Today, a panel of Democratic lawmakers in Georgia will convene for a historic debate on a bill that proposes limits on vasectomies on the grounds that they deprive children "the opportunity to be born." The anti-vasectomy bill's framers aren't serious; they're making a point about the stupidity of conservative lawmakers, rather than doctors, determining what medical care should be available to women. But this, like all hilarious sarcasm-based legislation, will likely fall on deaf ears.
Not to be left off the crazy train, the Georgia state assembly is currently debating a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks because, according to a scientific minority that conveniently aligns with conservative lawmakers' established religious beliefs, that's when fetuses can feel pain and therefore have complete dominion over the body of a woman. Contrary to the myth that women who are 9 months pregnant are waltzing into abortion clinics on a whim in order to have just-for-funsies abortions on the daily, a very small number of abortions actually occur beyond the first trimester, and an even smaller number occur after 20 weeks. According to Guttmacher, that number hovers between 1.5 and 2% of all procedures. Abortions at the 20 week point or beyond often occur under extreme circumstances— a birth defect, for example — because to terminate a pregnancy that far along is not a minor medical procedure. But never mind pesky things like "facts." We've got an agenda to push!
Tired of the bullshit, a female Democrat shot back with a bill that would limit vasectomies in the state. The author of the No Child Left in Ballsack Act is Yasmin Neal, a Democrat from Riverdale. In a statement to the media, she said,
Thousands of children are deprived of birth in this state every year because of the lack of state regulation over vasectomies. 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.
Well played, Neal.
Unsurprisingly, conservatives behind the anti-abortion bill are not amused. Says Doug McKillip, the vaginaless author of the measure,
I think it's disappointing that they would make light of something as important as protecting life. It's just not a joking matter, and it's a time for serious issues and serious discussion.
I always found it ironic that conservatives seem to love the humorless feminist/ constantly offended liberal stereotype when it seems like they're the ones who hate jokes. Q: How many pro-lifers does it take to change a light bulb? A: I don't find that funny at all.
McKillip is so far away from getting it that he's going to have to take a very long, expensive cab ride in order to get to a train that will take him to the point of this discussion. Men who are not medical professionals have no business dictating what women must do with their bodies, and even if they honestly and sincerely believe that the fetus is an entirely separate life with rights, that life does not have the right to take up unauthorized residence in another human being's body if the host human does not want it there. Period. When a woman consents to sex, she is not also consenting to pregnancy. And we'd be kidding ourselves if we pretended that eliminating abortion wasn't the eventual goal of legislation like Georgia's.
But, to give credit where credit is due, McKillip isn't entirely wrong about this not being a laughing matter. Snarky liberal faux legislation is a hilarious way to point out how completely off the rails and Talibanesque the conservative movement has become, but the fact remains that this extreme form of political grandstanding is a real threat to women's ability to what happens inside their own bodies.
On the other hand, McKillup didn't honestly expect to put forth a proposal that would have given him and his ilk the power to dictate women's health and not experience sarcastic pushback, did he? If he didn't want a Democrat to make a dick joke at his expense, he should have thought for a minute before opening his lips.
Georgia House Democrats make light of Republicans' abortion bill with vasectomy bill [The Florida Times-Union]