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."

Post by:
Filed under: Abortion • Georgia • Health • Politics
soundoff (1,943 Responses)
  1. Toni

    Why stop at vasectomies? Let's make male masturbation illegal. Right to life, right? All those millions of sperm being spilt thoughtlessly. What a crime.

    February 21, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marine5484

      Lol I know right every time you do your committing sperm genocide......there should be a concert with Bono and everything.

      February 21, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. swisscottage

    Comparing the life of a living organism, some of which are viable, to a sperm? What a completely insensitive, militant leftist jerk.

    February 21, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sari

      A sperm is a living organism.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Actually a sperm is NOT a living organism in a sense. It can't metabolize, grow or reproduce. It may seem alive because of the involuntary tail movement but sperm is not a true organism.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
  3. Rachel

    Just require that anyone having a family member needing a kidney or liver transplant must oblige if they are a potential match. If we are going to control women's uterus's for the benefit of another, we should control the organs of others as well when another could benefit.

    February 21, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Andy

    Yes, and if contraception is wrong, then men should not be sold condoms either. Rediculous but that's the point!!

    February 21, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. nick

    Let's make it illegal for men to wear condom.
    And also, only eject inside his partner, so no more pulling out.

    February 21, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank


      February 21, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      "Missionary Only!"

      February 22, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  6. Frank

    This bill if passes would never affect Republican officials who seem overwhelming to secret pursue relationships that have NO possibility of producing a child.

    February 21, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jj

    I had my nutz cut. Best thing I ever did.

    February 21, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nitrogen

      I did as well, but it was to make sure that having a kid wasn't "the best thing I ever did".

      February 21, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mark

    Damn we have some idiots for politicians!

    February 21, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. reasonablebe

    Actually, I think a better rule would be for men to have a woman do the rectal exam and determine whether a vasectomy should be permitted– or required, depending on whether it was desirable to have the man propagate....and maybe we should have some law about jock straps and briefs and how tight than can be, because we know excessive heat reduces sperm formation.... hmmmm. Maybe men should be required to make a cash deposit for potential child support when they reach age 15, to be held indefinitely...

    February 21, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. WOW!

    Did I read that right? I want a different planet to live on, this one is @#$%ed!

    February 21, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Doug from Seattle

    The government has no business being involved in an individuals reproductive decisions, period!!!!

    February 21, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. nolabiggs

    I personally do not want to find anymore babies in dumpsters. Being aborted has to suck but dying in a dumpster freezing and alone has to be far worst but no one thinks about that or they really just don't care.

    I love people not separating cells not something that may form into a human being at a later date but only if it survives birth. People , humans, children, they are here real sad ,cold and starving how about we make laws for them.

    February 21, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Duck

    My fiance just washed a bunch of potential babies down the drain.

    February 21, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Arick

    It isn't comparing sperm to fetuses. The point is, it is often men trying to make these decisions about women's bodies. She is trying to demonstrate to men what it feels like when the government tries to control your reproductive rights. You people are really dense.

    February 21, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Willowspring

      A sperm has the potential to begin life. A fetus is Already a life. The mother's body is the vessel which carries the life within to birth. A sperm is not a baby, a fetus is. So if a fetus/ a baby is aborted at any point it is murder. The only sure way to stop this is by abstinence, which requires self control and a good measure of maturity. It's the culture of instant gratification that insists a person "Just can't wait" a few days till they are no longer fertile. Medical science is so well advanced that fertility timing can be very easily be used. Yet, if they absolutely cannot control themselves, they can get their contraceptives at any time just like women have for the last 60 years. PAY for them. I do not want to be a part of the murder of babies. It is against my faith and conscience. Again, there is no lock on contraceptives. Buy them yourself and don't expect me to get involved with decisions of that sort.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Roberto

    Ahhh, welll, it's Georgia. What do you expect? Sanity? Common sense? It's the DEEP SOUTH. Those folks eat boogers. And think it's wholesome food.

    February 21, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nelson

      Yeah, they call them grits.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56