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The W - Current Events & Politics - Judge Orders Addict to Stop Having Children
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Corajudo
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Since: 7.11.02
From: Dallas, TX

Since last post: 107 days
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.16
Here's the article link: http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/01/05/children.ruling.ap/index.html

The lady is 31 and has had her 7 children (youngest 6 months) removed from her house for neglect.

From the article:

The youngest child and two others tested positive for cocaine at birth and all seven "were removed from her care and custody because she could not and did not take care of them," Judge Marilyn O'Connor said in a December 22 decision made public Tuesday.

"Because every child born deserves a mother and a father, or at the very least a mother or a father, this court is once again taking this unusual step of ordering this biological mother to conceive no more children until she reclaims her children from foster care or other caretakers," O'Connor wrote.


Skip a couple of paragraphs...

O'Connor said she was not forcing contraception or sterilization on the mother, who had children with seven different men, nor requiring her to get an abortion should she become pregnant. But she warned that the woman could be jailed for contempt if she has another child.

The New York Civil Liberties Union maintained that the opinion cannot be enforced because it "tramples on a fundamental right -- the right to procreate."


Apparently, one of the woman's seven children lives with an aunt and the other six are all in foster care. Also, the judge made a similar ruling against a mother of four last year (mentioned in the article).

I never thought of procreation as a fundamental right; I always thought of it as a blessing and a responsibility. Still, this raises a sticky issue--what do we, as a society do? You can't sterilize anyone who is deemed to be an 'unfit parent' and I have all kinds of problems with forced contraception (I'd hate to have to wait for a judge or the state find me to be a 'fit parent' or find my household to be healthy/conducive for kids). Still, it's clear that this woman shouldn't have more children.
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Grimis
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Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
    Originally posted by The Judge
    O'Connor said she was not forcing contraception or sterilization on the mother, who had children with seven different men, nor requiring her to get an abortion should she become pregnant. But she warned that the woman could be jailed for contempt if she has another child.
But isn't she? I mean, her choice her is to either have some sort of sterilization, an abortion, or prison if she does have a choice. That's not much of a choice.

While we all can agree that this woman is not mother of the year, I am extremely uncomfortable with such a government ruling.



PalpatineW
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Getting Rowdy

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00
They could just throw her in jail, I suppose, provided there's something illegal about making coke fiends out of your kids. I mean, if you're going to go this far, might as well just toss her in the metal clink and make her get cleaned up.



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bash91
Merguez








Since: 2.1.02
From: Plain Dealing, LA

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.10
    Originally posted by Grimis
      Originally posted by The Judge
      O'Connor said she was not forcing contraception or sterilization on the mother, who had children with seven different men, nor requiring her to get an abortion should she become pregnant. But she warned that the woman could be jailed for contempt if she has another child.
    But isn't she? I mean, her choice her is to either have some sort of sterilization, an abortion, or prison if she does have a choice. That's not much of a choice.
    While we all can agree that this woman is not mother of the year, I am extremely uncomfortable with such a government ruling.


I'd argue that the judge isn't forcing anything other than personal responsibility upon the mother. She has any number of choices that revolve around actually taking responsibility for your own actions. While I have some reservations about governmental intrusion into the private sphere, I don't have any problems with the judge requiring that the mother take more responsibility instead of foisting that responsibility on the state. Given that the state is responsible for the welfare of the already living children because of the mother's inability to, well, mother, the state also has an interest in not, for lack of a better term, acquiring any more dependents from this particular woman. It doesn't appear that this is permanent nor that it is even particularly onerous for the woman. In this case, it looks to me like this is a good example of judicial restraint.

Tim



Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit. -- Erasmus
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Goetta








Since: 17.9.03
From: Holley, New York

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.18
Yeah, the judge did the same thing to a couple. She basically said that unless they can show that they can provide for the kids they already have, then they can't have anymore, and has made the same ruling here.

Local reaction to the first ruling was mostly in favor.

I personally think you could make a case that birthing drug-addicted children = child abuse.





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MoeGates
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Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.14
That ruling is ridiculous. I won't try to sound too far out here, but that's the beginning of the road to a COmmie China-style, or even Eugenics policy.

If the woman's messed up so bad, she should be jailed for Child Abuse. I don't think anyone would have any problem with that. Good to see the civil libertarians from both side of the political spectrum worried baou this.



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Since: 17.9.03
From: Holley, New York

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.09
    Originally posted by MoeGates
    I won't try to sound too far out here, but that's the beginning of the road to a COmmie China-style, or even Eugenics policy.


Too late.



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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
It is an interesting question, but I'm not sure how I feel about it.

I suppose we need to ask if society must support and pay for the care of any child that a member of that society has, no matter what the circumstances are.

Does society have any civil rules about stopping people from running up debt after they have proven to be bad credit risks?

At what point does society have the right to cut someone off from support?

I personally feel that people need to take responsibility for their own actions, but I'm not sure that I like the idea of a court setting restrictions on reproduction. Is there a better option than this which would disincent the mother from putting additional burdens on society?



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