Meet Georgia Representative Yasmin Neal. She’s fed up with the government trying to legislate women’s reproductive rights, so she just introduced a bill into the general assembly that would ban Georgia men from having vasectomies. Sounds pretty crazy, right? Well, it is, but that’s the point. Neal’s bill is meant to protest anti-abortion legislation that attempts to interfere with a woman’s reproductive health. As Neal explains (with a totally straight face), “It is patently unfair that men can avoid unwanted fatherhood by presuming that their judgment over such matters is more valid than the judgment of the General Assembly, while women’s ability to decide is constantly up for debate throughout the United States.”
But don’t worry, America: men would be allowed to have vasectomies, in special cases. “This bill states that vasectomies can be performed to avert the death of a man or to avert serious risk or substantial or irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of a man. This bill mimics the abortion bills throughout the nation. And just like abortion bills interfere with a woman’s right to choose, it’s only fair that this bill interfere with a man’s right to choose as well.”
Neal’s bill is being debated on the house floor today, along with another measure that would push back the time women are allowed to have an abortion from 24 to 20 weeks. Sponsored by Republican house member Doug McKillip, that bill claims that 20 weeks is the point at which the fetus can begin to feel pain.
This isn’t the first time a female politician has introduced a bill in order to make a point about legislating a women’s reproductive rights. In January, Virginia State Senator Janet Howell introduced legislation that would require men to receive a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test before obtaining a prescription for erectile dysfunction medication. And earlier this month, Oklahoma Senator Constance Johnson introduced the “Every Sperm Is Sacred” amendment in response to “fetal personhood laws.” The amendment, which was eventually withdrawn, would have added language stating “any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman’s vagina shall be interpreted and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.” [AJC.com]