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. Matt

    I would say a vasectomies are equal to women tying their tubes, not abortions.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Leila

    Ah! Correction! It was the Democrats who introduced this loony tune idea! We're all damned if this rhetoric continues.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Untouchable

    Is this woman serious...She wants to prevent men from getting vaectomies despite the reason because the gov't wants to punish those that try to abort a 5 MONTH FETUS. It is wrong to abort a 5 month fetus because at that point it is clearly a living being (even earlier, I believe it is a living being and wrong to abort). It is not wrong however for a man to get a vasectomy to ensure he doesnt have any kids or ANYMORE kids. This woman is clearly not thinking rationally and is wrapped up in a "women's rights/power" mindset. Get her out of here!

    February 22, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • momoya

      No, she's not serious, Untouchable. She attempted to make a point but did not dumb it down enough for the intended audience.

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

      Dude, read the article. It clearly states she is not serious. Simply making a point (which is apparently beyond you).

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

      I think she is right on ... sperm is a living thing .. why should Men have a choice not to have children and a woman can not ..“it’s still not my place as a woman to tell a man what to do with his body." It is NO ONES place to tell anyone what to do with their own body. And don't republicans have more important things to get done ... priorities please !! .. they are all in the wrong places ... political places ...

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

      And just to make myself clear, I posted the previous post .. it is the Republicans who stirred the pot .. and the Dems are playing the card smart this woman .. proving that bringing all this up for conversation is ridiculous !

      February 22, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • kanderson99

      As much as I agree with you, the comparison regarding an unborn child and a vasectomy is ridiculous, I must say she has a point about the vasectomies. Why shouldn't a man be held more accountable for their actions regarding reproductive issues? I have 2 friends that married men, thinking they could have children, only to find out later they had vasectomies. Just something to ponder.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      You're not too bright are you Untouchable?

      February 22, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. guest

    still proud to be americans? at every turn folks in this place go out of their way to show their ignorance. then again. its exactly what is to be expected from a bunch of inbreeders from GA. go cousin dad.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike hawk

      It's "uncle dad" and "aunt mom" if your parents are brother and sister.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • guest

      cousin dad sounds funnier.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Why isn't there a law preventing non-productive members of society from breeding like feral cats? Just wondering.

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

      They will never pass that, it would get rid of politicians.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      @sevenseas – good point

      "Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." – Mark Twain

      February 22, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. meg

    Why does the US believe in slapping a prison sentence on everyone? Having an abortion is not the same as stealing a car, performing a homicide etc. No wonder we have the largest amount of people per capita in prison. UGH

    February 22, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • guest

      cause it makes them money. lots and lots of money. it is the religion of this country. Dollar christ....

      February 22, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mommatofive

      Abortion, the willful termination of a human life, is homicide.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • theboss59

      Its all about control, Americans have been dumbnd down so so much, most cant think for them selves, just look around what you will find is an affirmitive action morons thinking they are owed there jobs. The few independent people around are laughing at you stupid dumb people. THIS IS THE NEW AMERICA A BUNCH OF DUMMIES, JUST WHAT THE GOVERNMENT WANTS................................. LOOK WHO IS IN THE WHITE HOUSE AN A AFFIRMITIVE ACTION MADE PRESIDENT, STUPID AMERICANS GOT WHAT THEY DESERVE A MORON.........................

      February 22, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      @theboss: Pot to kettle, pot to kettle, come in kettle, this is pot, over...

      February 22, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dan

    Vasectomies are a male form of birth control and are more equivalent to the pill for women, but not abortions. Most Americans support birth control to prevent pregnancies. Once a woman is pregnant is where the real debate is. I agree with the existing law of banning abortions in the third trimester, but before that it should be a woman's right to choose and it shouldn't be governed by the religious views of those in power.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Graves

      Well said, sir.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Yoraney Deeyot

    A man choosing to have his vas deferens snipped does not end a human life. Abortion not only does, in fact, end a human life, that is the sole purpose behind abortion – to KILL the fetus. The proposed bill is silly. This woman has no business occupying public office.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • tekstep1

      Zygotes don't have heartbeats or brain activity. Therefore, they are not alive. How can you kill something thats not alive?

      February 22, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • rh93

      @ tekstep1

      Knowing that it has the potential to be a human should be enough for you but, if it's not, i'll explain.
      The moment that fertilization occurs, you are a person. You cannot sustain yourself yet but nevertheless you are a person. A child inside a mothers womb doesn't have the ability to govern it's actions; it is in there for safety and protection while it develops. That's an abstract comment, i know, but that is the truth; mothers are supposed to provide a safe environment for them. Look, I understand that a fetus does not immediately has a heartbeat but a heatbeat is not the only determining factor as to whether or not an organism is alive and, like I stated earlier, every fetus (given time) will develop a heart beat. I can't stand the fact that everyone who argues for abortion is ALIVE. Your parents chose to keep you and to raise you so that you would have a chance. The moment that someone can tell me that they would have been willing to be aborted and never lived, I will listen, But the fact still remains that most people are all for pro-choice until they realize that that same law, had it been implemented earlier could have affected them too...

      February 22, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      @rh: That is the worst argument that I have ever heard. I'll say it for you: I would have no problem if my parents had aborted me, because I WOULDN'T BE ALIVE TO CARE THAT I WASN'T ALIVE. That's just an asinine argument. Second, by your standards, masturbation should be illegal because each sperm "has the potential" to create life and women who have their menses without getting pregnant are wasting eggs that "have the potential" to be a human life. That's just ridiculous.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. guest

    maybe she's just plain stupid. most in GA are. they preach we're not backwards but every move they make is. i hear banjo's. must cover anus. last i checked i had a pretty mouth.

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

      If that's what you prefer.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Rob

    Surely she is just making a point about how ridiculous the anti-abortion stance is.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      I like her point, but unfortunately, it makes it sound like men are the anti abortionists. I thought it was the religious freaks against abortion, male and female. But I support her on framing the abortion debate, and how it pushes women around, in a way to add perspective.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. SayGoodNightCheney

    Her proposal is a pointed and humorous response to those that say they want less government but then want to tell you what choices you can make with your own body. It was meant to make a point. Apparently it was too hard to follow for some of you.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Kit

    Finally, something that sounds reasonable and feasible. I'm so sick of these angry white men watching me put in my diaphragm in my bathroom!

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

      Ummmmmmm. Huh?

      February 22, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. V

    After reading these posts I can think of a few fathers that should of had vasectomies.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Scott

    While they are at it Georgia should ban masturbation for men and menstruation for women..imprisonment for miscarraiges. Obviously I am kidding and do not support this bill, but I do support Rep. Neal's tactics of turning the tables on the men. Way to go.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. TonyKMN

    ...and government isn't too big.

    These people are being PAID for this.

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