Make Voluntary Sterilization A Requirement for Welfare



So this judge in Tennessee got in big trouble last year for offering inmates in his county a 30 day reduction in their jail sentence if they volunteered for a sterilization procedure:

"When Judge Sam Benningfield of White County, Tenn., offered to shave off jail time for inmates who volunteered for sterilization, a chorus of attorneys, advocates and public officials reacted with horror."


Horror? Why?

"Benningfield said his goal was to break a 'vicious cycle' of repeat drug offenders with children. But many argued that the proposal, outlined in a May order, was nothing short of eugenics."


Psssh. What's so horrible about eugenics?

Having more physically and mentally healthy people?

Don't get me wrong, I am not supporting forced sterilization of anyone, which would be an intolerable violation of their life and liberty, but this program was completely voluntary.

No one was being threatened with 30 additional days in confinement if they didn't comply.

They were already sentenced to those 30 days for a crime they had committed. These inmates were being offered 30 days off their sentence and a free contraceptive procedure if they wanted it. They were free to say no and serve out the sentence they were already sentenced to serve out regardless.

This judge just gave inmates more options.

"Civil rights lawyers brought legal actions and a local prosecutor told his staff to avoid the judge’s program at all costs.

Now, after the wave of backlash and amid multiple lawsuits, state judicial regulators have formally reprimanded Benningfield for promising 30-day sentence reductions to inmates who agreed to receive vasectomies or birth control implants."


Everybody was worried that offering a 30 day reduction in their sentence would be unduly coercing them, but it's not coercion.

It's offering an additional incentive to get a free health care procedure that most people have to pay good money for and that Sandra Fluke wishes she could have gotten as a student at Georgetown University Law School.

Democrats mobilized to ThreatCon1 over Sandra Fluke's right to get a private university to cover her contraceptive costs, then a judge in Tennessee offers it to prison inmates for free plus reducing their sentences and everybody loses their minds.

This guy should have been like the Bernie Sanders style socialism movement's hero or something.

Maybe some of those inmates actually don't want to have any kids in the future, and would have been happy to have their sentence reduced plus free permanent contraption.

Any of them who do want to have kids were free to decline and serve out their sentence, not as a punishment for declining the sterilization procedure, but because they were already sentenced to serve those days in confinement anyway.

That doesn't look like coercion to me.

There is a clear distinction between coercive, tyrannical eugenics that violates people's liberty, and a libertarian eugenics that would actually decrease the amount of coercion and tyranny in our society while also promoting a more healthy population.

An example of the latter kind would be making voluntary sterilization a requirement to receive welfare benefits.

My argument is simple:

Read the rest at The Humble Libertarian.

2 comments:

  1. Since welfare is at least theoretically a temporary state of affairs, requiring sterilization seems a bit harsh, since they may turn their lives around and become upstanding, even model citizens of their communities.

    Offering it voluntarily to incarcerated individuals, who have shown on least one occasion the inability to self govern, and therefore, in all likelihood the inability to teach self governance to their offspring, doesn't sound like such a bad idea!

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    Replies
    1. Seems harsh, but they aren't entitled to benefits created by the efforts of others... and if this policy went into effect, I think anyone who would only need it temporarily would make better decisions knowing they don't have a government safety net. They'd save more. They'd work harder. They wouldn't waste as much time or opportunities. They would think twice before doing anything stupid or risky that they know they shouldn't be doing.

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