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. Kindasorta

    I can just imagine the (girly like gasp) of all the men in that legislature when that was proposed. LOL.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. There. Are. No. Gods!

    I laughed when I read about the proposed bill at first, then it occurred to me that these people are spending valuable time bickering over a persons personal right to choose what they do with their body. They are talking about jail time for this! Are you kidding me? You want to send a person to a prison for this kind of nonsense?

    February 22, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • schuyler

      There have been bills proposed to send women to jail for miscarriage- how is that ok, but THIS is a problem?

      February 23, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  3. ART

    Its official all Republicans have lost their minds, and they have the nerve to talk about big government.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • ivorylena

      Democrats introduced this bill not republicans.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Weak sauce

      I have a strong feeling that reading comprehension is something that has, obviously, passed you up. Did you not notice that it was a democrat that is introducing this bill?

      February 22, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • JenniferUCD

      Dems only proposed this bill to point out the absurdity of the republican bill on late term abortions.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carawaigh

      Government is only important to the GOP if it is invading peoples' lives. The private lives of corporations, career politicians, and other quasi-human forms are exempt.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. pprty

    Fact: Women have brains enough to make choices.
    Most women would choose not to have an abortion.
    If a woman chooses to have an abortion, she should have the right to make that choice.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      wish your dad had a vaasectomy. The anti-abortion agenda is not against a womans right to choose. it's based on the belief that life begins at conception and that ending that life, at any stage, is murder. why do pro-abortion people alwys try and flip that around as if there ia some group of rich white guys who just want to, "keep them woman naked and barefoot and in the kitchen". are you really that stupid or just always have to spin your reason back to that because the realization of what i just said gives you no platform to stand on.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I wish your dad had, too.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • JenniferUCD

      Funny Paul that the same people that are "pro-life" usually also support capital punishment.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • sciencerules

      @Paul: i don't think your 'belief' should be governing the choices i make with my own body. there is scientific data regarding when a fetus is 'alive' and it sure as hell is NOT at conception.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jon Boy

    It's not about the woman's body, it's about the child's life. Avoiding the conception of a child is one thing, killing a child already conceived is quite another.

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

      Because there aren't enough unwanted children in the world. In fact there are too many people, period, in the world.

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

      Because YOU say it's killing a child and that makes it so.... then I say the sky is green, that makes it so.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • JenniferUCD

      Let's get this straight. Republicans are NOT pro-life. They are pro-BIRTH. After the child is born they could care less if it lives or dies. From there, they do weverything they can to ensure that both the mother and child have a miserable existence. First they cut funding to medicare which pays for prenatal exams, delivery costs and programs to help mothers learn how to care for their newborns. Then they cut funding to food programs so the child ends up eating cheap unhealthy food. They eliminate Head Start to help educate the child. Meanwhile they cut assistance to the mother for job training or furthering her education. Then they work to cut funding to afterschool programs and drug awareness programs. Tell me how any of these actions are pro-LIFE.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carawaigh

      Adopt, Jon "boy".

      February 22, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Andrew

    Funny how women say men should have no input. Its not like we'll be forced to pay for the baby for 18 years or anything. Nothing a man should concern himself with. How selfish of a women to think a man shouldn't have input on his own life. We are fathers, why wouldn't we care about this issue. Women all of a sudden sound like nazis when it comes to men wanting input on their own lives.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robin

      Ok then. Change the law so that any woman who claims you fathered HER unwanted child gets to mandate that YOU get a vasectomy. (Let's see how many votes THAT one gets!)

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

      Many men do not have any economic input into their child's life, but no one is declaring that men shouldn't have a say; that's between the individual man and woman involved. They're saying that government shouldn't control women's choices and are trying to point out how it looks when the shoe is on the other foot.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike P



      February 22, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Robin, you make absolutley no sense so i assume that you are either very young or just very uneducated.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • JenniferUCD

      History is full of fathers that abandon women once they find out they are pregnant. Sure men should have a voice, but it shouldn't drown out the voices of women who bear the brunt of unwanted pregnancy. Men have a choice to come and go as they please as fathers. Women do not have that choice once the child is born. Our choice must remain OURS while still pregnant.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. James Abongone

    She must be the Anita Hill of the Thomas modern era

    February 22, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. CCee

    All of a sudden there is an urgency to make sure people keep having babies...hmmm. Could it be that a certain group of people are becoming a bit intimidated because they are becoming the minority in this country. They've never gone this far. I mean, what's really going on?

    These same people want to make people have babies, but then they want to look out for the rich only. YES, precautions must be taken to avoid pregnancy in the first place and NO, I don't believe in abortion, but this intrusion is getting to be a bit much.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. oldbabe

    Very funny for a not funny subject. Shows how absurd the anti abortionists are when there are so few abortions to begin with. If contraceptives were as readily available to women as they are to men, abortions would not be in the picture. It is a political issue not a real issue.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carawaigh

      Why should lawmakers throw away the chance to force women to birth them obedient, state-raised minions?

      February 22, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. cleat

    abortion is NOT a form of birth control....either close them legs or get on a pill/condom...

    February 22, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • JenniferUCD

      I suppose you've never had your legs ripped open by a rap ist.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sev

    Really? You need that much attention that you need to write a bogus bill? There more important things to have your attention on?

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

      It's a humorous take to point out how out of control the current proposal to jail anyone who has a late-term abortion is. This is a serious matter. Women's rights are being eroded, and given the current focus on birth control and abortions, again, they're just trying to stand up in a visible way.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. alex

    I get it, now there will be job creation cause the entire Catholic Church priests, cardinals and all the others who allow child molestation, will finally be in prison and they will need new ones. Let's hope the new group works with their heads on their shoulders and not up their b..

    February 22, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. person

    why do they keep wanting to regulate human bodies? Limiting free will, one bill at a time.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  14. mikithinks

    Stop payment for viagara would be an equity start. The insurance cos. should not be paying for recreational drugs. Women have to fight for coverage of mamograms to detect cancer, (the excuse is that enough don't come out possitive), while men's psyche is too tender not to have ed drugs in their wallet.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • JenniferUCD

      Even the catholic church is willing to provide viagra to their employees. But nooooo contraception. Brilliant.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ryan

    This debate should never have gone into the halls of government. Does not the Bill of Rights state all people have the inalienable rights of "life liberty and the pursuit of happiness"? While I fully understand past a certain time period, an unborn child has the right to life, before this line is crossed, the woman's right to 'pursuit of happiness' must come into play. No man can ever fully comprehend the mental and emotional state a woman goes through during and after pregnancy. Any kind of decision affecting that child will weigh heavily upon the mother. While there are those who would shirk the responsibility of motherhood, we can not punish the many to attack the few. That being said, it is not as if there are women lining up down the block to have an abortion. Instead of outlawing this practice we should instead be educating women on it so that they can make a more informed decision outside of 'I do not want a child'. By outlawing and condemning abortions, we are only forcing those who feel the need to go through with it to find more extreme measures of termination.

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