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. Katie

    Since this man proposing the abortion-ban bill is obviously so concerned about fetal pain, I wonder what his thoughts are on c i r c u m c i s i o n. A newborn infant is undeniably a full human being, can scream, cry, breathe, feel, etc. Yet this is a very common procedure done that absolutely inflicts immense pain on this small child. Since pro-lifers are hypocrites, I'd bet he's all for that!

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

    This made mey day. It's a great way to get the point across. Unfortunately, as so many of these commenters have demonstrated, people are still missing the point.

    February 22, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jackson

    Congrats now have your own version of Sheila Jackson Lee!

    February 22, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mike

    This is an example of a representative who is trying to equate the lack of sterilization of men and the murder of babies. To that woman I will gladly give up my right to a vasectomy if you stop all abortions. Anyday anywhere you want to stop abortions, i will gladly give the right to a vasectomy. DO IT, Angel of Death, where is your sickle. Anyone who advocates the right of abortion, when the mothers life in not in question as a contraceptive should hold their head in shame. If the innocent unborn children are not sacred, who is? All your property and belongings, even your life has not anymore roghts than the unborn. Apparently this BOZO in the above video hasn't seen the affects of an abortion on the mental staus of a woman. They start wondering what the baby's eyes and hair and face look like, and the age they would be at that time. I know I have talked to 4 different women 2 were in tears one crying on my shoulder. Yeah your rights to make not only the babies to die but the women convicted with terrible resolve, that mudered the most precious life of them. Don't think that you can go to church and hide your feelings from God he knows we are all sinners,just some that advocate the continuation of sin where others repent

    February 22, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      yeah im totally behind you. wont be happy until all women are shackled to the oven. FREEDOM!!!!!

      February 22, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • momoya

      Your analysis is incorrect. This legislation was to show who has power and control over another person's body; it was not to equate a certain birth control procedure with abortion.

      February 22, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Food4Though

      Sounds good Mike, and once your plan is implemented let's make sure you're personally responsible for adopting and raising all the "unwanted" babies you save.

      February 22, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cindy

      I've had an abortion and I don't sit around all day wondering about what it would look like. Your just an ignorant man who doesn't know what he's talking about. You and your religion should keep their mouths and opinions out of my government. Wouldn't our country just be a sloppy mess with all the over population and drain on the system. Puppies are cute but if their are too many at the pound they eventually get put down. Why don't you concern yourself with a more worthy cause by feeding and clothing the ones who have already been born and are now homeless in your backyard.

      February 22, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chloe

      But you're probably against Medicaid, WIC, Food-Stamps and Head Start that these children will need.

      February 22, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeepers

      She's equating men's reproductive rights with women's reproductive rights.

      February 22, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • losethefear

      Freedom to live by MY beliefs!
      Freedom in OUR country! (I'm not trying to take it back from anybody.)
      Freedom of the minority from the tyranny of the majority!
      Freedom of religion!
      Have you forgotten?

      February 22, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Okay, let's do it then; require vasectomies for males at birth in exchange for making abortion illegal. I am all for this.

      February 22, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. fcarr

    To your point momoya, at conception and through the entire pregnancy thats all men are ever considered – sperm donors. Certanly not human. Only once a person is brought into this world is the sperm donor refered to as a person. The sperm donor might not have volunteerily donated sperm (my first child) with the intent of making a life. "I'm on birth control so we don't need to use a condom". Wasn't until my daughter was 5 months old did I even know her mother was pregnant. Found out at work, she just handed me the baby and said 'say hi to your kid". 1980, no DNA just her word. Thats when she told me she was trying to get pregnant.

    If you think I'm the only one out there think again.

    Wouldn't trade my daughter for anything.

    Paid child support starting the next month until she was 18. Paid for her college, mom didn't "want" to help pay so she didn't have to.

    I understood this debate to be about reproductive rights. Interesting how it always gets skewed to be only about a womens reproductive rights (abortion). But I understand that because so many previous generations of men have wronged so many previous generations of women.... that as a male I must be punished for some thing I am not responsible for. If women should have reproductive rights than men should have the same safe guards.

