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. momoya

    The issues are force and control, not contraception and abortion.

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

    Is it Rep. Neal's opinion that a five month old fetus/child is the equivalent of semen?

    February 22, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Misty

    Let's call it what is is people – control over the womb. You control the womb, you control life and death, you control the woman. Do any of you honestly BELIEVE that these nasty politicans give a rat's furry flea-infested ass about anyone except themselves and their own? It's always been about control! When politicians refer to deaths as a result of war as "collateral damage" do you still convince yourselves to believe they love that squirmy little fetus ever so much? The truth can hurt but it will also set ya free!

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

      He who controls the womb, controls the universe

      February 22, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • X

      So true. It's all about control. It's also about arrogance.

      Rich white men who want women (read: white women, who have the most abortions) to stay at home and contribute more babies to their "master race" cause. Don't forget, getting all the women out of the public sphere will make more jobs! Oh boy!

      "Minorities" meanwhile will continue to have children, keeping them mired in poverty. Those babies will have no jobs available to them and will join the army.

      Civilizations were built at their core to attract women. Controlling women has always been and will continue to be a great injustice until this world passes away.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jayne

      There are many forms of contraceptives on the market today. If a woman gets herself pregnant and didn't want to get pregnant, then she is a fool and so is the man that got her that way. To have an abortion a 20 weeks gestation is unconscionable! That is MURDER! In fact, abortion IS murder no matter how far along a woman is. 20 weeks is 3 months people. It breaks my heart that some women would chose to have an abortion that late in their pregnancy and not give the child up for adoption. What is wrong with these women? And, yes, I feel that there should be a ban on such an awful procedure, especially at 20 weeks! That’s comparable to partial birth abortion! As I mentioned, there are too many contraceptives out there today to prevent any woman from becoming pregnant!!

      February 22, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      @Jayne
      Abortion is not murder, fact. Look it up. Your OPINION is irrelevant.

      p.s. A woman can’t get HERSELF pregnant genius. I suggest you do a little reading on the subject. And no your b!ble doesn’t count.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sybaris

    Obviously a lot of the posters here are not registering that the "vasectomy" bill is forcing the hand of anti-abortionists.............that on it's own the v-bill is rediculous.......on purpose.

    (just saw a thousand light bulbs go off)

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

      Exactly!

      February 22, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • SC

      Let's think about that. If you made Vasectomy free at the same time tippled the cost of Child Support for men that had children out of wedlock you might just see a huge drop in the need for birth control and abortions. So it's not about controlling women it's about leveling the playing field.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bobby Mckenzie

      I say go for it. Since I have no intention of getting a vasectomy any time soon, as stupid as this bill is, if it will save the lives of unborn children, then go for it

      February 22, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bobby Mckenzie

      Okay and who doesn't see the stupidity in this? first of all, a vasectomy will stop a baby from being created in the first place, but an abortion stops a baby that has already been created.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jayne

      Oops I made an error 20 weeks is almost 5 months. Does anyone not see what is wrong with a woman having an abortion that far along in a pregnancy? At 7 months, babies can survive a premature birth. A child would have a life if the mother was to give the babies up for adoption. I know many women in my family alone that could not have children. These babies would be a blessing to so many.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jayne

      Sean, Abortion stops a beating heart. Therefore, it is murder. Just because that beating heart cannot defend itself, doesn't mean that it does not exist. You, sir, are wrong.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      @Sybaris
      This isn’t forcing the anti-choice hand, it’s the hand forced by the anti-choice clan.

      @Bobby Mckenzie
      The stupidity here is that people like you think this is a direct comparison. It is in fact a statement about reproductive right genius.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jayne

      Sean, Abortions stop a beating heart. A heart starts to beat within the first 8 weeks of gestation. Abortion, in fact is murder.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      @Jayne
      If it were murder it would be illegal everywhere as murder is illegal. As stated above your opinion in face of the fact is irrelevant.

      P.s. You posted that under the wrong comment.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John

      @Jayne. People die daily. Where do you stand on road safety, gun safety, drug safety, etc. Then there's the fact that 1000's of (already born) children die of starvation every day. I'd be surprised if you are as passionate about those issues.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. momoya

    The issues are not abortion and birth control, the issues are force and control. Neal's mistake was in not dumbing it down enough for her target audience. -as so many of these posts prove.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Eddie

    How can I get my sperm counted in the next census? I can feel them clamoring for representation! Feels kinda nice.

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

      You really want that? You might be done for manslaughter when you leave them to die on your keyboard every night

      February 22, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. SC

    It might be time to start giving IQ test to our politicians before they are allowed to run for office. It's kind of like a vasectomy.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. BG

    BAWWWWWW at all the cis men up in here whinging about vasectomies. FYI, getting a vasectomy is an outpatient procedure. Getting a tubal ligation, while mostly done laparascopically, is still considered invasive/major surgery. Those two are in no way comparable, either.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. duckmanbill

    Well that's pretty dumb – comparing a vasectomy to a >20 week abortion? A ban on abortions is about protecting the rights of the fetus. At twenty weeks, it is clear to me that the fetus is very much a living human being and it's right to life outweighs the mother's 'right' to decide she doesn't want to keep it.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • midwestrngrl

      I am for prochoice if it is very early on...after that you lose you right to decide except in cases of health and safety of mother. A balanced approach is all I wish. Its a balance between the rights of the mother and a potential child..who becomes more real every passing day. Remember too carrying a pregnancy does carry inherent risks – esp with the lack of affordable healthcare.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • well,obviously

      if it can't survive on its own (independant from the mother) it's not really alive yet.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John

      This is not about >20 week abortions; this is about the hoops women are expected to jump through if they want an abortion.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. JMB

    Thanks to Mr. McKillip for demonstrating all you need to know about Republicans.

    Government control over men's bodies: "poor attempt at humor"

    Government control over women's bodies: "serious topic deserving of serious debate."

    February 22, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • X

      Here here. It's the "republican motherhood" idea all over again. I am quite enjoying my time in the public sphere, thank you very much.

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

      A woman's control over the life of my child – up for very serious debate.
      Why do liberals always wash over the Father's rights?

      February 22, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • X

      John: if you are in a relationship where the mother has not discussed it with you I think you have bigger problems on your hands.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. nj

    There should be provisions like this on all anti abortion bills.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Josh

    Those who elected Yasmin Neal, and Rep. Neal herself, are the strongest argument that abortion should be legal and strongly encouraged.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      You support abortion if things get horribly bad enough so why not skip the HYPOCRISY?

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

      @Observer
      It’s a requirement for republicans and theists.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JCMars

    Women who have abortions are out of "control" of their own bodies. It just shows that the Democratic Party in Georgia is made up of married siblings. I've heard the Party theme music there is "Dueling Banjos." The Democratic Party – the party of the crotch.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. phatboi

    Yea but without a vasectomy, the little buggers just end up spooged into a towel where they die a horrible death by dehydration.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Georgia

    This has got to be the stupidest thing I've seen in awhile. They can't even compare apples to apples. Ban a vasectomy because the state wants to stop women from murdering human babies that could live outside of the womb. The real question here is...what kind of lowlife woman would fight for this right?

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