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Forced sterilisation. Who is bu?

(178 Posts)
pyjamaramadrama Mon 10-Mar-14 11:06:57

My boyfriend and I got into a heated debate over this at the weekend.

We were speaking about someone I know 'of', she's had 8 children, there are 5 different fathers and some dispute over the paternity of the children. The children have all been neglected, emotionally and physically abused and are now all in care and have unfortunately been separated as they all had different needs and physical and behavioural problems due to what they have been through. She is now pregnant again and the baby will be taken straight into care.

My boyfriend thinks that she should be sterilised because she will just go on having more babies who will be taken straight into care. I think that he is wrong.

My argument against is that where would you draw the line? This woman's situation is extreme, but would it open the door for other 'undesirables' to be sterilised? I also said that she may still turn her life around, unlikely, but she could.

His opinion is that even if she did turn her life around, she's ruined all those young lives and doesn't deserve a second chance, he compared it to killing somebody, I made the point that even murderers get a second chance.

I asked him if he also thought that runaway dads should be sterilised, he said that they should. See how the gates have opened?

I'm pretty sure that most on MN wouldn't agree with forced sterilisation, but I'd be really interested to hear some intelligent arguments about why this could never work. Or perhaps some people think he has a point.

WooWooOwl Mon 10-Mar-14 11:10:58

I agree with your boyfriends sentiments tbh, it is wrong to allow people to continually have children they not only can't look after, but are also abusive.

I can see that forced sterilisation is also wrong, simply because forcing an unwanted medical procedure on someone is a form of abuse, but I think it would be the lesser of two evils.

jacks365 Mon 10-Mar-14 11:14:15

I agree with you. There are some things which should never be done for the greater good because it leads to it being done for the wrong reasons.

DomesticDisgrace Mon 10-Mar-14 11:14:42

I kind of agree with him, but understand your concerns.

littledrummergirl Mon 10-Mar-14 11:17:04

Back in the early 60s my dg suffered post natal depression, as a result she was sectioned and along with other inhumane treatment she was sterilised. This fucked her up properly.
Nobody should be forced into this. As other posters have asked, where do we draw the line?

KellyElly Mon 10-Mar-14 11:19:33

I don't think anyone should be forced to have an invasive medical procedure like that. It's barbaric. I do agree that her baby should be taken away the second it is born though and given a chance at the kind of life it deserves.

Nataleejah Mon 10-Mar-14 11:19:59

I do understand the reasoning and logic on the emotional level, however, it is a very grey area both ethically and legally. Because there would be somebody making these decisions and somebody carrying them out. Who will take the responsibility?
There is enough backlash already about secret courts and forced adoptions...

DurhamDurham Mon 10-Mar-14 11:20:16

It's a slippery slope, it would be a drip drip approach and eventually who knows....maybe being made redundant would be enough to warrant being sterilised. It should never happen in a civilised society. Ever.

WilsonFrickett Mon 10-Mar-14 11:20:50

I can see the logic of solving what is a terrible situation.

But we don't do that in any other case. We don't castrate rapists, we don't disable serial killers, we don't cut the hands off thieves. So we can't forcibly sterilise someone.

I am pretty sure my paternal gm was sterilised after having a child out of wedlock littledrummer. I've never been able to work out if it was forced or if she felt forced into it, iyswim. sad

MojitoMadness Mon 10-Mar-14 11:21:07

Someone like my BIL who runs around having children with tonnes of different women and doesn't pay a penny for any of them would definitely benefit from being forcibly sterilised. I don't think the word condom is even in his vocabulary. hmm

But, forced sterilisation is just wrong. No matter what the person has done, I can see why it would work, but it's breaching their human rights. You can't start sterilising people who abuse their kids, or who run off and don't pay for them etc. Where would it end? You'd then get the elite declaring that undesirables like poor people (working or not) shouldn't procreate and should be sterilised. No, totally against forced sterilisation.

Nataleejah Mon 10-Mar-14 11:21:46

I do understand the reasoning and logic on the emotional level, however, it is a very grey area both ethically and legally. Because there would be somebody making these decisions and somebody carrying them out. Who will take the responsibility?
There is enough backlash already about secret courts and forced adoptions...

HolidayCriminal Mon 10-Mar-14 11:22:56

I never believe in slippery slope arguments.

She's had 8 chances already to get parenting right. Don't inflict her on any more kids, see if maybe she can salvage relationships with those that already exist.

Fusedog Mon 10-Mar-14 11:25:38

I don't agree with forced sterilisation however I think that encouraging BP to or get long term conception should be more widely practiced by sw and HV however in the country we are more worried about how the BP feel in regards to the children.

I used to foster and now have adopted and I never looked after a child that had no sibling usually most children were 1 of 4,5,6,7,8 very sad

Sw and HV hardly touch on this subject with BP and it should be included in the report as it goes to how serious they are in getting sorted you *would believe how many times a BP would turn up in court to get there pervious child back whilst currently pregnant hmm
There is a lady in the US. Who used to be a foster carer who pays drug users to get the implant or sterilised

And god bless her

Some people can be supported into being better parents but in the UK we have to get our heads round the fact not every one can be an effective parent regardless of how much support they have some people just aren't up to the task due to the poor upbringing they have had themselves or lack of willingness to engage

Fusedog Mon 10-Mar-14 11:26:31

And those who think it's crule try fostering or adoption then come back and talk more

squeakytoy Mon 10-Mar-14 11:28:25

I would say each case should be considered on the facts surrounding it and in this instance your boyfriend is right Op.

