T Nation

Judge Orders Drug Addict To Stop Having Children

Wondering what thinking people’s opinions are about this decision:

Judge orders drug addict to stop having children

from CNN.com

Wednesday, January 5, 2005 Posted: 7:44 AM EST (1244 GMT)

ROCHESTER, New York (AP) – A Family Court judge who last year stirred debate about parental responsibilities ordered a second drug-addicted woman to have no more children until she proves she can look after the seven she already has.

The 31-year-old mother, identified in court papers only as Judgette W., lost custody of her children, ranging in age from eight months to 12 years, in child-neglect hearings dating back to 2000. Six are in foster care at state expense and one lives with an aunt.

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.

In a similar ruling last March, O’Connor ordered a drug-addicted, homeless mother of four to refrain from bearing children until she won back care of her children. The decision, the first of its kind in New York, is being appealed.

Wisconsin and Ohio have upheld similar rulings involving “deadbeat dads” who failed to pay child support. But in other states, judges have turned back attempts to interfere with a person’s right to procreate.

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.”

“There is no question the circumstances of this case are deeply troubling,” said the group’s executive director, Donna Lieberman. “But ordering a woman under threat of jail not to have any more babies … puts the court squarely in the bedroom. And that’s no place for the government.”

Do I agree with the ruling? Yes.

Can we legally allow the courts to control our lives in that manner? No.

In Oklahoma, there used to be a manner in which a recidivist sex offender could be castrated. Something like a three strikes rule with serious consequences.

Did I love the concept of castrating rapists, and child molesters. Hell, yeah. Should the gov’t do so? No.

That’s a job best left to vigilantes who were empowered by Megan’s Law to take that procedure into their own hands. So to speak.

wlk

I think the bitch should be pimp slapped for having kids while being addicted to drugs and continuing to have even more before she solved that problem. Do I think it is right that any portion of this government can step in and order what someone does with their own body? No, I don’t. Not only because of basic human rights, but what this can lead to. We already have bans and fines for things that aren’t even proven harmful as far as what we decide to put in our own bodies. Now we have judges ordering what we do with our bodies at all? Where does it stop? Will some judge somewhere order that you can’t raise your kids in a particular faith? Possibly that you can’t allow your kids to listen to a certain type of music? I feel this country is slowly moving farther and farther away from a democracy while freedom of thought, speech and individual rights seem to be taken away in small increments one item at a time. What bothers me more are those who either can’t see this happening or go along (without one word of protest in any forum) with it because of our party system.

Maybe that same judge should order that some obese people lose weight if their husbands find them repulsive or they can’t do simple chores like walk their kids to the bus stop. I am sure that would last all of three seconds.

In the worst case scenario on this ruling, the woman concieves again and is put in jail. At least there her access to cocaine is limited,and her access to pre-natal care and addiction counseling are accessible. This will reduce the chance of her giving birth to ANOTHER baby with cocaine in its system. Before any one gets their genitalia in an uproar, Have any of you seen what happens to kids brought up in these conditions? I have. I live in a neighborhood that is riddled with drugs and all the problems that go along with them. There are even a few women whos’ story mimics the one a the start of this post. There are also a few kids of theirs running around too. Without a medical degree to diagnose exactly what is wrong with them, its very apparent, both physicaly and behavioraly, that these kids are completely fucked up. Their mothers are completely fucked up too, but that was her choice.The kids didn’t even ask for it. they had no choice. And if anyone has the inclination to say that she is an addict and doesn’t have a choice, I would have to say that thats Bullshit to because I am in recovery and I know that there are options. If you take into consideration the new laws protecting the unborn fetus, it would be hard not to agree that this woman should be jailed for the term of her pregnancy.She should also be charged with reckless endangerment of another person.

[quote]mindeffer01 wrote:
If you take into consideration the new laws protecting the unborn fetus, it would be hard not to agree that this woman should be jailed for the term of her pregnancy.She should also be charged with reckless endangerment of another person. [/quote]

I actually agree with this. Maybe the terms should have been, “If you have another child, you will be jailed” instead of the order to have no more children (slight difference in meaning). If this decision leads to her having an abortion to stay out of jail, will people still agree with it like they do?

Tough call.

Since she has shown no responsibility with any of her previous children and they have become wards of the state. It sounds like the state is saying they do not want to take care of anymore of her kids for her.

Very bad prescedent to set if it is enforcable. Bitch slapping sounds very reasonable in this situation.

The decision of a woman to have an abortion would be hers, regardless of what others think and regardless of the ruling. This ruling may influence her decision to Have an abortion, but one could only hope that it would more strongly influence her decision to stop smoking crack, and have a healthy baby instead. It could be inferred that this ruling was designed to inspire her to start taking care of her responsibilities as a mother,not nececarily to prosecute her or to control our bedrooms by judicial ruling. When I see stuff like this I have to take into consideration what is intended as the spirit of the law,not the actual law.This doesn’t seem like a judicial assault on our right to procreate, but it does seem like a well intended action to prevent abuse of a fetus, and the discontinuation of the neglect of children. Now it is up to the woman to do the right thing.