Civil Rights

Go Forth And Give Birth No More

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Travis County, Texas, Judge Charlie Baird orders a woman who neglected to protect her daughter from an abusive father, or get her appropriate medical care after the beating, to bear no more children. (The dad's in jail, the daughter's in foster care.)

From the Austin-American Statesman report:

Baird said Texas law gives judges the discretion to set any conditions of probation deemed reasonable. He also said that neither Salazar nor her lawyer, Kent Anschutz, objected.

"When you look her background, the circumstances of this case," he said, "a reasonable condition of her probation was that she not conceive or bear any children."

Anschutz said he is considering his options on behalf of Salazar. He described her as concerned about Baird's order.

"Although I fully understand the sentiment and perspective of the judge in this matter, I question the enforceability of that particular condition," he said.

I swear to heck I remember reporting a similar story for reason's "Citings" section back in the 20th century about a wicked man ordered to father no more children, but I can't seem to find it. And the story says all the lawyers the reporter talked to "say they are not familiar with any similar orders."

Tip thanks to faithful reader Marissa Stewart.

NEXT: Family Values

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  1. So if she (gets pregnant and/or gives birth) she can be arrested and presumably sentenced for breaking her probation. And if the probationary period ends, she presumably can then freely attempt to get pregnant again?

    And presumably the order does not state a specific means (Norplant, etc) for prevention to occur?

    While this is not in the same league as the sterilization of mental defectives that was all the rage in the 20’s, it’s still icky.

  2. Baird said Texas law gives judges the discretion to set any conditions of probation deemed reasonable

    I hate this shit. Probation is supposed to be “you fucked up but we don’t think you belong in jail but we’re going to keep an eye on you and if you fuck up again maybe you do go to jail”. It is not the ability to tell someone how to live their life.

  3. Though I’d love to see the smoke come out of the ears of a non-dispensing fundy pharmacist if she took her court order with her to get a dose of Plan B.

  4. I’m not seeing a huge problem here. If you’re going to be a dumb piece of white trash and let your “man” wail on your kid, and then fail to provide your child with the proper care, you’ve shown yourself categorically unable to take care of those for whom you have a duty to care.

  5. O Rly, TAO? So when you spank your kid and Child Protective Services takes them away from you and an arrogant judge says the same about you, will you be singing the same tune?

    The judge doesn’t get to have a say in what she does with her body unless he throws her in prison, and then he still only gets to control where that body is confined to.

  6. Please, Epi. The POS “man” was sentenced to 15 years for breaking the bones of a 19-month-old. This isn’t a spanking; he probably goddamned near killed her.

    And the judge has a point when he says “If I put her in prison for 10 years, she could not conceive or bear children…I don’t know how this is unreasonable for probation.”

    He’s actually being generous…she could just go to prison.

  7. I know I am going to get a lot of, likely justified, flak but I can agree with the sentiment of this judge.

    I have done dependency, child removal, cases for about 2 years now. After a while when you see some of the biggest pieces of shit download these kids that they can’t or won’t take care of, you start to think that maybe it is a good idea if the right to have children isn’t for everyone.

    If a 18+ woman wants to go back to an abuser for what ever reason (whether it is lack of self esteem, he has the drugs, the money, the house)that is her decision, but why should you have to force a 8 year old boy to grow up watching that crap and learning from the behavior that he sees?

    And Epi — O Rly, TAO? So when you spank your kid and Child Protective Services

    I have never seen a child removal case because some parent spanked thier kid. They get their kids removed because, 1) Pevasive domestic violence in the household, 2) the child was born substance exposed, 3) Methamphetamine use, often with the child present 4) child abuse (like getting drunk and driving with the child unbelted who gets thrown out of the car when mom swerves out of oncoming traffic), 5) Sexual abuse 6) the child is uncontrollable because of some mental illness.

  8. It sets a precedent. Next thing you know this judge will decide he can issue rulings on what a person eats while on probation, etc.

    If she deserves prison, send her there.

  9. The problem in this case should be obvious even to a lawyer with a two-digit IQ. If this woman finds she’s pregnant, she’ll want to get an abortion so that she won’t get her probation revoked. The judge will have the baby’s blood on his hands.

  10. Why shouldn’t the woman be allowed to have kids with a caring father and do it right the next time? If she’s so dangerous, she should get parole.

    I’m with Episiarch on this one.

  11. No luck finding another precedent but here is one concerning a couple in NY.

  12. I would agree *completely* with Epi but for the fact that prison is a terrible place, and so sending someone there is not exactly productive.

  13. Epi’s completely right. In addition to the above reasons, in case she does become pregnant, and doesn’t want to have an abortion, can the state force her to terminate the pregnancy? Is accidental conception considered a breach of her probation? It’s just a shitty idea all around.

    If any future children are found to be in abusive or neglectful situations, remove them. But last I checked we don’t have a pre-crime division yet.

  14. I seem to recall a case back in the early 90s where a California woman was ordered to get Norplant as a condition of probation for child abuse.

