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. Truth Seeker

    WOW!!!! I know that some you don't believe in God, or obviously think that you know better than God. However, for me, I can't wait to get to heaven and see all the pro abortionists telling God to Butt out, or explaing that the reason she had one of his children torn to bits and left in a trash can to die was for personal convenience. All I have to say is, from my point of view, if you don't believe in God now someday you will....p.s. I wouldn't suggest telling Him to butt out when that time comes.

    February 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Marthalynne Webb

    Lessee – I will sponsor a bill to have cameras installed in every bathroom shower and every woodshed. Then we can watch all the men abort their sacred sperm, millions at a time. WOW! Maybe I ought to include the computer room for the pedophiles, too.

    February 23, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. hoovertac

    Perhaps the law should compel men wanting the procedure to view an intrusive photo....

    February 23, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • justin

      Why, I use simple staple gun and provide the service myself.

      February 23, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. condonate

    Conservative logic = limit access to contraception, child planning services, and women's rights.

    Outcome = unwanted, undereducated, state dependent children.

    Those that blame liberals for the masses living off of the system should drop everything and visit Dr. Lobotomy..

    February 23, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • durundal

      dr lobotomy had to close down, something about government funding being cut – the good news is we can offer donated sporks and a pamphlet to get them started

      February 23, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jennifer

    Here's the thing people are not understanding: A vasectomy and an abortion are nowhere NEAR the same type of procedure and therefor, should not be compared. A vasectomy prevents a pregnancy from happening in the first place, it does not terminate a pregnancy. A vasectomy would be comparable to a woman having her tubes tied. I am all for a woman's right to do what she wants with her body, but not if it means taking another human life. And I don't care what anyone says, at my 20 week ultrasound, it was clear that my child was a living, breathing, feeling human being. If you don't want to take care of the child, give it up for adoption.

    February 23, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • hayley

      Don't tell others how to live their lives. The foster care system is flawed, most children won't get adopted, there is deep psychological pain that stems from abandonment. I could go on and on, but why you favor abandoning someone and giving them a life of suffering is beyond me.

      February 23, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • VicR

      As a woman with infertility issues, I have no problem saying it is not another woman's place to be an incubator. If she doesn't want to carry the baby to term, that's her right. It should not be anyone's right to tell a woman what she does or does not have to do with her body except for that woman.

      February 23, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • somGuy

      I agree. I've had enough of people arguing about abortion saying " You can't tell people what to do with their bodies" That is a true statement we should be able to snort drugs and stuff ,however killing a human in any stage of their life – pre-birth, childhood, adulthood, or elderly- is simply put: Murder. The real argument is when does one become "human" I'd say at conception but obviously at that stage life is not intelligent and possibly not conscious so the question is still up for debate, but 20weeks old should be considered as a sentient creature. You can't compare a vasectomy to an abortion that's just plain ignorant. I get the point of this bill, but its asinine.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Annaliesa

      Sadly, the adoption issue is sticky. A great number of abortions are chosen by individuals who fall in minority groups. Affluent white couples often do not want African-American babies. Even though African-American babies cost pennies to adopt compared to a white child in order to provide incentive for people to adopt them.

      Couples often do not want to adopt special needs children. These children are also less expensive to adopt.

      Couples also do not want to adopt children from mothers who have mental disorders, white or not. Family histories of severe health conditions also dissuade couples from adopting.

      Am I saying abortions should occur? No. I think rather than outlaw abortion at any term, we should consider providing a cultural environment that helps women feel secure in having their child. There is a pro-life organization in my town that seems to have the right idea. They are not one of those shock groups that pickets outside of Planned Parenthood. Rather, they provide mentors, birthing and parenting classes, books, toys, maternity and children's clothes, help with housing and employment, 24 hour phone support via moms who volunteer, postpartum depression support groups, mental health counseling through a separate program, adoption counseling, and a lot of other services at no cost. They do not exclude anyone based on race, culture, or religion, and they also support single dads in need of help.

      Banning abortion without a support system in place for parents in need is irresponsible.

      February 23, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. crummy

    You have got to be kidding. This is what we pay Democrats/Represenatives with our tax money. This is communist to the extent. Trying to pass a law to limit the number of nuters for males in Georgia.If this is all you Democats have to do you, need to get a real life and get out on the business of representing the tax payer on a very stupid matter.
    P.S. the economy is great, gas prices are at its lowest, our borders are well protected and Obama has won the 2012 election.

    February 23, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ellen

      The vasectomy proposal is not serious, crummy. It's an attempt to show that if conservatives decide women's issues then women ought to be able to decide men's issues. Neither one is a good idea.

      February 23, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • VicR

      Did you even read the entire article? Clearly not.

