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. Zak

    When did we start seeing microscopic cells as human beings? The brains and bodys of animals are much closer to a real human than a microscpic organism. And yet we have no problem brutally killing and torturing animals as much as we wish. If pro life people really care so much about human life then why are they fine with sending soldiers to kill and then die themselves? And why do they have no worrys about the thousands of people dying of hunger and genocide in our country and other countries?

    February 24, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Plain_Jane

    Rep. Neal realizes the vas deferens is part of a man's body; give her credit for that. She apparently doesn't realize a fetus is NOT part of a woman's body even though it depends on it. Did she take high school biology?

    February 24, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • jaimeh

      A fetus is NOT (anymore) a part of a woman's body, AFTER is given birth. To think otherwise, is just trying to convince oneself of BAD scientific research, or worse ...

      February 24, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Plain_Jane

      Nope; sorry, jaimeh, guess you skipped high school biology, too. The embryo, fetus, and infant are never PART of the mother's body, although they are WITHIN the mother's body during gestation. It's a simple concept understood by most people without benefit of high school biology.

      Here it is from the Simple English Wikipedia: "Mother is a female parent. The mother and father are parents. A mother gives birth to the child."

      A mother never gives birth to herself, but to a child–a separated and distinct individual.

      February 25, 2012 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Plain_Jane

      separate, not separated

      February 25, 2012 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. D PEterson

    Dang, auto spell....Abortion should NOT be an easy decision...

    February 24, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. nyuk

    You know, the USA really doesn't need FL, OK, AL, or any of those other confederate flag waving National Sozialistische Deutsche ArbeitsPartei (NSDAP) white hood wearin' conservative wedge-driving social issue lunatics. Be gone, you can have your god-fearing and impoverished land. We don't want you.

    February 24, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Easternsailor

      Confederate is not the rebel! U r it...

      February 25, 2012 at 4:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Linda Davenport

      There really is an easy way to "fix" most of the social issues and downsize the government at the same time. Cease asking the government to pay for everything – contraception, abortion, housing, utilities, food, medical services, company bailouts, etc. When we ask somebody to pay a 'bill' for us we have to expect that they will want some control over who gets paid, how much, who provides the service ..... It seems we all have our hand out wanting something with no strings attached. I personally don't believe that's the way it works.

      February 25, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mike Smith

    Brain surgeons. Not. A tubal ligation is the equivalent of a vasectomy, not an abortion. Now if it was a bill that prevented a man from forcing his wife to have an abortion that would make sense. A sperm has 1/2 the dna, less the mitochonrial dna of the egg too that a child does. But lets not let facts get in the way

    February 24, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • RobertC

      That is way too complicated for anyone from Georgia to understand.

      February 25, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mike Smith

    Killing your exercising your rights over your body? Wow. Better go back to biology class. The child has separate dna. Its not your body, its just growing in your body. Huge difference. Anyone who wants an abortion should have to have a full hysterectomy and their boyfriend a vasectomy where the vas deferens is cauterized in 10+ locations at the same time. If you can't take responsibility for your actions. Don't have kids and you should never have the option.

    February 24, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Easternsailor

      U r the ape and that's why u don't accept your biological father.

      February 25, 2012 at 4:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Nancy Harris

      So tell me Mike, how is it that you get to make the decision on when life occurs? Seems that you are not a woman so how do you even have a dog in this hunt?

      February 25, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • jj

      You may or may not be missing how this works exactly.

      Nobody goes through their entire life wanting an abortion. Nobody makes that an intentional goal in life. When somebody does think about and make that decision, it's because they are pregnant already and did not want to be (which can happen for multiple reasons) – in which case a hysterectomy isn't exactly going to be a better option than an abortion, is it? Not to mention the vasectomy would just be mutilating people for no reason, especially since you can't guarantee it will always be the boyfriend who gets the woman pregnant.

      The basic idea people want you to understand is that the woman carrying the child probably has a lot more of an idea of what to do and what the issues are that make it hard or impossible to give birth to and raise that child, than the politician who has never been in her life before, has no ability to respond to individual personal issues correctly, and therefore attempts a generalised statement based on their own beliefs. The government is not equipped to make that decision for an individual.

      Besides remember, pro-choice also allows a woman to make the choice to keep an unexpected child according to their personal belief system. It will not suddenly result in every single woman running out, getting pregnant, and then gleefully throwing themselves into a butcher's trying to score the record for most abortions. Nobody thinks like that except psychopaths.

