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. MarkOates

    Unbelievable. 😀

    This sounds like it's straight out of the Onion.

    February 22, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Horney Bob

    The South.

    You can only get stupid of this intensity in the Bible Belt.

    February 22, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Otto von Wienerklipper

    Modify the bill a bit so that men who father children then leave are mandated to have vasectomies, and I could easily support it.

    February 22, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike Russo

      Motion Seconded, call the vote, speaker.

      February 22, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • T-boy

      I second this motion. Mandatory vasectomies for deadbeat daddies 🙂

      February 22, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      It's a false analogy.
      The legislature is drawing a comparison between ABORTION and Vasectomies; that is a false analogy. No one, no legislature, is ordering women to get sterilized or to NOT get sterilized, which is what vasectomies are.

      February 22, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • nicole

      I like the way you think.

      February 22, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Ok...Since the battle lines are drawn, here we go.... the question should be defined as a fight of the Republican to support religious discrimination against women under the guise of religion...Descrimination is discrimination, no matter where it's hidden.

      February 22, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • M in Oz

      I agree Otto! There should also be a bill that all anit-abortion people are made to go to jail when unwanted kids are murdered by their Mommy's and their boyfriends. They want to stick their nose in, they should stick their wallets in to support the kids.

      February 22, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Danny Boy

    Bunch of "Scumbags!!!!"

    February 22, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. larry5

    With John Holdren as Obama's science Czar none of this would every fly. He advocated forced sterilization and forced abortions and Obama has stated that Holdren is a man with visions they both share for the future of America. Holdren believes that procreation is a right to be granted by the government and that couples that don't meet the criteria should be sterilized. So with this in mind a bill like this even at the state level is a non event.

    February 22, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tabitha M

      Larry, please post the source of John Holdren saying those claims. Those a pretty strong allegations to make without backing them up.

      February 22, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. superplus

    I think some commenters here are missing Ms. Neal's point – this proposed legislation was designed to get men to see this abortion issue from a woman's point of view – this will never be a law – but it certainly worked – a lot people are fired up about it.

    February 22, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lu

      Because the matter has nothing to do with a woman's right to her body, but of the right of an unborn child to his/hers. That simply seeks to confuse the issue by covering it up with womens lib concerns. If a man could carry a fetus, then it should be wrong to terminate THAT pregnancy as well (abberation to nature aside).

      February 22, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      The comparison has no merit. No one is advocating prohibiting women from having their tubes tied, which is analogous to a vasectomy. I don’t think she is going to change anyone’s mind with this legislative game. Instead, I think she is going to further divide those who are pro-life and pro-choice and further degrade our faith in our legislators.

      February 22, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • M in Oz

      Vasectomy = no more kids = anti-christian. Apparently we are all to breed since we get married and they shouldn't be allowed to breed if they are going to tell women that they have to.

      February 22, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • alinnc

      Greg – our legislators do not need any help in degrading our opinion of them. They are doing an excellent job at that with no outside help.

      February 22, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really Jersey

      We get it... She is wasting her taxpayers money by filing this drama lama gesture.

      February 23, 2012 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Tammy

      Greg: Women are currently generally unable to get their "tubes tied" if they are under the age of 40-50 and have had no children. Google "tubal ligation" and you'll see countless stories of women who want to be responsible and not have unwanted pregnancies, but are not allowed to undergo the procedure due to discrimination. Meanwhile, men who are of the same age of these rejected women (and without kids) are able to get vasectomies incredibly easily

      February 23, 2012 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  7. Lu

    Vasectomies prevent unwanted pregnancy, and thus avoid contributing to the murder of an unwanted child. A woman having an elective tubal ligation would be fine, which is the equivalent of a vasectomy. The matter isnt about the right of a woman to "her body", it's about the right of that small human to live. One could say that a woman gave up the right when she chose to engage in unprotected sex, now the life of another is threatened by her "freedom". I know there are exceptions, but they dont make the rule. I think the "anti-vasectomy" bill demonstrates the ignorance of this politician in understanding the problem.

    February 22, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. not aborted

    People....... STOP AND THINK WHAT IF YOUR MOTHER HAD AN ABORTION???? Maybe the REST of US would be better off????????????????????????????

    February 22, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Phil in Oregon

    The part of the abortion debate I never hear mentioned is whether the fetus is ok with being chopped into hamburger and flushed down the drain. Maybe I'm just not paying attention close enough.

    February 22, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Why don’t you ask it? Oh wait it can’t talk, oh wait it can’t even live on it’s own, oh wait it’s not a person.