      February 23, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. joe t

    I think the State of Georgia should not allow anyone who is Baptist to run for public office and these idiotic excercises would come to an end. This is a pretty ludicrous statement, almost as ludicrous as bannig vascetomies. This is why the founding fathers worked so hard to separate church and state, so crap like this would be prevented.

    February 23, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • L

      you're making the assumption that everyone who is pro-life bases their political stance on a religious belief, which isn't necessarily the case.

      February 23, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Keith

    Jennifer, if you hurry you might still be able to catch that point you so badly missed. No one is comparing vasectomies with abortions. The idea here is if it's OK for the government to tell women what they can and can't do to their own bodies, why isn't OK for it to tell men the same thing. I think it's both telling and sad that while the anti-vasectomy law is instantly viewed as ludicrous by most, the anti-abortion laws aren't.

    February 23, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. sherrin ungren

    I applaud you and all others who have finally decided to bring about the very thing i have thought of for years!! its unfortuante those typical ignorrant coments made before me here are just that, typical!! men think they rule the world because they were all born privaledged!! interesting how they come up with all these reasons why the male body has no place in politics, reliugion but a group of men can sit in committee and decide what THEY want to do to control our bodies. Makes me laugh!! Right On Sister, im with you!!!

    February 23, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • justin

      Hey sister, we control our bodies. If the ulimate goal is to NOT have a child, we absolutely have the ability to control that (without getting into illegal behaviors of one upon another) with or without technology. The law only steps in when someone has acted irresponsibly and i will define that term as an act or behavior an individual carries out that brought about a scenario the person did not wish upon themselves. Yes, if one acts irresponsibly than society feels it has a vested interest i the result of that behavior- as in all other cases of law. For those who act responsibly, law, or lack of law will not affect them personally. If you really do not like the debate, remove yourself from it by acting responsibly.
      A stupid prejudiced male stealing wisdom from his daughter.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. justin

    LOL $ e x. After thousands of years we have been unable to master the art of $ e x and p rocreation and we laugh at the intellect of those before us. I can safely say, this is not a subject that will ever go away in our life times. Funniest thing is we each have the ability to handle it even if we got rid of all laws and technology. That is funny to argue over what we are already capable of controlling. LOL.

    February 23, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • durundal

      does this mean we should start reserving long flights of stairs, just in case?

      February 23, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Carlos in FL

    This is the height of stupid and inaccurate, this bill.

    Vasectomies do not compare accurately to abortion. The female comparative procedure to a vasectomy would be a tubal ligation. Vasectomies are not an "after pregnancy" procedure.

    This is a stupid ploy, one that should be tossed aside with the rolling of your eyes. It will accomplish nothing at all. If there is a desire for a serious discussion or debate here, it's hidden behind the blinding idiocity of the action.

    Whether you approve or disapprove of abortion, that much should be certain.

    February 23, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oh-puhLEAZE

      "If there is a desire for a serious discussion or debate here..." Puh-leaze! One cannot have a serious discussion or debate with a backwards, deluded, nutwhack of a conservative Republican. They're devoid of intelligence, reason & logic and get their information from a 2000 year old book of dubious origin and provable falsehoods. Why should we debate if 2+2=5 when we know that it is not? Just because some religious idiot thinks 2+2=5 doesn't mean we all have to start "respecting" them and their deluded ideas. Let's start calling them what they really are: INSANE.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. bex

    This is fantabulous!!! What a twist. If the government wants control over women's bodies then it be only fair that the government controls men's lives as well. Hooray for the Democrats!!! If abortions become prohibited and men can still have vasectomies the there is a case of gender discriminaton....

    February 23, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinks2010

      Looked at purely scientifically, the relationship of a fetus to its mother is essentially the relationship of a parasite to its host. I guess if Georgia's legislators really want to pass legislation that would treat men in an analogous manner they should pass one prohibiting men from removing any ticks from their bodies requiring them to just let them fall off after they have sustained and grown themselves on the men's bodies. The period of time the men would be required to carry their parasite would likely be much shorter than the 9 months women carry theirs, however, men would be risking their own health and likely experiencing lifelong changes they would not otherwise have experienced just as women do.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. sickandtiredofbeingsickandtired

    Only male republican lawmakers should be required to receive anal probes before being prescribed for Viagra. Male ejaculation or masturbation is a form of abortion and should be monitored and penalized if caught.

    February 23, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. sickandtiredofbeingsickandtired

    Keith, not only Jennifer but Carlos in FL missed the whole point as well. Oh well, some can't see the forest for the trees.

    February 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. I am so embarassed

    We look like the biggest bunch of fools on the face of the earth.

    February 23, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
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