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. S Bolinger

    I love it! Of course, too many people are too stupid to understand her purpose. Let's see how much men like having the government control what happens between them and their doctor.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. et tu Judas

    This obviously is to show just how ridiculous the republicans are with the legislation they are putting forth. Unfortunately, it just won't work and is likely to be picked up and run with by the GOP and their spin doctors.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • you're psycho

      Yea, this is a waste of time. Just shows how rabid you are and childish your party is. Pointing fingers is what children do. Real political leaders lead. This procedure is nobody's business and should not be subsidized by tax dollars, restricted among adults, or discussed openly. It's nobody's business.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JustSayin

    BEST quote of the article "it’s still not my place as a woman to tell a man what to do with his body." This is exactly why I feel men should not have an opinion on abortion, THANK YOU

    February 22, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • truth

      If you don't want a man's opinion then don't expect a man's paycheck either. That is the only fair way to do it.

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

      This is just the kind of backwards thinking that always stupifies me. Nobody's telling you what to do with your body, you already decided that when you got pregnant. What they're telling you is what you can do to the body of your unborn child. Is that so hard to understand? In this country, no woman who doesn't want to has to become pregnant, it's your choice. And, can you really not see the difference between preventing pregnancy in the first place, vasectomy, and terminating a life? Whether you think it's a child or not, or human or not, there's no contesting the fact that an embryo or fetus is alive.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      I completely agree....As long as she also agrees that because he had no say he doesn't not have to provide child support.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      While it is your body the child contained inside is not just yours. If I am the father I too should have some say in what happens to my child. Just Sayin..........

      February 22, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • shootmyownfood

      @truth
      I don't expect or want any man's paycheck – I want my own paycheck wherein I am paid the same amount of money as a man for the exact same job (and no, my job does not require physical labor, only mental, so the playing field should be even). I'm confused by your statement, however, which seems to say that unless one accepts a man's opinion, one shouldn't expect to earn as much money. That's just weird. And noone gets to make any decisions with regard to my physical being except ME.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      Ron B,

      " In this country, no woman who doesn't want to has to become pregnant, it's your choice."

      Probably the most ignorant comment of the day. Ever heard of r-pe or incest? WOW!

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

      @RonB: Dude...you had some good points, but to preface your comments on "in this country ...doesn't have to get pregnant if they don't want to". Really? C'mon. You can't think of any situation where that isn't true?

      There are better ways to do this...

      February 22, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Science

      To claim that a fetus or embryo is alive and therefore has rights as a human (or at least the right to live) is to say that bacteria within your body which also grows, divides, and most often depends on its host (the human body) for survival is subjected to the same principles placed upon an embryo/fetus. Therefore, if you believe that abortions kill a "life" then what are Antibiotics to bacteria? They are both cells that are dependent on the host.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elexsor

      Interesting. I wonder what the father of a child about to get aborted, and his opinion wasn't consulted first, would have to say about that.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elexsor

      @Science: Your logic is horrible for the most part. Leave the science argument to trained scientists. The problem with your argument is that life has a complex definition. Where the boundry lies can be murk at times. Is a fetus alive. Yes it is. Why? Because if you punch a 1 month pregnant lady in the stomach and the baby DIES. Just about every parent is going to say "You killed my baby." Are bacteria alive. Yes. They don't have rights. We are talking about humans. A fetus has the same DNA as an adult human. It is thus human. It is the early stage of human life. However the issue lies in the choice of the host to stop the life of the organism in it. The host has the right to do with their body as they please. Hence the reason suicide is no longer a crime in just about any of the US states. If you burn your finger real bad the skins DIES. It was alive and now it will not be. You can chose to burn your finger if you want. It is your body. If their is a foreign organism in your body and your body doesn't like it then it will reject it by trying to kill it off. Congrats. The samething happens often with babies. The mother's body will react to it as a foreign body and try to kill it off. Mothers have to take medicine when this is a posibility. Thus the circular argument with abortion. What is the woman's choice to do with the foreign body in inside of her. Does she have the right to kill it or is she going to be forced to keep it by the government and all of the people that have their own personal opinions about what she should do with her body.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joe

    I will be more than happy to afford a woman the right to have an abortion as soon as the Government allows men to disown any child they didn't want.

