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. Rhett

    I cannot believe how stupid this comparison even is. One of the dumbest things I've seen. She obviously has no idea what the whole issue is that people have with abortion. And she's a congresswoman in Georgia? If I had people like this in my state congress I would move to another state!

    February 22, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. KenC

    Wait, we need to take this ONE step further. Since I am GAY, I should be jailed, because I am not getting women pregnant. Shame on me! There needs to be a law about this too: gay men have no right to prevent the birth of possible babies!!

    February 22, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jane

    I've know since I was a kid that it is my responsibility to prevent pregnancy. I don't sleep around. And I'm not going to blame men for my situation. Take some responsibility girls. Men have no remedy once you get pregnant, you do, so I fail to see how we need any more "rights" when it comes to abortion or contraception. I think some women want an abortion clinic inside every 7-11.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • T-dawg

      Can we also have them in every IHOP?

      February 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jane

      Funny T-dawg. That's hilarious. I bet your a funny guy.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • JenniferUCD

      So is a woman being irresponsible when she is r aped? Or when she is inpregnated by an ince stuous family member? Sure women have to take responsibility for their actions. But so do men. In this society men are able to just walk away and pretend that it's the woman's responsibility to raise children. Women need a safe option when they find themselves unitentionally pregnant, sometime by force and unable to care for the child. Abortion is just one option of many.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      No. One in every WaWa would be much funnier. WaWa. LOL.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • schuyler

      You understand that no method of birth control, other than abstinence, is 100% effective, right?

      And you realize that married women are more likely to seek abortion? Do you advocate married couples being abstinent, or do you just have no clue what you're talking about?

      February 23, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  4. tony

    We need to take this to the Supreme Court. "genders united". Any law passed by any state that affects any part of the body of a man or a woman, shall apply equally to citizens of all genders.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. DAVE


    February 22, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • gepids

      Says a man. Now you might get how some women think when old men try to control the women's bodies.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Why, because you don't like what she says? Genius.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lorraine

      She is SOOOOOOO RIGHT... When a MEN can tell women what they can and cannot do with their bodies... theN women have the same right..,. and I will also so that women should also have a say on men getting Viagra and if they should be allowed to use it..... HOW DO LIKE THAT MEN..... I GUESS THE ANSWER!!!!!!!!!!!

      February 22, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lorraine

      She is SOOOOOOO RIGHT... When a MEN can tell women what they can and cannot do with their bodies... theN women have the same right..,. and I will also so that women should also have a say on men getting Viagra and if they should be allowed to use it..... HOW DO LIKE THAT MEN..... I GUESS THE ANSWER I KNOW THE ANSWER

      February 22, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      How are restrictions on abortions equal to a vasectomy. Seems to mee if we prevent vasectomys let's also prevent women from tying their tubes.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Les

      Funny how offended someone gets when the tables are turned, its not about abortion its about the government, and a bunch of old ignorant men dicating what a woman should do with her body. If its your religious belief then don't have an abortion, but other people belive different things.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Specimen Yarp

    If America doesn't think the world is laughing at them, all they have to do is read this story.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • alex

      no, read any story about men telling women what to do with their bodies, hilarious.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sheila

    Abortion is the only true "birth" control – everything else, including vasectomy, is "conception" control. Perhaps we need to rethink our terminology.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. N.

      Well, technically the pill does allow fertilization (conception), but not implantation because the body already thinks it's pregnant. So yeah, the pill, norplant, etc, are technically more than just conception control.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Honestly.

    Her picture says it all.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jimmyyyyy

    This woman is has no brain and neither do most people that 'love' this argument and wish they had thought of it. Abortion has to do with life which begins at conception. Vasectomy has to do with preventing the transmission of sperm. Completely unrelated and a TERRIBLE analogy. The correct analogy would be women who get their tubes tied, thus preventing the transmission of the egg, and there isn't really any opposition to that. Get a Brain people!!!!
    Even though I am pro-life, I'd be serious about introducing a bill to allow men to get an "abortion," cutting himself off from all financial and patriarchal duties. Now that is a true parallel. This woman is just loud, I can only guess why she got elected.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Les

      Really, a man wanting to have the ability not to take responsibility. The problem is a lot of men not taking responsibility and only the women being made to suffer. It takes two, how about we force women not to have children if they don't have a father who wants to be involved.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • schuyler

      Yes, it's sarcasm, Sheldon.

      February 23, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  10. blah9999

    While this is hilarious and shows the hypocrisy of anti-abortion supporters, doesn't the government have more important things to do than to try to pass faux bills?

    February 22, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. DC

    This is riduculous. What an utter and complete waste of GA taxpayers money. A vasectomy, just like an abortion, should be a personal decision. In no way are the two related other than – allow man and women to make their own decisions regarding their bodies – period. I don't judge anyone and no one should judge.
    Personally my only regret about a vasectomy is that I should have done it 10 years earlier when my wife and I decided that we did not want any more kids.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  12. tony

    Well, there is a silver lining. Once any of these hypocrites votes for authorizing or participate in any way in bombing a foreign country, and cause the death of even one pregnant woman or her unborn fetus, then it will be felony murder in their home state. Tell that to the armed forces.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Tom

    I still don't understand how this helps the economy, perhaps the GOP could explain it to me again?

    February 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. basketcase

    First I was like o.O
    then, I lol'd

    February 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bat Woman

    My oh my, how the men speak up now. I applaud Rep. Neal for being someone to finally speak up for women and the way the government (mostly men) like to put limits on what a woman can or cannot do with their body. While many may believe that it is killing a human being, it is not my position to judge the person making the decision. That person alone will have to answer for their actions one day. The abortion or vasectomy issue is NOT a government issue. Why the politicians continue to make it their issue is beyond me. They need to focus on what is really important to the American People – like funding Social Security and the financial mess we are in. How about passing a budget? Now that would be a great place to start.

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