KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Ga. Vasectomy Bill Goes Viral

A Democratic lawmaker has proposed denying men vasectomies as a parody of a Republican bill that would prohibit abortions for women more than 20 weeks pregnant. Elsewhere, a Wisconsin bill would require physicians to give women a physical exam and be present when giving abortion-inducing drugs.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Vasectomy Bill Goes Viral
Rep. Yasmin Neal, a Jonesboro (Ga.) Democrat, was a relatively unknown freshman state representative Tuesday morning but by Tuesday night she was featured on left-leaning TV commentator Rachel Maddow's blog, she became a trending topic on Twitter, and CNN called for an interview Wednesday. "I am floored," she said of her sudden fame. The blasting cap that set off the explosion of publicity was Neal's House Bill 1116, a parody of the abortion-limiting bill moving quickly through the Georgia House. Neal proposes instead limiting vasectomies for men, except in cases where not getting one would result in death or "impairment of a major bodily function” (Quinn, 2/22).

CNN: No Abortions For Women? Then No Vasectomies For Men, Lawmakers Say
As members of Georgia's House of Representatives debate whether to prohibit abortions for women more than 20 weeks pregnant, House Democrats planned to introduce their own reproductive rights plan: No more vasectomies that leave "thousands of children ... deprived of birth." Rep. Yasmin Neal, a Democrat from the Atlanta suburb of Jonesboro, planned to introduce a bill Wednesday that would prevent men from vasectomies unless needed to avert serious injury or death (Gumbrecht, 2/22).

In other state news on contraception and abortion —

The Texas Tribune: Updated: Map of Government-Funded Family Planning Providers in Texas
In Texas, the Legislature has drastically reduced funding for family planning agencies that serve low-income women statewide. ... [W]e have mapped out the locations of government-subsidized family planning clinics in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Not only are there fewer contractors each year, but those that receive grants are getting less money (Murphy and Tan, 2/22). 

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Senate Approves Abortion Bill On Party-Line Vote 
Women could not receive drugs that induce abortions unless a doctor gives them a physical exam and is in the same room when they receive the drugs, under a bill given final approval by the state Senate Wednesday.  The bill passed 17-15 with all Republicans voting in favor and all Democrats voting against. Democrats Tuesday used a procedural move to block a final vote on the measure, forcing the Senate to come back Wednesday to advance the bill and send it to the Assembly (Stein, 2/22). 

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