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Democrats Respond to Georgia Abortion Bill with New Act

The Anti-Vasectomy Act would regulate vasectomies performed in Georgia, authors of the proposed bill say.

Pro-life measures taken by the Republican-sponsored Georgia Assembly House Bill 954, which is currently making its way through the legislature, have spawned a newly proposed bill by state Democrats seeking to "call attention to the double standard on reproductive rights" through the Anti-Vasectomy Act.

If passed, HB 954 would criminalize abortions after 20 weeks and make exceptions more strict, effectively changing current laws allowing abortions up until the third trimester. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported the penalty would be anywhere from one to 10 years in prison, if convicted of performing an abortion after that time. (Editor's Note: See the attached PDF for the full bill.)

Proponents of the new act, which they say is in the same vein as HB 954 through the regulation of vasectomies for men, released a statement Tuesday:

“Thousands of children are deprived of birth in this state every year because of the lack of state regulation over vasectomies,” Rep. Yasmin Neal, author of the bill. “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.”

House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams added, “The Republican attack on women’s reproductive rights is unconscionable. What is more deplorable is the hypocrisy of HB 954’s author.  If we follow his logic, we believe it is the obligation of this General Assembly to assert an equally invasive state interest in the reproductive habits of men and substitute the will of the government over the will of adult men.”

Members of the Georgia House Democratic Caucus will hold a public hearing Wednesday, Feb. 22 from 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m. in room 515 at the state Capitol.

Do you agree with the logic behind the Anti-Vasectomy Act? Or do you believe the terms of HB 954 seem fair? Tell us in the comments.

Thomas Wayne Shelton February 22, 2012 at 01:14 PM
I find it troubling that anyone thinks this is a valid response to the Anti-Abortion Bill and even more troubling that an Anti-Abortion Bill is even being considered.
Nancy Reed February 22, 2012 at 01:31 PM
What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Seriously, please keep government out of our decisions regarding reproduction. I would think the Republicans would be the first to support this concept.
Dan February 22, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Of course this isn't a valid response, Thomas. But neither is HB 954. I think that's the point.
Thomas Wayne Shelton February 22, 2012 at 02:43 PM
I totally agree ... especially with Nancy ... keeping the government out of reproductive decisions. My point was that fighting bad legislation with more ridiculous bad legislation is bound to have unintended consequences. It also detracts from the real issue. Our representatives should have the strength to stand up and fight this on its own merits.

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