      February 22, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • M in Oz

      Fetuses don't know what hamburgers are.

      February 22, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam I. Am

      @ Mark: By that logic, a newborn isn't a person either. Can't talk, can't live on its own. How about a person on life support after an accident?

      I personally don't believe human life begins at conception, but I think the way we define life should be fairly simple: brain waves. When discernible brain waves begin, it is a life. When they end, it is over. It is up to theologians to decide about the so-called "soul" and when it takes up residence.

      February 22, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maggy Jenkins

      It's not a person? Are you serious? A 6 month old child can't live on it's own either or talk, so it"s not a person? How about a 100 year old bed ridden Grandma, she can't live on her own.

      February 22, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ishmael

      @ Sam I. Am Actually a person on life support is living via artificial means, not naturally, not as God created humankind. Life support is a man-made interference of God's creation. Less than 100 years ago, nature would take it's course and those people would be dead. So if you believe it is legal and ethical for doctors to interfere with life as God/nature deigns, then terminating a pregnancy should be also, because it is man altering the course of life.

      But then the Book of Genesis states that "God breathed into him the breath of life, and man became a living soul." those words appear extremely clear, that until a human breathes on her/his own, the being is not a person, and certainly has no soul.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
  10. Miss K.

    Wouldn't anti-ejaculation been better. Something like: STOP THE MADNESS
    Millions of potential human lives are being needlessly killed without remorse and yet there is no legislation being enacted to stop this horror. In beds and bathrooms, using napkins and towels homunculus of every race are being unnecessarily jerked by force to be spewed from their willing hosts and cast out into a hostile environment where they can never survive. Under the guise of ejaculation, this intentional murder is taking place every day, sometimes multiple times a day in America and all over the world. Ejaculation is a scourge on our society as it not only destroys the life from within it is the root cause of the dreaded abortion. There are methods to contain ejaculation such as abstinence and there is even talk of a male “Pill” but the risks and the side effects it may have on the host’s body have reduced this option to mainly lip service. Condoms have been offered as an option but without a solution to return the helpless homunculus to their hosts, they will desperately swim to save their own lives and in the end will cease to live after about 20 minutes to an hour, and die a horrific death.
    Congressional representatives, Senators, and yes, even the President of the United States of America must insist on the immediate end to this practice of intentional murder. These elected officials must call for an immediate moratorium on the practice of ejaculation so that a Congressional committee can be appointed to touch on all the ramifications of this practice. With the development of strict guidelines and the enactment of stringent laws including the creation of a special division of law enforcement, boys, teens, and men can be stopped from this continuing practice of mass murder and millions of fragile unborn potential lives can be saved. Stop the madness, save lives, end ejaculation now!

    February 22, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • M in Oz

      That's hilarious Miss K 😀 I think I laughed up a tonsil (i.e. committed tonsil murder).

      February 22, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam I. Am

      I am a mass murderer! 🙁

      (But don't tell my girlfriend, that may be more than she can swallow... speaking of which, I guess that makes her a bit of a cannibal!) 😀

      February 22, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • LOL


      February 22, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • ms. G

      Excellent! I laughed out loud. if you ever run for office, you have my vote.

      February 22, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really Jersey

      Wow! Thanks, I needed that laugh.

      February 23, 2012 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
  11. mark

    Hope they don't follow that old line about masturbation in the Bible being a sin, otherwise, I'd be a mass murder....

    February 22, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. nicole

    @ Zabbot – You raised the challenge of citing one thing men can do that women cannot? Men can rape women and leave them pregnant. Don't judge a woman until you've walked a mile in her shoes.

    February 22, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. DC

    The 'Peace State' is a bit too enamored with fuzzy peaches, dontcha think?

    February 22, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. webreading

    When you legalize killing unborn children as a nation.....

    There is NOTHING Left, that isn't untouchable.
    Maybe he was correct...
    This is EVIL in has Nothing to do with 'Womens Reproductive RIGHT''s The Right to KILL BABIES!

    February 22, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • LOL

      wow dramatic

      February 22, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Name

    Technically speaking life begins BEFORE contraception since sperm cells are technically living organisms, besides the point I am againt anti-abortion bills not because they are against killing babies, I am already against abortion as it is, however I do not believe that it is the governments job to tell us what to do with our bodies, I believe the topic of abortion should be dealt with the same as cigarettes.....instead of outlawing the government should make every possible attempt to dissuad people from getting the procedure through media and other means.....most anti-abortion laws fringe on facicsm as it is

    February 22, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
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