MO House bill would restrict vasectomies only to save lives - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

MO House bill would restrict vasectomies only to save lives


Some women in the Missouri House of Representatives want to limit when men can get vasectomies.

The proposal would only allow men to undergo the procedure to save their lives "or prevent substantial and irreversible physical impairment."

Men could not get a vasectomy as a form of birth control under House Bill 1853.

Any doctor who performs the procedure in violation of the law would face community service.

Stacey Newman, D-St. Louis, filed the bill, which has support from eight other women legislators in the House.

"I am very, very pleased at the support that I am getting, not only in my own district, but men and women around the state, but also around the country," Newman said.

Newman filed the bill, in part, because of the national debate over birth control and insurance that has only grown in the wake of Rush Limbaugh's vicious attack against a female Georgetown law student.

The Missouri house passed a non-binding resolution opposing the Obama administration's plan to require insurance policies to cover contraceptives and cover the costs. Many Republicans, religious organizations and others oppose Obama's administrative rule.

Newman then decided to file the bill when the Missouri House took its actions. Efforts in the Missouri Senate have failed due to Democratic opposition.

"We women have additional government intrusion as far as regulations of our reproductive health decisions that belong between us and a physician," Newman said. "We feel men need to have the same to understand (our position)."

State Rep. Judy Morgan, D-Kansas City, said it is an important issue that needs debate, but Republicans in the House are stifling that debate. It is not scheduled for a committee vote.

"I think we were so incensed that they would close debate," Morgan said.

Women and men must be treated equally when it comes to birth control, Newman said.

"It is our response to the atrocious government intrusive language we are seeing in legislation," she said. "We feel it needs to be an issue of equality."

The women realize they won't make it out of committee and onto the House floor. But they say they have spurred a conversation and made some men uncomfortable with their hypocrisy. They say they have made their point, and their message has been heard.

The following is language from the bill:

"No vasectomy is authorized or shall be performed in violation of this section. In determining whether a vasectomy is necessary, no regard shall be made to the desire of a man to father children, his economic situation, his age, the number of children he is currently responsible for, or any danger to his wife or partner in the event a child is conceived. A vasectomy shall only be performed to avert the death of the man or avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the man. No such condition shall be deemed to exist if it is based on a diagnosis or claim of a mental or emotional condition of the man or that the man will purposefully engage in conduct which he intends to result in his death or in substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function."

Click here to see the entire bill.

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