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. Bud

    I hope there's a "Grandfather Clause" in those bills. I had mine when I was 35 and, YES, it WAS action against an unborn child! I admit INTENT!

    February 23, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  2. John Galt

    What a kook..

    February 23, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  3. Rightwinghunter

    A better bill would be a "Spill no seed bill" banning masturbation in men. Hey its in the Bible so we must make a law for it.

    February 23, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Reply

      Actually there is nothing in the bible against masterbating in and of itself. The only refrence to it is not against the act itself, but how it was used by a particular man to dishonor his family. He was supposed to consecrate his dead brothers marriage, but refused.

      February 23, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Punkass

      How utterly ignorant. You think "rightwingers" only write bills that have to do with religon? Pathetic. Also, whats the difference between a liberal putting forth a bill based on their beliefs over a christian writting a bill based on their beliefs? Neither one agree with the other. Both feel the others bill will impact their lives adversly....can we please stop hating everyone and everything that doesnt line up with your political views?

      February 23, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  4. rika33

    Another PC fanatic, like the lady wanting to kill randon fur wearers to prove her point.

    February 23, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  5. disconnected

    They are all just showing how stupid they really are, on both sides. Government has no right to make either law. But while we are talking about no right, how about something with at least some common sense. How vasectomies for ALL deadbeat dads? If you won't take care of what you have, no more.

    February 23, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Dad's aren't the only deadbeats, there are many mothers who prefer to take the low road, too.

      February 23, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ratman

    This is like saying a cup of flour is a cake – without the egg (and the oven), it simply ain't! And frankly, a woman is NOT choosing what to do with HER body, but rather what to do with the body of THE BABY!

    February 23, 2012 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      Incorrect.

      The fetus is, by definition, a parasite until birth. It is draining resources from the host (the woman).

      February 23, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      By what definition is it a parasite and not a human? And would you then argue a newborn is a parasite since it requires someone else to provide it food/clothing/shelter to live?

      February 23, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • CNNDebbie

      Cancer cells are also human. No more cancer treatment.

      February 23, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • ALN

      A baby is not a parasite draining resources from the host, it is a person being nurtured by its mother from conception until well beyond birth.

      Pregnancy is not a disease, like cancer. It's ridiculous to compare the two.

      February 23, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • ALN

      A baby is not a parasite draining resources from the host, it is a person being nurtured by his/her mother from conception until well beyond birth.

      Pregnancy is not a disease, like cancer. It's ridiculous to compare the two.

      February 23, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Ann Onnimus

      Parasite(Noun):
      An organism that lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host's expense.

      Well... that's... actually a technically accurate way to describe it.

      February 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. TexasCatholic

    I agree.

    February 23, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  8. Rider3

    If men feel that they can regulate women's bodies, then we should have a say in how men regulate their bodies. Oh, that's not right? Not fair? Right - how does that feel? No one has ANY right to judge any person - man or woman - in any of their personal choices that affect their lives. And, don't even begin to state that you're doing this for the "child" (i.e., fetus) to be saved, because you simply don't care about that child once it's born. Enough of this already. You want less government, yet you want to impose your beliefs over MY body? Your right to religion stops when it involves my personal health.

    February 23, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • aksinglemom

      I agree with you. No one has the right to tell me if I have to have a child or not. Let each state vote on it and agree to disagree! Now this bill wants men to have kids and women can't have abortions...what is this, the dark ages? What a double standard!

      February 23, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Christine Demick

    Vasectomies for men and no medical insurance for Viagra.

    February 23, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  10. ponca

    Neal, you're showing your idiocy as a Democrat. You're comparing apples to oranges. Abortion is to stop life after life has actually begun; whereas, a vasectomy is preventing a pregnancy. We don't outlaw birth control for the same reason. Are you trying to one up men because you believe women's rights are being violated? Some men may actually thank you if you get the bill passed. Most men don't want to go through a vasectomy. It's usually at their wife's request so she doesn't have to go through being pregnant again.
    Georgians, vote Neal out the next time you have the chance and get someone in there that is going to actually do things for you instead of proposing frivolous bills to make a statement.

    February 23, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Carrie

      THANK YOU! An intelligent response that was sorely needed here.

      February 23, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Alissa

      Your right! I guess in Georgia they would rather increase help for single mothers after the men who may be getting sniped run out. If they don't want kids what makes them think this will keep them around. At least this keeps the undesirables from re populating or helping men with families from having more that they can't afford. This is just a ridiculous attempt at trying to fight anti-abortionists which in turn make them look stupid instead of actual debaters.

      February 23, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  11. Dana

    21 week gestation is a baby that MAY survive with help. Little chance but may. Abortion at such stage is murder, can't even be compared with vasectomy. Excuse me, lady, you have no soul (and I'm not a religious person).

    February 23, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  12. Em

    Look, it really doesn't matter whether abortion is legal or not. Regardless of what morals or laws say, women /will/ still abort their unwanted children. Those who can afford it will fly to where it is legal, and those who can't will stick themselves with coat hangers. Abortions have been going on since ancient times, and won't stop any time soon. Making it illegal will only cause more women to die from unsafe home abortions.

    February 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mike Singer

    What a moonbat. "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am not proud to be a Georgian"......

    February 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Brett

    Why isn't she also sponsoring a bill to ban tubal ligation as that is the analogous operation on a woman?

    February 23, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ann Onnimus

      LOL. Clearly you've never tried to get a tubal ligation. That operation, hysterectomies, any procedure that inhibits female fertility permanently is already REALLY HARD TO GET because no matter how many declarations a woman signs, the doctor is never convinced that she won't change her mind and want a baby later. Even if she's almost at the end of her fertile years anyway. EVEN IF THERE ARE LEGITIMATE MEDICAL REASONS for wanting that pile of flesh out of her body. You have NO idea.

      My mother had severe, debilitating endometriosis. It took 3 years to get permission for her ovariohysterectomy.

      February 23, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brett

      Doesn't matter. It should be banned if a vasectomy is banned as they are analogous operations.

      February 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brett

      And what does a doctor not feeling comfortable about performing a procedure have to do with legislation? Should have found a female doctor who was willing to perform the surgery. Since women never tell women what they can do with their bodies this should be a simple thing to accomplish. As someone said earlier, only men tell women what to do with their bodies.

      February 23, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jerutha

    I love this. You will have people here who think this is a serious bill. What she is trying to show is the hypocrisy of the republican party. If you want to legislate what a woman does with her body then it is only fair to do the same to men. Of course this will fail...that is the idea. If you do not see what this woman is doing then you people need to let some air into your bubbles....

    February 23, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brett

      Yeah she is trying to show them to be hypocrites but failing miserably. A vasectomy is not the male equivalent of an abortion. It is the male equivalent of a tubal ligation. So where is her bill banning that also? If she is going to make a joke of it she should continue the joke. Not stop at one terrible analogy.

      February 23, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • TiredODaCrap

      I'm all for it....Pass a law that says I CAN'T have "my boys" cut!!! Won't hurt my feelings and will get the wife off of my back!

      February 23, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
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