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • DJL

      Men are unable to get pregnant, so this was the closest argument she could make to get the men in the legislature to realize the imposition they are putting on women. If men COULD get pregnant, there is no doubt that abortion would be 100% legal, because MEN write the laws and the religious mythology.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jane

      Nope, it's the argument that works best for her because it punishes men. A real comparison to abortion would be for men to be able to terminate their parental rights at 20 weeks if she doesn't want an abortion. The problem is, women don't like that idea so they won't table that. Even though its the only real comparison. Liberals are very bad at logical reasoning anyway, I don't expect them to ever think in terms of real equality. Just the kind of equality that makes men pay and lets women off the hook.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      Right?! And people ELECTED her! Tax dollars hard at work.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Correct, DJL.

      And why is it always a waste of legislation/tax payer monet if it's something one disagrees with?

      February 22, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Richard

    Not an apples-to-apples comparison. Banning vasectomies would be comparable to banning birth control meds or devices. Abortion involves actually ending a life.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dott

      Beg to disagree. If an abortion is done withing the first trimester there is only a fertilized egg there which is merely a mass of tissue. A few cells that will become, if left in place, an unwanted child.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Atlantan

      A sperm is half of the equation to life. By killing he sperm, you're killing thousands of babies that could have been born!

      February 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • DJL

      She realizes that. Men are unable to get pregnant, so this was the closest argument she could make. If men COULD get pregnant, there is no doubt that abortion would be 100% legal, because MEN write the laws and the religious mythology.

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

      Atlantan and just who will care for those thousands of babies? Who will feed them and care for them until they too can start populating the world. We have enough hungry children in this world and we should stop having babies unless they are wanted.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Nathaniel

    Because a diploid fetus with unique genetic material is equal to a haploid sperm carrying only the DNA of a man. Aren't democrats the party of science?

    February 22, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alyssa

      Does that mean that one is "alive" while the other isn't? What is your definition of "alive?"

      February 24, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  7. DeanMachiavelli

    This is completely ridiculous. Especially what Democratic Oklahoma Sen. Constance Johnson was about to add as a provision in the bill. Do these politicians know what exponential growth is? In fifty years they will be requiring vasectomies and abortions as they see fit. This is completely absurd. And what happened to separation of church and state (never mind, that was a comment I read and not from the article)? But nonetheless, Rev., don't you dare tell me or anyone else what to do with our reproductive systems, or what is "spiritually" right to do with them. Was it...- I could go off here but I don't have the time. I am afraid that in the future I am going to have to cut my dick off in protest, and therefore have more important things to consider than your religious nonsense, and this asinine bill.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alyssa

      That's whistling sound you hear is the sound of you missing the point. It's not a serious bill. It's a bill in protest of other bill's claiming dominion over a woman's right to choose.

      February 24, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  8. Pitiful

    What a sad sick pathetic world where such a stance is taken against murdering children.

    Shame seems a word absent from these people's lives. Including concience, morality, and integrity.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bryan

      It would be a far more tolerable world if Christians in general possessed any of those qualities......

      February 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©


      February 22, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. GonzoG

    Sounds like somebody upped the ante.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Donald

    In the People's Republic of Virginia, if a man does not have any children, the law requires a 30 day waiting period between a consultation with the doctor and actually getting snipped. If he is married, he is required by law to have his wife's permission to get snipped.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bryan

      People's Republic? Virginia is a conservative nightmare....Saudi Arabia west!

      February 22, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dott

    Georgia needs to wake up and realize that this nation is becoming over populated. We no longer need to "go ye fotth and multiply. We have illegals to work the farms now. We can't take care of the people here already and they wish to force couples to bear an unwanted child? "No more vasectomies that leave "thousands of children ... deprived of birth." That is one of the most ignorant comment that I have ever heard. What else can we expect from the hill billies of this state?

    February 22, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. EaglesQuestions

    Wow, that misses the point.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • DJL

      Which point? That men are legislating what women can do to their own bodies? If MEN could get pregnant, there is no doubt that abortion would be 100% legal!

      February 22, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. RCA

    We actually pay these idiot public servants to think up this drivel.....let them take care of all the unwanted children

    February 22, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ProgressiveMike

    What a surprise... the anti-abortion bill author refuses to take Rep. Neal's bill seriously. Well, as uber-candidate Romney likes to say, "what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander". Anti-abortion advocates don't much like it when their argument is turned on its head and applied to men, do they?

    February 22, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • EaglesQuestions

      This Dem "argument" is just a giant wad of false-analogy wrapped in non sequitur.

      Sperm is a gamete, and thus comparable to the egg; not comparable to the Zygote or Fetus, which is not a gamete, but an individual with a fully complete set of genes..

      The Dems would ONLY have an applicable argument here if the Reps were trying to ban female egg-removal.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jpzippo

    These people don't get it do they! This is sarcasm, irony and not serious! Get a life all you people taking this seriously. really

    February 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
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