      February 25, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mrs. Mike Smith

      Shhhh....honey, you leave the decisions of women up to us womenfolk...

      February 26, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. MiGrant

    This chick needs to learn a little more about biology: a vasectomy prevents abortion from becoming an issue!
    Rep. Yasmin Neal is a waste of time and space!

    February 24, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Helixir

      You actually don't get it, do you?

      February 25, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • iCn2u

      I thought I was the only who got that. She should not be allowed to procriate-ever, since she equates a vasectomy with an abortion. Wasting legislative time should be punishable.

      February 26, 2012 at 3:15 am | Report abuse |
    • A female

      Yep, there goes one of them womerns shootin off her mouth, thinkin she knows stuff about science like us men, wearin pants and thinking she knows whats best for her body..uh uh. Can't have none of that. Thinkin they can make rational decisions with their emotions n whatnot.

      That's what you sound like..

      February 26, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Easternsailor

    Whoever killed the unborn child or a child? U committed the greatest sin! Just like u have killed The Son of the Living God as from the beginning; u r guilty then and u r still guilty now! U r it...

    February 25, 2012 at 4:33 am | Report abuse |
    • A female

      I can tell you right now that I was there when Jesus was killed and I didn't do it. YOU, yes it is a word not a single letter, you are.. oh, see what I did with the ARE? I spelled it out as well like an intelligent creature, sir, are an idiot. I would advise you not to procreate as your spawn may be as backwards and illiterate as you are, I'm from West Virginia and I know your type all too well. Breeders...

      February 26, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sailor Moon

      And so are you since you have killed the Son of the Living God with your si, too...
      u r nuts.

      February 26, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Teresa

    This is over the top! I know this is an emotional issue...but it`s these type of men that we women do not want to have the power over our decisions of what is right for our bodies!!! You can tell they have tasted blood & think that it`s just possible to put us back in our place. Going so far as to use this language to degrade women as many men are doing is unacceptable!! Grow up & be real men. If you don`t have a ovaries ask DON`T TELL!!!!

    February 25, 2012 at 5:19 am | Report abuse |
  10. Teresa

    Mary, I`m so sorry you had to make such a traumatic decision. I am so grateful that you live in a country where far...have the legal right to have been able to make that painful decision. I know you will be voting ...and I can pretty much guess it won`t be for any of the GOP candidates! We all have to stand together for other women who come after us. It`s an important time again in history. time to remind politicians (& some men in general) that seem to have forgotten....that we matter & we are perfectly capable of making those decisions for ourselves! PS: JR & other mature men on this site...Thanks for backing women! We Love You!!!!!!

    February 25, 2012 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
  11. Teresa

    So sick of Republicans saying they want small government!!! What hypocrits! Maybe they don`t mind government messing in the bedroom when it comes to contraception or abortion rights since so many republicans don`t need to worry about either of those issues! When they are fooling around with boys and voting YES on ANYTHING anti worries for them to have govrnment in WOMENS business!

    February 25, 2012 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mom of 3 (Wanted) Children

    Great job, Ms.Neal, for making men feel what it's like when the government tries to legislate their bodies. Men need to be reminded that these are OUR bodies. We women are the ones who ultimately are responsible for these creations we give birth to, so we have the right to decide! How often do you hear about "deadbeat moms"?

    February 25, 2012 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
    • GoFigure

      A lot.

      February 25, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ken

    The GOP is overreaching in many states, with their anit-, women, gay, union, worker and anti-goverment agendas. They are pushng through a pro big- business and the same old nonesensical "Trickle Down Economics" Elections have consequences.. The GOP's agenda is bad for ordinary people, been that way for decades. They voted against, Social Security, Medicare, womens rights, minority voters rights, clean air act, etc.. What have they done to earn anyones vote but the very wealthy??

    February 25, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  14. Kan77

    I am sick and tired of all the bickering over these social issues. Our government needs to spend less time on these issues and more time on finding ways to fix our economy and increase jobs. When it comes to social issues there is always going to be a difference of opinion. It is time to quit the bickering and start celebrating that being able to have a difference of opinion is what makes this country great. These politicians need to get off their soap boxes and start listening to the people. Instead of these smear campaign tactics they need to start telling me how they are going to fix our economy and decrease our debt. It is time for the 2 party system to go away.

    February 25, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  15. merry beyeler

    I love it! I bet if the birth control issue was paired with forcing insurance to pay for viagra, cialis, etc. the republicans would vote for it with out a problem!!

    February 25, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
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