    If women choose to have a child at the objection of the father, then he should have the right to "opt-out" of fatherhood and not be financially responsible for said child. If he is equally responsible for the child's upbringing, but only the mother can decide if the child is born or murdered, then he should have a choice whether or not he wants that child.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      So, if daddy wants the baby, and mommy doesn't, baby'll be implanted into daddy....right?

      February 22, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vxper

      Agreed, sometimes I feel that Men are under protected in the family courts.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • jay

      Why not just wear a condom in the first place? Or pull out? What is so wrong with contraceptive methods? Did you know there used to be wooden condoms in the middle ages? Yeah, so there's really no excuse for any of this nonsense.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • bowditch

      Agreed. Fine. You're right. If a man wants the woman to have an abortion and she refuses because she wants the child, then he should be free to "opt-out" as you say. Trust me, it happens ALL the time. This deal is definitely the lesser of two evils, the other being taking away all individual choice.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      Sorry Joe that is a bunch of poo. You helped bring in a life. It is part of your life now. Deal with it and try to be a good dad.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cat

      The practice abstinence, you can't be forced to be a father if you don't do the deed.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • cmc

      I also believe that in family court men are sometimes underprotected and taken advantage of. Some women these days are coniving and just want the money.( not to down my own gender or anything I'm also female) Of course that does not apply to all situations, obviously. But to take everything after a divorce and give it to the woman and then expect a man to basically go broke paying for child support etc. is ridiculous. It should be fair both ways. A woman should not have to leave without anything either if her and the spouse worked together to make a life.

      And if a man wants the baby to be aborted why would he get to forfeit all responsibility? So many guys would do that just so they don't have to help out. But say the woman wanted the abortion and the guy didn't, should he have to take full responsibility and she just walk away? If the father wants the child he should have that right. She shouldn't be able to take his child away. she should do her part too. at least financially if she doesnt want to be a mother.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elexsor

      @ Jay: Ask the Catholic church what their issue with contraceptives is. So no there IS a reason for this nonsense. It is people's individual beliefs. That is where the issue lies. The problem is that people are trying to tell other people what they can and can not do with their own bodies.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. anonymous

    As a practicing catholic and woman, I would never have an abortion. However, the government should not be making the decision; it is a personal decision to be made by the woman. At issue isn't whether vasectomy and abortion are the same – the issue is legislating a woman's reproductive rights and leaving the man's virtually untouched. I live by the phrase judge not lest ye be judged, and women who chose to have abortions answer to a much higher authority than the US government. The choice is theirs.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • shane

      For everyone that states they are "Catholic". You can't be a Catholic and believe in abortion for yourself or others or even believe that its a personal choice...there is no choice. If you state you are Catholic then you must believe based on church teachings that abortion is wrong period. If you state you are Catholic and believe you have a choice...guess what, you are NOT Catholic....check the teachings of the Church.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Church Smurch!

      I was raised Catholic. I stopped when I started to get an opinion. I then became a Baptist – yeah, saved...accepted Christ and all that. Then I stopped because I started to get a much deeper base of knowledge. If the extent of your library is one book...I can see why you wouldn't have either an opinion or knowledge of anything outside of that book. Not sure if you realized it yet – because the Church teachings were a little off on that one – but the Earth is NOT the center of the solar system.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Zabbot

    This isn't about whether or not to ban abortion, it's about whether to allow it after 20 weeks. Christ, if you haven't made up your mind after 5 months, you are going to regret a decision to abort anyway.

    This article and this "legislator" are just plain stupid.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • cmc

      i agree this article and legislation are stupid. why wait until 5 months? The baby is moving and reacting to things. I believe it is murder after a certain point of growth. And to the vasectomy come back, how is keeping one little cell from surviving and implanting anyway similar to an actual human life? come on people. have a little common sense.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • ddame23

      One consideration to keep in mind it that many serious defects aren't detectable in a fetus until about week 20.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • cmc

      if there are major problems a lot of the time the fetus will just miscarry. But if it doesnt the child should have a chance at life anyway. given it may not be a perfect life but to take the chance away to live at all is wrong when the fetus is so far along that its actually considered a living being by this point.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • anonymous

      yes because a baby with serious physical/mental problems is worth less than one without them. great job.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. 3:16

    Where in the Bible does Jesus say anything about abortion? We know God aborts an estimated 20% of all babies conceived through miscarriage. Might that illuminate His view on the matter?

