Republicans in Georgia are pushing forward in their march to restrict abortion access, this time with HB 954, a bill that proposes to ban abortions at 20 weeks based on the discredited claim that is the point at which a fetus “feels” pain.
Democrats, on the other hand, have had enough and responded with their own “anti-vasectomy bill.”
Thousands of children are deprived of birth in this state every year because of the lack of state regulation over vasectomies,” said Rep. Yasmin Neal, D-Riverdale, author of the Democrats’ 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.
The anti-vasectomy bill, like Oklahoma’s “every sperm is sacred” measure calls out the hypocrisy of the wave of anti-reproductive health bills sweeping the country. The anti-vasectomy bill has not yet been introduced, the fetal pain pain law is currently pending in the House Judiciary Committee where it has been the subject of two hearings so far.
Republican lawmakers were not amused by the announcement and seemed to totally miss the point made. “I think it’s disappointing that they would make light of something as important as protecting life,” he said. “It’s just not a joking matter, and it’s a time for serious issues and serious discussion” said the bills sponsor Rep. Doug McKillip.
Democrats offered this response. “The Republican attack on women’s reproductive rights is unconscionable. What is more deplorable is the hypocrisy of HB 954’s author,”said House Democratic Leader Stacey Abrams. “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,” Abrams said.
To the contrary, Rep. McKillip, calling out sexism and blocking attempts to codify it into law is a serious issue and worthy of serious discussion, whether you and your male colleagues agree or not.
Photo from Frances Storr via flickr.