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. Leigh

    Wonder if Catholic employers have a problem with providing Viagra and Cialis coverage to men like they have a problem with providing oral contraception coverage to women? Hmmmm. Methinks not! Bet the priests and bishops are the biggest consumers of Viagra.

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

    I'm in full support of the Rep. Neal's bill to flip the issues......let's get in the pants of men to see how they handle the invasion of their bodies.

    Also, where is the outrage of other state and congressional female leaders over government's invasion of a female's body. I don't hear you! I thought the GOP was for jobs and the economy. Why are they nationally and locally wasting our time and money on issues for which negates one of their core values: take govt out of our think!

    To those fmale and male legislators, let's get to work on the real issues like jobs and fair taxes!

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

      Keep in mind this really isn’t a gender issue. If you take a look at both side the supporters are divided by political party and religion. I am a man and like every other man I’ve spoken to about it we support pro-choice.

      February 23, 2012 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
  3. beckyc444

    Why not restrict men from m a s t e r b a t i n g. Isn’t that depriving thousands children of birth. Actually, let’s go even further than that; ban all men from e j a c u l a t i n g completely unless it is for fertilization only. Oh wait! Here’s the best option; lets ban any form of s e x unless the women is ovulating… and let’s throw on a kicker that if you get caught you get the death penalty. Yup that sounds good. Hurry up and pass it before people have time to think about it!!

    February 22, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • X

      Female mastu.rbati.on is still completely acceptable in this instance. We don't waste.

      Menstruation however, that's just plain murder!

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

      Good suggestion! Apropos for the times we live in.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • beckyc444

      I hope you people realize this is sarcasm… however, I guarantee that I am not too far off from what could be this country’s future… except add 80% of people on welfare because they can’t support their 10 children... I seriously fear for humanities future.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Primewonk

      To be fair, when you women are ovulating, us menfolk should only be allowed to shoot out a single sperm. Otherwise, you end up with a couple hundred million dead soldiers.

      I guess, we could try and get all women to ovulate together and then select by lottery, a single (lucky) guy to pop out a sperm to each of you.

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

      I'm not sure if ejaculation without fertilization is murder or a form of child abandonment. Maybe it's both. Let's put it to a referendum.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • beckyc444

      primework - I got it!! Have all men ejaculate into a peetree dish once in their life (sorry guys that’s all you get for masturbation) and then we’ll have a team of expert scientists go through and select each the healthiest sperms, and then put them into women’s eggs (which will be removed from each women once they reach the age of fertilization), then put one fertilized egg back into the woman (when they reach reproductive age; 13 is good) and repeat every 2 years or so. IT’S BRILLIANT I SAY!! Then everyone will have about 20 children and nothing will be wasted. See then we can all become baby factories.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Scottyholden

    Seriously...? With all of the terrible things going on in the U.S. right now, how the hell is this stuff still being proposed. where is the common sense? When did America become crazy? Seriously... Maybe it's Canada who should protect it's northern border a bit better. We don't need this kind've thinking coming up here.... It's dissapointing to see our big neighbors to the north going through this. I really feel for the common sense Americans who are unfortunately being lumped in with these psycho's.

    You guys need to learn to focus on important issues. And For a "free" country you guys love putting limitations on people, and love to tell them what they can't / cannot do, what is moral/not moral. Then you talk bad about other countries stifling freedoms.. It's so glaringly hypocritical and mind boggling.

    It's sad to see how far down you have fallen since I was a kid. I used to Vacation in the U.S. Annually, and it was such a great proud country. Now it is all government infighting, and crying over spilt milk. The U.S. is a shadow of it's former self, and it's all due to radical conservatism.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottyholden

      *big neighbors to the south.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gary

      No Sir!

      The problem with America is anyone and everyone associated with the LOONIE LEFT such as this woman in Georgia. Liberals are making America look STUPID!

      February 22, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • disappointed

      I like her strategy, it's not possible to reason with religious extremists.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gary

      Wrong; it is impossible to reason with a LIBERAL!

