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. Wow

    By this logic, masturbation would be considered genocide.

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


      February 22, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jenny

    "This attempt to compare vasectomies to abortions is TERRIBLE. Birth control PREVENTS conception, and an abortion terminates a pregnancy."

    It's not an attempt to compare vasectomies to abortions. It's to point out how absurd it is to try to control, through legislation, a woman's right to do what she wants/needs with her body. They are merely saying, if the shoe were on the other foot, this would not be a topic of discussion.

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

    Rabbits have more control over their bodies than we do. If a female rabbit knows she is going to be unable to provide for her litter she knowingly makes the decision to absorb the fetuses back into her body.

    Is it murder if a rabbit does it?

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


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

      Why not?

      February 22, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • duckmanbill

      Because animals do not carry the same rights as humans duh.

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

      @duckmanbill We are animals, look around you.

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

      It is so.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jargo

      some animals eat their young. maybe we should offer a bill on that.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jill

      they also eat their young. yummy.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. MikeMazzla

    As a guy who is pretty liberal, generally I have no problem with abortion at all. But I do think that if you are going to have one, then just have it right away. I mean other than a medical reason or something, why wait that long to have one? If I thought the Republicans were doing this for that reason I could understand it..but you know for them though it is just a way to stop it all together. But really if that is the issue, then just say you have any right at all to have an abortion but you have to have it in the first 10 weeks or whatever. But this wont stop teh republicans from trying to outlaw it all together.

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

      MikeMazzla: 16 weeks.

      February 22, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zoey

      I agree with you except i think the republicans are doing this to get votes from the christian conservative voters and nothing else. I bet if there was a way to check in the background of any ex-girlfriend, mistress, wife, daughter, cousin or friend of these so called moral conservatives you'd find one or two abortions in the group and if these politicians were really anti-abortion they would support illegitimacy instead.
      Just a thought.

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

      Most women who have abortions do so pretty immediately. Very few women would ever wait that long, but the religious right propagates the myth that survivable infants are being aborted for the sake of outrage.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinks2010

      Karen Santorum had an abortion in October 1996. It was done by inducing labor before the fetus had reached viability so some claim it was not technically an abortion. Others argue that since the fetus or child (as the pro-life people would say) was intentionally removed from the womb before it was viable it was in essence an abortion. In any event, the Santorums acted knowing it would result in the death of their fetus/child in order to save the life of the mother (Karen).

      February 22, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Why Oh Why

    Can we please stop accusing the GOP of trying to control women's bodies? The woman's body isn't the body in question here. It's the body INSIDE HER WOMB. That is not the woman. It is the baby. The Democrats introducing this vasectomy bill is not in any way related to anti-abortion bills. The purpose of anti-abortion bills are to protect the life OF THE BABY. You know, that already-conceived fetus? And it's going to solve something by saying we should keep men from undergoing a surgery to prevent the flow of sperm. As usual, liberal logic escapes me. Sigh....

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

      What logic are you using?

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

      It's not A BABY, it's a womana's BODY, can you understand that!!!!

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

      Preventing vasectomies makes complete sense! Wouldn't want those wigglers wasted. Those are potential babies not being born because of wasteful vasectomies! The horror!

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

      It's not A BABY, it's a woman's BODY, can you understand that!!!!

      February 22, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • prufrock91

      WhyohWhy... Why don't you go to a science class? Maybe with a real education you would understand biology. You think life is so special, when you learn that life is just another force in the universe you can rid yourself of your flat earth fairy tales...

      February 22, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Why Oh Why

      BigHwasdemo: No I can't! How can you say it's not a baby? Where do you draw the line between fetus and baby? Obviously once it's out of the womb no sane person would say it's ok to kill it. So then when does it become a baby? At conception, at 20 weeks, at birth...?

      prufrock91: I have absolutely no respect for your opinion. First of all, I have a Bachelors of Science degree so don't $*** about education. That being said, "life is just another force in the universe?" So according to your logic there's no reason to preserve life at all. You scare me. Look into some mental help.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. MikeMazzla

    Thats a funny bill and makes its point. And how about discussing it in the legislature but just have women on the panels. I can see the men going crazy over that.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mackenzie

    All this law is proving is that certain members of the Georgia Senate need to grow up and stop trying to run a dictatorship of a State of the United States. Our reproductive rights are NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS! I personally had an elective tublectomy. Ergo, I elected to have my fallopian tubes removed surgically preventing me from having what would have turned out to be unplanned children. I DARE the government to have me tossed into jail for doing something that is none of their freaking bees wax. A man should have the right to avoid becoming a father, just like I have the right to avoid becoming a mother without having some government that is clearly stuck in the 17th century telling them what to do.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mike

    There is a HUGE difference between pre and post conception birth control methods. Yasmin needs to get back to work and stop playing games. Her phony bill is not relevant, catchy, or funny.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jargo

    Blah blah blah. If a woman gets pregnant thats her choice. If a woman decides to end the pregnancy thats her choice. The father gets the choice of wearing a condom. The baby gets no choices. Blah blah blah we're never going to resolve this. We should separate into two countries and get it over with.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. paul

    It would seem that most men seek a vasectomy after becoming a father and wishing to limit responsibility. Before I had a vasectomy I still practiced birth control so I would not cause a woman to need an abortion.

    These wacky Southern politician's need a class in logic!

    February 22, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • jack johnson

      But if you get a divorce you are depriving your next wife the abulity to have a child.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jack johnson

    The Repubs. say obama is muslum, but they keep passing shiria laws against women. A womans body is her's so get out of their business!!!! Next they will take away their right to vote.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinks2010

      Isn't it interesting that the states with laws that are most intrusive and limiting on a woman's rights to control her own body and destiny are the same states that were among the last to ratify the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote: Virginia did not ratify until 1952. Georgia, North Carolina and Louisiana didn't ratify until 1970 and 1971. South Carolina ratified in 1973, but Mississippi did not ratify until 1984. These states filled with religious fundamentalists have a historical disregard for the rights of women.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Anon

    God is an abortionist. 2/3 of fertilized eggs do not attach to the wall of the uterus and are flushed out, which by a pro-life definition makes almost every woman a serial killer.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mayflower

    My mother is a NICU nurse, so I have on pretty good authority that a child born after 20 weeks has a very good chance. It's rare to lose a chill born after 22 weeks these days. If a woman wants to terminate the pregnancy after 20 weeks, let her: delivery via c-section and adoption by a family struggling with infertility. I wouldn't call myself pro-life or pro-abortion, but pro-common sense. A child that can survive outside the womb after a certain time should not be thrown away just because the mother was wishy-washy about aborting or in denial that she is pregnant.

    February 22, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • jack johnson

      And who would pay for the neonatle care?

      February 22, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sara

    Was thinking it truly a human, when it cannot even subsist basically on its own? It is, essentially parasitic. Obviously, I believe that babies are fabulous and adorable and whatnot....but if we're looking purely biologically....

    Just curious.

    February 22, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Wbear

    GOP = out of touch, off there rocker GRUMPY OLD MEN. your time about UP! so here is a early GOOD BYE you will NOT be missed.

    February 22, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
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