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Mon 10-Mar-14 11:28:28

I think you both make good points. I def agree with your DH that people like this woman do not deserve any more chances. It isn't a second chance at any rate. She's got 8 kids and counting. She's had ample chances already. And wrecked an awful lot of lives.

I know of someone who's lost 9 children to ss. She's in her 20s. Each one was taken off her at birth or soon after and she was told after the first 2 I think she wouldn't ever keep any. Luckily all those children have been successfully adopted by loving parents. But what about all the children that languish in foster care until they grow up because they never find a forever family?

However I have to say yanbu. I can't separate forced sterilisation from what the nazis did all toes years ago and what China does now. I don't want to live in a country like that.

Fusedog Mon 10-Mar-14 11:29:34

Oh and why dose it have to be forced

This should be a viable option sw should be talking to BP about

When we were planning to adopt we had to promise to use contraception

Why do these rules never seem to apply to people who actually hurt there children

yegodsandlittlefishes Mon 10-Mar-14 11:29:46

Forced sterilisation is wrong. It sends to wrong message to the 8 children she has already, as well as condemning her. I do think she should be some way for the state to say no more funding for her (not her offspring). Perhaps her own benefuts/pension should be docked so she makes a personwl contribution after the 2nd or 3rd child born into care? Or some kind of community service or requirement to take a course and pass a test in lifeskills, family planning, cheers ldcare, binancual planning and budgetting and keeping one's knees together?

sheriffofnottingham Mon 10-Mar-14 11:30:45

I think it's much the same argument as capital punishment. What is the purpose? to prevent the person doing the same thing again or to punish them for what they have done in the past.

If it prevention then it discounts free will and the idea that the person won't learn from their mistakes and rectify their behaviour in future, but if it's punishment then we have more appropriate methods of punishment such as prison that doesn't resort to inflicting physical pain on someone.

That said I joke with DP that the best way for society to progress is that all men be castrated at birth and their balls nurtured in a government facility. Once they have proven themselves responsible they can have them reattached. There would be some sort of written exam and practical work experience style log book to include questions such as name something that can't be fixed with duck tape (hint - nothing can be 'fixed' with duck tape) and Is it acceptable to lower the suspension of your car and attach neon tubes to the underside.

TheListingAttic Mon 10-Mar-14 11:31:37

Of course forcing someone to undergo an irreversible and invasive medical procedure is wrong. Especially when we have contraceptive implants and injections that are non-invasive and reversible - I do think those forms of contraception should be imposed on people who have thoroughly demonstrated that they are currently incapable of preventing pregnancy or raising the children they bear. But there's no need for sterilisation!

BackOnlyBriefly Mon 10-Mar-14 11:32:57

I understand the urge though to 'do something'. I think that is terrible, but another way must be found.

It would have to be based on parental behaviour and that is always going to be a matter of opinion. I meet people who consider it neglect to let a 14yo cross the road alone, but I remember when we played outside all day.

Some consider controlling a child's behaviour in any way a denial of their rights, but others (including me) think that's what parents are for.

pyjamaramadrama Mon 10-Mar-14 11:34:48

I totally agree that she should concentrate on sorting herself out and doing something for the children she already has.

But where do you draw the line? How many chances should people get? 8 is too many, but is 1 too many? Say for example a teenage parent who may be different in 10 years time.

All 8 children have fathers, some of the fathers only have 1 or two children, but are also not capable of having care of the children, and some have contributed to the neglect and abuse, should they be found and sterilised?

Some parents do have their children taken into care and do manage to get them back because they've either changed their lives, or in rare cases, it is proved that little johnny did in fact fall down the stairs and break his arm accidentally.

BackOnlyBriefly Mon 10-Mar-14 11:36:26

sheriff, I'm with you (also joking) on the 'making people pass a test' plan. Though as a man I'm a little unhappy with the specifics.


meditrina Mon 10-Mar-14 11:37:50

I think it's wrong.

To me it's even worse than severing a hand to stop thieves doing it again (for thieves have at least broken the law).

The only time people should have medical procedures without their consent is in a life or death situation, or if not capable of giving informed consent, in which case parents, guardians or the courts should decide on basis of medical need not social desirability.

Kendodd Mon 10-Mar-14 11:39:49

For one I can't see it would ever work. Can you imagine dragging women kicking and screaming into operating theatres. Not sure were I sit on paying people such as this to be sterilised. Also the parents how will adopt her unborn child, I'd like to bet they're very glad she wasn't sterilised, not that she should be used to provide children for the childless.

One thing I do think it that men should be FORCED to take responsibility for these children as well. Maybe both parents should have to pay child support until the children are adults (and I mean really forced to pay imprisoned if the don't) even if the child is in foster care.

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