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. GAPeach

    Great. Just great... GA has another wacko politician like Cynthia McKinney. What an embarrassment!

    February 21, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patiat

      You didn't read the article. You just wanted to use the word "wacko" and have people believe you.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ugh

      Patiat, it's perfectly reasonable that a person would read the article, understand it, and think that the politician is a wacko.

      Since when is it acceptable for an elected representative on the taxpayer's dime to sponsor, write, and propose a bill that requires voting when no one including the author wants or expects it to pass?

      I think we all understand the point she is trying to make, but there are plenty of less ridiculous ways to make it.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • BambooGirl999

      Tell that to the sponsors of H.R.2, better known as the GOP's "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act".

      February 22, 2012 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
    • College Democrat

      The point of the bill is to show how unfair it is for the government to make decisions about a woman's body. I don't think that she was trying to be funny, she was trying to show how ridiculous it is for the government to be making these personal decisions. Honestly I agree with her to the fullest and I personally think that her approach was a waste of money, but then again so was the entire debate.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
  2. Thank you!

    Rep. Yasmin Neal, a Democrat from the Atlanta suburb of Jonesboro, planned to introduce a bill Wednesday that would prevent men from vasectomies unless needed to avert serious injury or death."

    Thank you Representative Neal.
    Vasectomies are butchery on male reproductive organs!!!!!"
    The chances of having permanent testicular pain are VERY HIGH!!!
    The hospitals do not tell you this fact, but downplay the risks.
    It may be a "simple" procedure, but the negative effects will likely last a lifetime.
    Google "vasectomy nightmares" if you don't believe me.
    By the way, I had one, then had it quickly reversed when complications started to set in.
    Don't do it!!! The complications are NOT worth it. Use a condom or whateve, but don't let them mess with your b a l l s.

    February 21, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Winston5

      Now you know how the women feel, right?

      February 22, 2012 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
  3. Juli

    Good job women. It's about time that men stopped telling women what they should do with their bodies.

    February 21, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Winston5

      Bill's a v ir gi n. 😉

      February 22, 2012 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
  4. Blairkiel

    Freedom of religon is mot freedom from religion.

    Stupid liberals

    February 21, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patiat

      Sure it is. Why should your religion call the shots in the daily life of a person who doesn't want a religion?

      February 21, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      If only it were then this would be a non issue.

      Stupid religions

      February 21, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kas

      Uhhhh yes it is. Separation of church and state guarantees freedom from religion.... stupid conservatives...

      February 21, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @blairkiel: actually, it is..

      February 22, 2012 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  5. GrandOldPatsy

    Here's the thing, if the fetus is at the point it could survive outside of the womb, an abortion is pretty much akin to murder. If you can't bring yourself to get an abortion in the first 20 weeks of a pregnancy, then you're stuck with the decision you've made, with the exceptions to the rules such as dangerous pregnancies and other extraordinary conditions that may occur. The legislature is doing it right for once, this isn't a blanket ban on abortions and it's not akin to vasectomies. To properly counter this law, you'd have to make it illegal for a man to deposit his sperm any place other than a women's womb.

    February 21, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • 14

      Okay, so instead of calling it an "abortion," we'll just call it a "delivery," and send the newly birthed 20-week-old fetus to an orphanage. I'm sure that that's MUCH more humane.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Reagan Repub

    Ed, I think the correct quote of Sinclair Lewis is "When Fascism....". Try this quote on for size, I believe it to be much more relevant and chilling.
    "It is when people forget God that tyrants forge their chains." Patrick Henry
    It's not about controlling women's bodies, it is about protecting the weakest of our society (babies).

    February 21, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @reagan: seems to me tyranny flourishes under religion.. iran.. syria.. libya.. you are in the know, yes?

      February 22, 2012 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  7. banasy©

    How about this?
    Let the men reps write the laws and vote on men's health, and the women reps write the laws and vote on women's health.

    February 21, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thannak

      Ah, but then some women will claim that only their priest has the right to make those decisions, and won't simply be satisfied with choosing what he says: they'll claim that HE has to make the decision.

      I say regulate it state to state. You Reps are against big government, but the second someone a thousand miles away does something you don't you want a law against it in THEIR neck of the woods.
      If I wanted a Georgian telling me what I can and cannot do, I'd move to Georgia. You come to Washington (state), you do what WE say.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Then those women don't have to author the bill, and can vote against it.
      Point is, men shouldn't have anything to do with legislation of women's reproductive rights, and visa versa.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  8. MashaSobaka

    I'm all for shoving something up a man's rear end if he wants a Viagra prescription. That crap is enough of a drain on our insurance companies as it is, especially when we have crowds of people whining about the cost of contraceptives. Bottom line: If women have to be violated in order to receive basic healthcare, then men should be violated for something that is completely elective and absolutely unnecessary for their health. Fair is fair, boys. Step up to the plate, drop your pants, and bend over. Welcome to second class citizenship.

    February 21, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • JM

      I completely agree!

      February 21, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • mashafan

      Well said!

      February 22, 2012 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Bein4real

      Amen!!!

      February 23, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kim

    I think a mandatory vasectomy for every male unwilling or unable to support his offspring would get the attention of the male dominated social conservative movement. (Or opt for the non-surgical sperm preventative that was recently promoted–rather like tasering the testicles). After all, we are not a parthenogenic species; if the government can interfere in the reproductive rights of women, it should interfere in the reproductive rights of men.

    February 21, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • MashaSobaka

      Why just taser the testicles? Chop those puppies off. If they're not mature enough to deal with the consequences, they're not mature enough to keep the equipment.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
  10. Zachary Goar

    I wish this dude was in my state. I just got forced into getting snipped. Where the heck was thus dude 6 weeks ago and why didn't my wife hear what this guy had to say.

    February 21, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. JL Taylor

    I find it strange and insane that Republicans hate repoductive choice for women. These same so called
    God loving hypocrites hate food stamps used to feed helpless children. They hate any effort to provide
    health care for the poor, many of whom are children. What God do these people follow.

    February 21, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nathan

      Um, I'm a Republican who has a strong distaste for "reproductive choice" or whatever euphemism you're using for state-supported murder of unwanted children. I have no problem with food stamps, or helping the poor get access to health care.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  12. Steve

    Georgia legislates laws to keep her largest business operation going, namely filling jails. It's the only thing the Red State can do. No jobs, blame the President. No health care, blame the President. 20 years of a mostly impoverished State and the only thing left to legislate is the people. Worst health care in America, top 5 worst State for corruption in America... Georgia. She's right to introduce this legislation, at least it brings attention to the idiocy of the State's elected officials and they KEEP electing the same people with the same morbid philosophies..

    February 21, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Ohio Vasectomy Proceedure – anesthetic (fifth of Jack Daniels); scalpel (buck knife); suture (super glue and duct tape)

    February 21, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. nothing new here

    Well, hey, what is a few more worthless legislative proposals gonna cost?
    These miserable excuses for leaders are costing us $$$$ as it is.
    Just more government overreach and overspending.

    February 21, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    How can you go to Harvard or Yale for four or eight years, and end up representing people in Georgia of all places, and get $250,000/yr. for legislating more or less a mans junk? See I thought the responsibility of handling business of the federal government was more important than that.

    February 22, 2012 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
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