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. slik

    I certainly have a right to do what I want with my body until the consequence of my choice creates someone else, then I don't have the right to commit murder. Sperm that has not met an egg is not the same, just as having your tubes tied isnt the same. Abortion is not birth control it is murder.

    February 21, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just me

      Birth control is not murder. Look into the pharmacology of the drugs a bit further and you will see that the most commonly used birth controls do not prevent a fertilized egg from implanting and that there is little scientific literature to support such a mechanism of action except and very high doses that are not prescribed. Birth controls prevent ovulation and create a mucuous barrier to prevent sperm from entering the cervix. Geez, I wonder why women who don't take their birth control properly are suddenly surprised when they are pregnant? Yeah, that's because birth control doesn't prevent fertilized eggs from implanting!!! Good lord, people.

      February 21, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sally

      Check in with the Catholic Church "rulings" -

      February 21, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • corey

      No problem slik, let's just send all the unwanted babies to your house for you to raise. See how quick you change your tune when that happens.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • cosmicsnoop

      Wrongo! Typical answer of a non thinker. Unless the fetus is alive outside of the mother, it is not a person. My wife has been an OB nurse for 12 years and has been present at hundreds of births as well as dozens and dozens of still births, miscarriages(well, those are every week-up until 20 weeks pregnant and more, totally messed up fetuses missing brains and limbs, whatever. You know nothing of pregnancy except what you choose to believe from a book of myths. I, and many intelligent people like me, will leave the health issues to doctors and not a bunch of hicks following their outdated beliefs.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      There is a line between life and death, it's called birth.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sherri

      There are bills that have been introduced, or will be, that prohibit the use of condoms, IUD's , diaphrams, oral contraceptives, cervical caps/sponges, etc. The theory behind this is that when sperm meets egg, a life is created; OK, I grant you that. However, when a mechanism to PREVENT sperm and egg uniting is classed as means to end a life, no I don't agree. Prevention of pregnancy is not the same thing as an abortion. If all means to prevent pregnancy that are available to women are to be deemed illegal, then so should vasectomy. One would think that voluntary sterilization, and the key word here is voluntary, would be welcomed throughout the land. Why? Because that is a prudent and wise choice that many people make , and should be allowed to make. Being sterilized should not be a crime. Neither should using a means to prevent pregnancy. Once pregnancy occurs, should there be a reason to terminate it, it should be done in the most medically sound fashion available. When you remove options , whether you would use them yourself or not, you set people up to fail. I think this is a well thought out response to the avalanche of legislation aimed at allowing a woman to make a choice.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • El Flaco

      Alas, we are not birds. Our women do not lay eggs. Instead, the fetus/baby develops inside the body of the mother. What happens inside one's body is one's own business. I pray that every pregnant woman will make the right decision, but it is her decision and not mine or yours or Uncle Sam's.

      Her skin is a boundary that government cannot penetrate.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • slik

      Wow, not sure if some of you read what I said.I am saying use birth control, it is a preventative thing. That way you don't have to commit murder to avoid the consequences of your choice like having to pay for health care or education of someone you created. You pro choicers can spout off about how it isn't alive until it can survive on its own all you want but that just means all new borns and those with mental or physical impairments and many of the elderly etc. Etc are fair game to kill too. If you want to start calling names I'll take hick over murderer any day.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • El Flaco

      You are a Conservative. Do not pretend to us that you have a sudden and unexpected reverence for life. We know you too well.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • slik

      El flaco spoken like a true liberal. I will respect the rights of the aged and the infirmed and the unborn and you keep looking out for the rights of the criminals and the bottom feeders. Also I will be sure and pick up my weapon and fight for your right to believe what you want because this is America and even though I sure don't agree with you I would fight anybody that tries to take away the debate. Too bad your only weapon will be an unarmed wit. You don't need to respond, I will be going to bed since I have to go to work tomorrow so I can help support those who won't support themselves.

      February 21, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cory (Humanzrstupd)

      Then "slik":

      – don't get an abortion, then, since you believe it to be murder (if you're female).

      – If you are a male: until you can undergo a pregnancy as women do: STFUP.

      February 21, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      el f, you are wrong, every single 18+ american male (non illigal) has signed up for the draft, or it is a crime. And it is automatic when you try to get your adult drivers license.

      February 21, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rob

    The democrats point is valid, right now they are trying to limit abortions to 20 weeks, anti-abortion groups recently tried to get a complete ban from the moment the egg was fertilized.

    Pretty soon it will be, to quote a Monty Python skit "Every sperm is sacred"

    February 21, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • A

      We do regulate the body of men all the time. It's called the Selective service during a time of war. We're apparently ok with mandating congressionally that only boys can be placed in harm's way whether they want to or not.