    February 22, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      Yes, miscarriages happen. However, we are not the Almighty. People die everyday, but it is not our place to take their lives.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      Andy,

      The Bible not only NEVER mentions abortion, it offers more to support it than oppose it.

      Read it sometime.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      And if men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she has a miscarriage, yet there is no further injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman's husband may demand of him; and he shall pay as the judges decide. But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life." (Exodus 21:22-23)

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

      spectacular logic. you get a medal. god kills everyone who dies of natural causes. so god must be a murderer.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      Uh, you arrived at that, not me. Not my logic at all. I was very simply stating that it is not our place to end the lives of unborn babies.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. GeorgeBos95

    Unable to differentiate between cells used to conceive vs. a fetus.

    That's a pretty pathetic analogy... and it undermines her ability to make the point she's lamely trying to make.

    Why not ban masturbation for men while you're at it. And require that all semen be captured for future use.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      NOW you're talking!

      February 22, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boogie

      open your mouth....

      February 22, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • jay

      Eggs are living. So are sperm. Take a biology class for a nice change.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. None

    Stupid liberals. Abortion isn't a contraception issue. If there is a fetus, you've already conceived. There is a big difference in killing a fetus and not choosing to create one to begin with. Stupidity like this is ruining our country.

    February 22, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      You just wanted to say 'stupid liberals' without bothering to read the story, amiright?

      February 22, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • jay

      Are you planning on taking care of all the unwanted babies that otherwise weren't aborted? Honestly, I'd rather put my tax dollars toward helping women with the abortion than to pay the nearly $1 M / each it'll take for the State to raise those children. You say "you liberals," but I can't help but think "you conservatives" are all about the baby UNTIL it's born.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bernardo

    No one is proposing that women be banned from being sterilized (having their "tubes tied") to prevent conception. To compare vasectomy to abortion defies logic. There's a big difference between sperm cells and a 20 week old baby.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      It’s not a direct comparison genius. You’ve completely missed the point.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • anonymous

      not sure he missed the point considering all he was doing was pointing out the inconsistency in the logic.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Annie, Atlanta

    What in the world is this all out war on women? Where did it come from? Is this what the GOP thinks of as "small government?" This is getting out of control, the GOP is out of control. These alternate measures aren't going to work. The GOP doesn't see what they are doing as wrong. God help us all if we can't learn that by voting in extremists we get extremism. Pay attention for goodness sakes to what these people say before you vote for them.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • bowditch

      WELL SAID!!

      February 22, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      did you Annie pay attention prior to voting for Obama? Not that the other choice was much better but I do not think we would have been in 15 trillion debt right now had we went the other way.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Andy

    The root of abortion is that there is simply too much emphasis on one's self. How can we simply discard precious babies into a bucket, and then consider ourselves an evolved society?

    February 22, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      How can we not care about the health of the mother and call ourselves an evolved society?

      February 22, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      Ah yes, the preganancy endangering the health of the mother argument. Do you mean the weight gain during the pregnancy? Because there is an absolute tiny, tiny, tiny number of cases where the mother's health is endangered.

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

      How can you justify bringing "precious babies" into a world where they will be abused, neglected, starved, undereducated and (probably) eventually incarcerated? If you can find enough willing people to adopt all the unwanted children that would be born without contraception or abortion (they ARE two different things), that would be great. However, Americans don't seem to want to adopt poor, unwanted American children; they prefer to get Chinese girls or unsocialized Eastern bloc children. If you can assure that every child born will be cared for and raised in an acceptable manner, than you can argue the "socialized country" problem.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      A woman is FAR MORE likely to die giving birth than having an abortion. Try again.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • jay

      How can we have babies born into financially poor families with little education, and not expect the govt to help at least a little, and call ourselves an evolved society.

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

      0.012 percent of women will die during child birth. That's less than one-tenth of one percent.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      Being poor and uneducated is no death sentence. Many great people have come from low means.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Less Govt?

    It is hypocritical how Rupublicans and their supporters want less government in peoples lives.....until it comes to your body. I don't support abortion as a form of birth control but I can recognize the need if the mother's health is in jeopardy, or the quality of life of the newborn is virtually non existent due to birth defects or like such.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. o

    At least someone has a sense of humor. When will the GOP butt out of people's lives? Seriously, stop it!

    February 22, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. HenryMiller

    What's good for the goose is good for the gander, as the old saying goes.

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