    February 22, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • momoya

      fcarr, you should have known better. When it comes to reproduction, the law is on the woman's side, not the man's. As I have said several times, unless a man is willing to pay a lot of bucks for 20 years or more, he should wear protection.

      February 22, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. misterjack

    Actually, when a women says that an abortion is deciding what to do with their body, it's just another way of say that they have no qualms about killing a human being, especially at 20 weeks. What a women is deciding is what to do with another persons body...the unborn child that they so carelessly helped to conceive.

    Men are only sperm donors, it's the women who must carry the child. It seems to me that with the availability of all kinds of birth control products for pre-teens, adolescents, and adults, that women should put more thought into the consequences of copulation before it happens, which means each partners should use some kind of birth control product.

    And, BTW, in todays world the term "love child" is obsolete because all people think about is fuccing, not love.

    February 22, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      "It seems to me that with the availability of all kinds of birth control products for pre-teens, adolescents, and adults, that women should put more thought into the consequences of copulation before it happens, which means each partners should use some kind of birth control product."

      The problem with this train of thought is that soon many women will NOT have easy access to all kinds of birth control products! It is easy and cheap enough for a man to slip on a condom and be reasonably assured that a child will not result from his choice, but a woman has to change her ENTIRE body chemistry (the pill, ring, IUD, implants, shot) to have that same peace of mind...and given that I know at least ten children who were unintentionally conceived when the mothers were on said methods, and only one (my own) when the father was wearing a condom...that's not very much peace.

      When it comes to being 'viable' at 24-25 weeks, have you ever SEEN a child born that early? Their chance of survival is abysmal! (And good luck finding a doctor who will attempt to induce labor at 24 weeks, even if the kid is "viable"!)

      February 22, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. foreal

    Gee, its a wonder why our congress is so messed up. There are no other issues that need to be addressed? You ar being paid all that money to waste time on making fake bills to present? We need to wipe the slate clean with our elected officials. This article clearly backs that idea up!

    February 22, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. SherwoodOR

    I wonder how much it costs the tax payers of Georgia just to have a bill introducted into the Georgia House of Representatives? There are real and significant costs to tax payers incurred with just introducing a bill. It's a shame to see an elected representative waste the tax payer's money and abuse the legislative process this way.

    February 22, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. fcarr

    momoya – I should have known better.
    Your saying that a women should have more rights than men!!?? Interesting, exactly what women are complaining about. Men having more rights than women. Any thought about equality? Not just reproductive rights but all rights. That includes equal responsibility for that persons actions.

    February 22, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • momoya

      You haven't read my posts very carefully where I have agreed with your position. Women shouldn't have more rights than men, but they do in the reproduction. Yes, you should have known better because women can abort and men can't, and men have to pay for a child that is born and not aborted. Not fair, but the current law.

      February 22, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Haywood Jablome

    I agree with the restriction. It should only cover one per person! Like I tell the Republicans, stay out of my bedroom!

    February 22, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. kmac

    What should be done is that the sperm donor should be financial responsible for mother and fetus until the child is 2 years old and then just for the child. Failure to do so would be a felony with jail time.

    February 22, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Pete/Ark

    professional assessment : the lady should have made it an amendment or rider to the original bill she opposed not a new bill...but I like her evil sense of humor....

    February 22, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jesse

    Oh and by the way if you murder a pregnant women who is only two weeks pregnant its two counts of murder but if she kills a 19 week old baby inside of her its ok yet if you leave a babyvon its own after birth do not feed or clothe that baby because legally it is viable (which is stupid since a newborn can not sustain itself) you are charged with murder when that baby dies.

    February 22, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. fcarr

    This article reminds me of another article I read awhile ago. Seems that in some states it is (was) illegal for a husband to get a vasectomy without his wife's PERMISSION.

    February 22, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • marge

      It was true in the mid sixties..

      February 22, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jeepers

    I understand what she's saying but the 20 week limit is reasonable...with certain exceptions. You have to have compromise. Jail time seems a little strange though. Just make it unavailable in your state. Don't we have enough people in jail?

    February 22, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
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