      Women should have the right to contraception, but the nonsensical idea that abortion is "just another form of contraception" is dumb. You don't have to conflate the two to be pro-choice (which I am, but the idiotic vitriol by some women on this board is, well, idiotic). I say that as a doctor.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • El Flaco

      Registering for Selective Service, which few young men do, is not like actually being drafted into the Army. I was drafted during the Vietnam days. Fortunately for me, no one ever shot at me, but ...

      February 21, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ChrkeePrde

    Ok sure, but Rep. Yasmin Neal is missing the point. Its not about "controlling women". Its about not killing the baby inside that womb.

    Stupid democrats don't get it.

    February 21, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Regis990

      Really, check with Rick Santorum about your point.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      "When tyranny comes to our land, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross" – Sinclair Lewis

      If want to want live in a theocracy, go to Iran or Saudi Arabia. Or build yourself a time machine and go back 1,000 years to Europe.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • cosmicsnoop

      Stupid? Pot calling kettle black.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      I am a democrat, and if I had a wife, I would never choose for her to get an abortion, but it shouldn't be illegal if necessary.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lexie

      well then, you won't object to having to mandatorily donate your blood, organs and tissues to save the life of another? Thousands of people die each year waiting for kidney and bone marrow transplants. If you are not forced to provide life supporting care for these people, like a pregnant mother chooses to do for her fetus, then you are guilty of murder, too. The government should really get on that. I'll expect your kidney next week, and at least one of your pupils shortly after.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seola

      Sinclair Lewis was a socialist with 3 wives in 17 years and was a drunk. Taking a quote from a FICTION play from 70 years ago is asinine and irrelevant.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • El Flaco

      Here's the thing, Goober. We are mammals. While the fetus/baby is cooking, it is wrapped inside its mother. She, not you, decides what happens inside her skin. We pray that every pregnant woman makes the right decision. Surely God will hear our prayer.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      your hate is silly, the cells are not alive, any more then a toumer is alive, it is not killing, and even if it were, to use your stupid christian dogma against you "judge not least ye be judged...and let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

      February 21, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. longtime reader

    This is the stupidest piece of legislation yet. I agree with slik's comment. Why have our legislators all turned to imbeciles?

    February 21, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. schreiber

    We need these amendments at the national level.
    I would like to see a bill that says any congressman or congresswoman that votes to control what goes on inside another human body shall themselves be required to have a rectal exam and a psychological evaluation.

    February 21, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mike in SA

    Wow...only in the mind of a liberal or Democrat do these two equate. An egg is an egg, a sperm is a sperm...do with them what you want, I could care less. Kill a child growing inside a woman from the merging of said egg and said sperm...yep...I have a problem with it after a certain point unless there is a legitimate medical cause for the abortion or in absolute nonviability of the child after birth.

    February 21, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Amiblue

    I agree completely with Slik. That was just what I was thinking:

    slik
    I certainly have a right to do what I want with my body until the consequence of my choice creates someone else, then I don't have the right to commit murder. Sperm that has not met an egg is not the same, just as having your tubes tied isnt the same. Abortion is not birth control it is murder.

    February 21, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. tensai13

    Why are the religiously deluded so obsessed with controlling young women's bodies? If a "person" is created at the moment of conception as religious zealots would have us believe, then your repulsive god "yahweh" must be the world's number one abortionist as a large percentage of early stage pregnancies end in natural "miscarriage".

    February 21, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. conandoyle

    Why can't Cons realize that Americans are laughing at them?

    February 21, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Will

    MORE BIG GOVERNMENT TAKE OVER MA

    February 21, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Will

    MORE BIG GOVERNMENT TAKE OVER.MAY GOD HELP US.

    February 21, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. roflstomper

    oh the stupidity. these are the people that are supposed to run our affairs?

    I hate the 21st century.

    February 21, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. nutz

    Since we can't actually govern let's fall back on the hot issue of abortion. That will keep the townsfolk occupied and get their focus off the real issues that affect the quality of our day to day lives like job creation, education, etc.

    February 21, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. carol

    Finally, a bill that makes sense. I am a citizen of the State of Georgia and I for one would love to vote for that bill. My husband would also vote for that bill. If you say birth control for women is wrong, then it is wrong for men. IF you tell me that someone can regulate MY BODY and what I chose to do with it, then why not regulate the body of MEN as well?? No man can stop his ability to produce a child unless it is a threat to HIS LIFE...see how that feels when someone else makes choices for you!!

    February 21, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      if the bill passes, there will be many many more cases of women "falling down stairs" or flat being punched in the stomach. Georga is the kkk redneck capitol of the world.

      February 21, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. TRH

    No more vasectomies that leave "thousands of children ... deprived of birth."

    No No! Keep the government's hands of my scrotum!! BWAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!

    February 21, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
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