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. Another obnoxious wannabe

    Yasmin Neal has the potential to be as much of an embarrassment to the state of Georgia as Cynthia McKinney ever was.

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

    Definition of a parasite.
    An organism that lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host's expense.

    Sounds like a baby is a parasite until birth and the umbilical cord is cut. So why should women be required to live with a parasite unless they chose to?

    And "humans" are not created the moment a sperm meets the egg, study human development. It is almost entirely impossible to determine if an embryo is human by just looking at it until about 8 weeks because it looks like many of our mammal relatives and still has a TAIL !!!!! Most people wouldn't be able to tell human embryos from other mammals for months . I am not trying to define a specific date as to when embryos are humans and when it is okay to abort because they are not human yet, in my opinion no woman will want to continue a pregnancy for long if it is unwanted, so an early date is acceptable for abortion, but we must allow it for medical conditions no matter what the stage of pregnancy is!

    FINAL POINT.....We have 7 Billion people on Earth why not let women choose if they want to add to this infestation of Mother Earth, and possibly keep that number below 8 Billion.

    But hey, I read lots of books for my information, I am not as smart as other people that gather around listening to a man "translate" the only book they put any "faith" in.

    February 21, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JLS639

    Yasmin, haven't you watched "The Meaning of Life"? If you had, you would know that every sperm is sacred, every sperm is good and every sperm is needed in your neighborhood.

    February 21, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • mariner v

      Every sperm is sacred? How do you even look in the mirror without laughing at yourself for being so delusional? All of you religious whack jobs pontificate about morality and conscience, yet have neither. If sperm were so sacred to you then why do you do nothing about poverty?try to legislate laws that deprive woman of their rights?kill young men by sending them off to fight BS wars, execute men and woman in prison? these actions are a testament to how hypocritical your positions are. So how can a people that would support all of the things that I just mentioned feel that they would be appropriate spokeman for the concept of prolife? and why would we follow anyone that is this delusional? You can't! because everything that you promote states that your whole platform is a lie. You can't promote a lie with a straight face without being a total whack job. That is exactly the clinical definition of what it means to be psychotic. So check in and sign up........because it is where you are going to end up long term. why not get there right away and do everyone a favor!

      February 21, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Python

      When a sperm is wasted, God gets quite irate...

      February 21, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ugh

      mariner v, haven't you watched "The Meaning of Life"? If you had, you would get the reference.

      February 21, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • El Flaco

      Alas! I commited a few quadrillion sins before I was even 14! Woe is me!

      February 21, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Brett

    I can't wait to see every state except for maybe 10 states in the deep south turn BLUE this November. The Bible-Thumpers are going to obliterate the already gasping Republican Party with all of this social tyranny rhetoric. Democrats might actually win back the House and get a bigger majority in the Senate. Reviving the culture wars post 9/11 and a decade into a new millenium (which, by the way, according to some Evanglicals we aren't even supposed to still be here) is the dumbest strategy in modern politics.

    February 21, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bobby

    If someone is stupid enough to use abortion as a form of birth control, go for it. Get pregnant often. We have a bad economy and need the employment opportunities and tax revenue.

    February 21, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • lucianne

      Any woman who deliberately chooses a third month abortion as a means of birth control is dumb enough that we don't need her children. There are already too many anyhow. Maybe one way of increasing tax revenue would be to tax any child after the second as a luxury item, instead of granting all kinds of credits.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. heyheyhey

    All birth control should be covered there are serious medical reasons some people take it, Why dont those people get to talk about it in congress, instead we get men with religious men who get to talk about it. hummmmmm

    February 21, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      All birth control? Start with CONDOMS, not drugs. After condoms make vasectomies, classes on the rhythm method, and tubal ligations free. Why do these freaks always want free drugs? Druggies. Make the drugs the last option that should be free. Then let's see if the argument is Free Drugs for Women, or if it's really about birth control for all.

      February 21, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      joe, are you under the impression that bc pills can get one high?
      Are you really that uninformed?

      February 22, 2012 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
  7. Tess Tosterone

    So a man & a woman "both" choose to have sax & the woman becomes pregnant.
    Abortion, her body her choice only .. His child but, her body her choice only .. why not her body, her responsibility only?

    February 21, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • El Flaco

      What happens inside a person's skin is that person's private business.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tess Tosterone

      Agreed El Flaco .. so why is she the only one who can choose whether 'he' will be a father or not? Her body, her choice .. her responsibility.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Texas PCP Doc

      But what if what happens inside of someone's skin is someone else's skin... does the same argument apply to that person? The next logcal question would be, when is the 'person' inside an actual person, and I suppose leaving a religious argument aside, that would seem to be when they are "viable" (meaning they could survive outside of the womb if delivered) which happens at the earliest at 24 weeks.

      February 21, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • El Flaco

      Let us all pray that Yahweh will guide each pregnant woman to make the right decision. What else can we do?

      February 21, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Thatguy371

    Sadly, I live in this self righteous state of GA, home of the ultra right wing evangelicals who think we'll let them legislate THEIR view of morality. Sorry chumps, won't happen. You and your supreme leader Santorum can take a leap off a tall cliff.

    February 21, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Duane

    Smart move....does this mean Georgia is ready to supply funding for all those unwanted children?

    February 21, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • lucianne

      Only the Crhistian ones. The others are going to rot in hell anyhow. But of course, Reverend Graham will decide which babies are Christian so we don't have to save anyone Jewish, or Mormon, or Muslim, or Hindu – although iguess the Hindu babies won't mind, they will just be reborn literally, not figuratively...

      February 21, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Left turn

    What is it they say? Stupid is as stupid does. That is how ridiculous it is for men to tell women what she can do with her body. Until a man can birth a baby there is no contest.

    February 21, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • AngieS

      And yet they continue to try and, in many cases, succeed...

      February 21, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Haha

    Id iot, what a pandering fool.

    February 21, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • AngieS

      The only idiot, here, is the one who doesn't realize exactly what these fascist terrorists are trying to do. The Teapublicans are nothing more than religious extremists who are waging war on women's bodies through the state legislatures that somehow they have been allowed to take control of. They can't get this nonsense through congress so they're trying a back door and, in far too many instances, they are succeeding. I stand with Ms. Neal and I DON'T CONSENT.

      February 21, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Steve Lyons

    Why not mandate permanent sterilization for women on welfare seeking abortions AND castration for the genetic father of such a child? Fix two problems at once. One "FREE" abortion for the low low price of guaranteeing it will never happen again on the taxpayers dime.

    February 21, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • AngieS

      You first Mr. Eugenics!

      February 21, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. El Flaco

    This is just another example of how the Republlcan leadership can play you Republican voters like a harmonica. Who knows what tune you'll be singing next month?

    February 21, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. AngieS

    It's about time this issue makes the mainstream media!! Pathetic that it took a stunt like this to at least get people talking about what the GOP stranglehold on state legislatures is doing to the rights of woman all across this country. As a resident of the State of Virginia I am APPALLED at the continued attacks on our rights and our bodies!! This insanity needs to stop and every woman in this country needs to stand up and be heard or we will find ourselves standing barefoot in our kitchens wondering just what the hell happened!! DON'T CONSENT!! DON'T TAKE THIS LYING DOWN!! WOMEN OF AMERICA, STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS!!

    February 21, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Texas PCP Doc

    I'm a primary care physician in Texas and a male, just to know where I am coming from. Regardless of any political leanings, comparing a vasectomy to an abortion is just a stupid argument. Vasectomy is equivical to a tubal ligation (getting a woman's tubes tied) which no one is trying to limit or take away as a choice.

    February 21, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
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