Women With Low IQ Forced To Use Birth Control?August 20, 2010 No Comments
This was rejected by the courts but has raised some interesting questions about how far a government can go for the safety of the unborn children and why they think this is okay.
The woman, only known as Mrs A, has had two other children that social services took away because she was deemed unfit to care for them.
Social services were concerned that her husband has recently forced her to stop taking birth control, that he was abusing her, and that she was “unable to understand the consequences of not using contraception”.
Mrs A claims that she and Mr A have a loving relationship and there is no abuse. Mr A has an IQ of 65 so they both would be considered to have learning disabilities.
In the end she was not forced to take birth control. The judge said:
It is obvious on the facts of this case, that any step towards long-term court imposed contraception by way of physical coercion, with its affinity to enforced sterilisation and shades of social engineering, would raise profound questions about state intervention in private and family life. Whilst the issue of the use of force has not been argued out at this hearing I cannot, on these facts, presently see how it could be acceptable.
Mr and Mrs A may both have low IQs, but they live independently and do charity work in their community.
Despite what some people might believe, it is entirely possible for two people with low IQs to form loving, lasting, sexual, and marital relationships. Yes, they might need extra help with certain aspects of life, but that doesn’t mean they can’t learn how to live as a couple.
Even if they don’t understand what it means to take care of their potential children, does the court have a right to forced sterilization? Couldn’t home visits with midwives and social workers and parenting classes be good enough?
There’s no test required before people get pregnant to see if they will be good enough parents and, as much as I sometimes think this would be a good idea, we can’t infringe on peoples’ liberties this way without becoming a horrific police state.