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Zap their Ovaries

February 11, 2011 permalink

For parents who have lost their children to social services, Dutch professor Paul Vlaardingerbroek, supported by some political parties, has the solution: sterilization. When using cases without names, it is easy to fabricate horror stories like the woman overfeeding her fourteenth child. Canadian superstar Celine Dion is her parents' fourteenth child.

In other Dutch news, one of the children seized by Dutch child protectors, Laura Dekker, has reached Bonaire in the Caribbean on her attempt to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world.



Contraceptive injection for failed parents

Parents who have failed should not be allowed to have more children. A compulsory contraceptive injection could prevent the birth of children who can expect to be abused, ill-treated or neglected. There is increasing support for this controversial proposal in the Dutch Lower House.

A woman whose first 13 children were taken away by the Child Protection Board was allowed to keep her 14th child, but she spoiled it so much by giving it cola, chips and crisps that, by the age of nine, the child weighed 70 kilograms.

A distressing example of parental 'failure'. So would it be more sensible if parents like this didn't have any more children? Especially when there is a real risk of them re-offending?

Mandatory contraception

"Yes", says Paul Vlaardingerbroek, professor of family law at the University of Tilburg. Professor Vlaardingerbroek believes certain parents should be denied the right to have more children. And he doesn't mean parents with a mental handicap.

"We're talking about parents who have badly abused, ill-treated or neglected their children at a very early age. Parents who have already had their children taken away from them. Or in cases of infanticide, when there is a major risk of re-offending. Extreme cases. These failed parents should be denied the right to have children."

One of the options is giving the mother a mandatory contraceptive injection. A court would determine whether a parent had failed and whether the mother should be given this injection so that - temporarily - she cannot conceive any more children. The need for a further contraceptive injection would be reviewed after three months.

Ethical objections

Politicians have been discussing the issue for some time. Since 2004 the Labour Party has been working on a law allowing mandatory contraceptive injections. The governing Christian Democrats also support this proposal.

However, to date there has never been a majority in the Lower House in favour of the law. There were always legal and ethical objections. The senior coalition party, the conservative liberal VVD, objects to mandatory contraceptive injections. VVD member of parliament Anouchka van Miltenburg:

"No one can be forced to do something to their own body. That's a fundamental right. In this country, you can refuse medical treatment. A compulsory contraceptive injection is a physical assault on a mother. Administering it is simply not allowed."

The VVD says there are limits to what the government can and should do - especially when the issue interferes with people's personal lives.

Taking children into care

"It's a delicate issue," says Professor Vlaardingerbroek. But the debate has to take place.

"Are there any conceivable alternatives to just taking the children away from their parents again? It causes both parents and children great suffering. Why not intervene at the start? Prevent children being born and landing in different homes."

In the Netherlands, hundreds of children are taken into care each year. Often, they are from families where drug addiction and psychiatric problems play a part. Next month, a parliamentary committee will hold a hearing into the issue.

Source: Radio Netherlands Worldwide