Forced vasectomy at 50? Alabama lawmaker reacts to pushback

Forced vasectomy at 50? Alabama lawmaker reacts to pushback
Alabama state Rep. Rolanda Hollis, D-Birmingham, is proposing a bill that would require men to have a vasectomy at 50 or after their third child. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - An Alabama lawmaker has proposed a bill that would require a man to undergo a vasectomy at age 50 or after he has fathered a specific number of children.

HB 238, filed by Rep. Rolanda Hollis, D-Birmingham, would require a man to undergo a vasectomy after the birth of his third biological child or within one month of his 50th birthday. The bill also says the procedure would be done at the man’s own expense.

“Under existing law, there are no restrictions on the reproductive rights of men,” according to the text of the bill.

Hollis said many opponents have seen her bill as “an outrageous overstep,” but she counters “year after year the majority party continues to introduce new legislation that tries to dictate a woman’s body and her reproductive rights." Hollis calls her bill a means “to neutralize last year’s abortion ban bill,” and to send a message that “men should not be legislating what women do with their bodies.”

Hollis was referring to a near-total abortion ban law that passed both Republican-controlled chambers of the Alabama Legislature and was signed by Republican Gov. Kay Ivey soon afterward in 2019. The law has no exceptions for rape and incest and would make performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony unless the mother’s health is in danger. Designed as a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, Alabama’s law was blocked by a federal judge in October.

Hollis’ bill was introduced to the House on Thursday and referred to the House judiciary committee. It was filed the same day HB 248, also known as the “Born Alive” bill, was reintroduced in the Alabama House. That bill would require a physician to “exercise reasonable care” to save a child born alive after an abortion or attempted abortion.

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