      Liberals are LIARS, CHEATS and NEVER to be trusted!!

      February 22, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • mayflower

      Radical conservatism and radical liberals BOTH. All fringe dwellers ruin it for those of us who exist in the middle of the spectrum. Don't blame just one group of freaks for this sort of idiocy.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Zach

    I live in Virginia. This bill clearly is designed to raise the cost of abortion. It does nothing to outlaw it. It simply makes it more expensive. The ultrasound and inpatient requirements will make the medical industrial complex boatloads of money. Insurance companies do not want to pay for it, so the government has their backs as well but not having this procedure covered. This one is all about money folks. If you think it is a religious issue, well, yer wrong.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • jack johnson

      The State should pay for this!

      February 22, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jim

    Wasn't her moma the one who wanted ebonics taught – what a dumb a$$

    February 22, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. You all amaze me

    Abortion kills, therefore it is murder. A vasectomy does not. Too many women use abortion as birth control. This has to be the stupidest way to waste taxpayer money by voting on a bill that has no chance of passing. Only when there is a murder do we recognize the fetus as a person. Why???? Ask Scott Peterson. Convicted of 2 murders, 1 for his unborn child.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • disappointed

      IMO a fetus is a tumor... with potential.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Well, according to this thing called Webster's Dictionary (maybe you heard of it?), murder or homicide only applies to human beings. Whether you personally think a fetus is a full human being is your personal, moral decision. But at the moment, neither the law nor the dictionary nor most logical people think that. That's like saying I murdered vegetables by cooking and eating them.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. mattmchugh

    Rep. Neal may think she's making an outrageous satiric point with her anti-vasectomy ("they deprive babies of the right to be born") legislation, but she's using essentially the same logic the Catholic Church has used for centuries.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. willy

    The problem is that some people believe that an embryo is human just because it has living human cells that contain all the information necessary to mature into a thinking being with human rights. If you kill it you have stopped a human life from its natural path and development. Others seem to say, if you can't think you aren't human. What a quandary.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Zoey

    I had no idea that these amendments were being attached to the anti-abortion bills now being proposed and I think it is wonderful. Both sides of this issue be it abortion or ejaculation should be equally discussed and I'm glad to see that it finally is being discussed.
    Funny how when you talk about restricting a man's behavior it sounds ridiculous but when you discuss restricting a woman's behavior it isn't ridiculous.
    This is the first time in the last ten years that anything the government has done has brought a smile to my face.
    Love it!

    February 22, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gary

      Typical LOONIE LEFT liberal who cannot tell the difference between MURDER and birth control!

      Why don't the DemocRATs wise up and seperate themselves from this American cancer called LIBERALISM?

      February 22, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Syriusblack

    I esp. like the "wasteful" ejaculation legislation as a response to the attack on women. However, it has serious health issues and wouldn't be practical. While it would improve mens' skin conditions, it would create serious eyesight impairment and all that that implies. Would be worse than drunk driving! Why in the hell can't republicans leave people alone, and the evangelicals keep their "hands" off women? If you don't like abortions, don't have one!

    February 22, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Because they want everyone that is "not like them" to be put away.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mike

    Don't we have enough people already? When will this house of cards come tumbling down?

    February 22, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Pam

    My God, the world has gone stark, raving mad.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Steve

    This is such a dumb analogy - the female equivalent of a vasectomy is a tubal ligation, not a late-term abortion. If you can't tell the difference between a fetus with an active brain (and a beating heart) and sperm, you're an idiot.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Seriously

    Other than women who's lives are in immediate danger who the hell needs a 20 week abortion? You can't decide to keep your child and then get an abortion the minute your baby daddy breaks up with you. There seriously needs to be a +/-10 week limit. It's funny how scientists and the medical field willingly call invisible bacteria on mars "life" but a viable baby in the womb a "fetus"...we are very backwards!!

    February 22, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
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