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. Rosslaw

    And don't forget the trans-anal examination the day before a vasectomy is to be performed. Fair is fair.

    February 25, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Terri

    It's too bad that there isn't a way to force a man to poop out a 10 pound bowling ball. Maybe that would give them some perspective.

    February 26, 2012 at 3:15 am | Report abuse |
    • M.T.

      Don't forget after trying to for 36

      February 26, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. dblutr

    vasectomy = contraception. abortion = murder. this liberal congresswoman is an idiot.

    February 26, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
    • M.T.

      Not well-versed in the finer points of satire, are you?

      February 26, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  4. M.T.

    When men can give birth, or conversly, have an abortion, then, AND ONLY THEN, should they have any say in the reproductive choices of women. Until then, butt out.

    February 26, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dott

      I could not have said it better. Manybe one day our intelligent scientist can come up with a way for a man to get pregnant but until then they should attend to their own problems staying out of a woman's womb. Why is it that only old gray haired men are the ones telling females what to do with their body. I don't get it.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      It's not the same at all! There have been babies born at 20 weeks who survived. FYI, abortions performed at that age require vacuuming the brain out of the skull before extraction. The only way this whole debate would be legitimate is if men who get women pregnant who later abort their pregnancies were REQUIRED to receive a vasectomy. THAT would put an end to it.

      February 26, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tripp

      Hey Mark, since you're so worried about an unborn fetus how about we put all those babies that would be born, if Roe-vs-Wade is over turned, on your door step? You can take care of them Im sure. Also, why dont you care about the genocide going on in the Congo or the thousands being killed as witches by christians in Africa. Those kids are already alive or were alive. Apparently the kids already alive dont count? Once you're born its pretty much screw you eh Mark?

      February 27, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Don

      Hey Tripp,
      Why don't you stop putting words in other people's mouth. You went after Mark for about 5 things he did not say in his post, you simply assumed he believed them because he is against ridiculous eugenics arguments like the one you made in your post. Your argument about unwanted babies assigns value to human life based on the reception of life rather than on the babies own right to live. Thus a babies life matters in so far that it is wanted by its parents, and then if it is not wanted it is okay to abort it.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • PMJ

      For some reason that just offends the heck out of me and I'm not easily offended by anyone. My wife and I had three children together, emphasizing the together part. It was OUR choice to have children, not just hers. Until women figure out how to produce sperm on their own, they still need a guy to play along. To suggest that she could have aborted my child and I get no say in the matter is just nuts. I'm not a sperm donor; I'm a husband and a father and I, too, have rights when it comes to my children. I certainly think I should have a vote if they get killed or not. What happens outside of my marriage and home is not for me to jump into but with my wife, my family and my children, we are partners 100% and neither of us would or should make those decisions independantly. To do otherwise isn't a marriage.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • tecjug

      I disagree. Even when men can give birth, they still should NOT have any say in the reproductive choices of women. However, I would allow them full say in their own reproductive choices.

      February 27, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ivan Bial

    love it.. great.
    Whats good for the goose is good for the gander.

    February 26, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cory Trentini

    Thousands of deaths and cardiovascular complications have been reported after taking the drug Viagra as well as other E.D. pills. Although it's uncommon, there are far better ways to increase circulation levels than E.D. pills.In fact, you'll find properly over 10 natural approaches to boost circulation levels downstairs. Here is really a list of 4 ways that some physicians are now using before the pill is prescribed.

    February 26, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Really Jersey

    Great, makin up stupid non passable grand standing pieces of garbage in a time when we have no money to indulge in her type of foolery. Georgia, you picked a looney toon, not a legislator. Replace her before she wastes more of your money.

    February 26, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rocksicle

      and here I say that about all the stupid anti-abortion laws. The do it for attention and so fool hardy belief that women don't know what is best for their own bodies.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jacktup

    Where's the freedom in limited vasectomies? An individual can do whatever he or she desires to do with their body and that is not the government's choice, especially in the United States of America. GA, what is wrong with you?

    February 27, 2012 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      Thats the point Einstein...........................i

      February 27, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Duke5343

      No Jack that is where you are WRONG- Obama care (US Universial Healtchare) IS GOing to do JUST that- Stupid Liberal Social workers are going to make MEDICAL decisons on ALL OF us, see the great job they do with Welfare, Food stamps, CHild protective servies WELL that is what healthcare will be like

      February 27, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  9. Really?

    What's next mast ur bation police? Get a clue please you back woods Georgia f o o l and get with Ned Beatty and squeel like p i g.

    Both Men and Women are incharge of their bodies.... No elected official has the right to play G O D.

    I will say this person is the best reason for birth control that I know of ....

    February 27, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  10. Tonyb

    ah the bible thumpers- if only they lived in the "christian" way they proscribe for others. They need to mind their own business

    February 27, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Duke5343

      And mulims wanting Shaira lows in USA can get it so you can prove your not a racist

      February 27, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. slaythedonkey

    You are all sick!!

    February 27, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  12. George_S

    Leave it to a Democrat to come up with something so singularly stupid.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  13. Rocksicle

    My body is not your body. No uterus, no comment.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ree

    There are good reasons for abortions, and only the woman can make that decision, but when it is used for birth control because you cannot control your own emotions, I don't want to pay for it. There too many places to get birth control for free and low cost, so that is not an argument. The whole thing about everyone having to pay for birth control for everyone is ridulous. Why would anyone wait 25 weeks to get an abortion, unless there is a medical reason, if the reason is you don't want the child, that decision should have been made a lot earlier. I guess there is no more personal responsibility anymore, just let the government control my life. If you want an abortion before 24 weeks, get one and pay for it, or better yet get birth control first.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bobby

    I a pro-abortion, but this proposal doesn't make sense. A men getting a vasectomy is analogous to a woman having her tubes tied, not an abortion. Anyhow, I agree a woman should have the right to have an abortion!

    February 27, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
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