Now that women's birth control is becoming a subject of contention among (mostly male) Republicans in Congress, it seems only fair that birth control for men be put under the same scrutiny. At least this is what a group of female Georgia legislators in the House of Representatives believe--so they've just proposed a bill that would ban men from getting vasectomies.
Of course, the proposal of this bill was a response to something more specific than the general, ongoing attack on women's reproductive rights. And that was the bill HB 954, sponsored by Republican Doug McKillips, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy--as opposed to after the second trimester. It's fair to assume that the anti-vasectomy bill is somewhat tongue-in-cheek--so naturally McKillips wasn't pleased, calling it, "not a joking matter" and insisting that it's a time for "serious discussion."
The thing is, there has been serious discussion about these issues. Months and months of serious discussion. And still, powerful male Republican legislators like McKillips are the ones making all the decisions, regardless of overwhelming female dissent, regardless of there being hardly any female say in the matter, and regardless of the fact that these discussions were already had, decades ago. That's why we have the laws we have today. They were a century in the making--and they work for women.
While it's doubtful that Yasmin Neal, the author of the vasectomy ban bill, as well as all of the female Georgia House Democrats who support her, actually believe in restricting birth control for men, there are fewer and fewer ways for women to make their point these days: that there is no reason birth control should be restricted at all. But because anti-women bills are moving alarmingly fast through the legislative process in quite a number of states, they've decided that maybe the game plan needs to be revised.
The question is, should the mandate be, "if birth control is restricted for women, it should be restricted for men, too"? Or will that just spiral us deeper into this mess?
The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.
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