    The woman I was dating at the time got very upset about this viiolation of her reproductive rights. While I am normally opposed to compulsion on this issue I must confess that I was somewhat ambivalent in this case. I didn’t give voice to this ambivalence at the time, however.

    I also know a 60 plus year old English socialist who has spent half his life on the dole who thinks that mandatory birth control, sterilization and abortions are splendid ideas because they would reduce the level of welfare abuse. The marvel was that he seemed to be able to say this without sensing the slightest trace of irony.

  15. Fine, I have no problem with sending her to prison. Then she can stop exposing children under two years old to men who break their bones.

    Sorry, guys, but this doesn’t get my libertarian sensibilities in a rile.

  16. I would agree *completely* with Epi but for the fact that prison is a terrible place, and so sending someone there is not exactly productive

    I detest the idea of locking people up like animals. It may be necessary with the most dangerous. But I am absolutely not promoting throwing her in prison, I’m saying that if the judge thinks she’s that bad then he can throw her in the clink instead of trying to control her body.

  17. But last I checked we don’t have a pre-crime division yet.

    This is a condition of probation. She already committed a crime. If you guys think prison is the place for her, be my guest. Frankly, she’s lucky she’s NOT going there.

  18. In addition to the above reasons, in case she does become pregnant, and doesn’t want to have an abortion, can the state force her to terminate the pregnancy?

    If this is allowed to stand as a probation rule, then they’re already controlling her body, so why not? It sets a terrible precedent.

  19. I won’t shed a tear for this woman. Im sure she would do humanity a great favor by not having any more kids.

  20. In addition to the above reasons, in case she does become pregnant, and doesn’t want to have an abortion, can the state force her to terminate the pregnancy?

    No, but I have seen cases where people who have already had their children removed by DCF are not allowed to keep their newborns. Out of the womb, into the system(or to a family member).

  21. I couldn’t care less about this either. Frankly, if it were me I’d say to sterilize both parents.

  22. The woman should have received an active prison sentence, if (a) she let her boyfriend break her baby’s bones and (b) she’s in danger of having other babies exposed to similar situations. In prison, she won’t be in a position to abuse any children. Giving her probation on condition she doesn’t get caught having more children is just an invitation to abortion. The judge (if he’s thinking at all) seems to think it’s better for a baby to be killed than abused. Or he thinks that a baby is a mere “clump of cells” while in the womb, so it can be destroyed at will.

  23. I’m with TAO here. This woman deserves to go to prison and anything less severe is an act of undeserved generosity. I’m guessing that if she were to become pregnant, she would be allowed to carry to term, but the child would be taken away at birth or soon thereafter, and she would go to prison for breaking probation.

  24. “I’m not seeing a huge problem here. If you’re going to be a dumb piece of white trash and let your “man” wail on your kid, and then fail to provide your child with the proper care, you’ve shown yourself categorically unable to take care of those for whom you have a duty to care.”

    You routinely post some of the most knee-jerk, ill thought out, thinly veiled tyrannical bullshit that I see on here.

    Take the “optimist” part out of your name, and leave the “angry” part. It certainly fits.

    If she’s meant for jail, then send her there. Dictating someone’s reproductive habits as an aspect of probation is the kind of psychotic, dictatorial decision that a deep down, social conservative can’t wait to get on board with.

    You know, just like those dastardly Communists.

    Libertarian my ass. You’re just a run of the mill crank.

  25. This is a condition of probation. She already committed a crime.

    OK, but what is the purpose of this condition? Is it a punitive measure (“you’ve been a bad girl, no more kids for you”), or is it to prevent possible future harm to as-yet unborn children?

    If she needs further punishment for her crime, fine. Community service, jail, whatever. But this is not an appropriate form for that punishment to take.

    However, if the purpose is to ensure her past crime is NEVER repeated, that’s probably not something gov’t can promise in any criminal case (short of life in prison or execution). So this condition is applied in order to control her future behavior, when there is no way to tell what that behavior will be.

    It’s like if someone commits a crime while drunk, and one of the conditions is that they never drink again. That’s absurd, in part because it presumes to know that whenever this person drinks, they will commit a crime. It’s not the drinking that’s the problem, it’s the actual crime. I’m not saying no punishment is necessary, but this particular punishment is based on many very problematic premises.

  26. then he can throw her in the clink instead of trying to control her body

    The former is most certainly a (partial) subset of the latter.

  27. I swear to heck I remember reporting a similar story for reason’s “Citings” section back in the 20th century about a wicked man ordered to father no more children,

    You did. This isn’t the first time that parents with an agressively bad child-care background have been ordered to quit bearing children.

  28. It’s an ugly world out there, folks. I’m not sure which is worse, barring a woman from “controlling her body” or simply taking the offspring away. Sorry if it tarnishes my libertarian credentials, but I’m not sure what the answer is on some of these.

  29. Look guys (Dagny T, Moritmer, et al.), probation is still a criminal sentence, it’s just not served in a jail. If this woman were to face 10 years in jail(and all of it’s inherited restrictions) vs. 10 years probation with conditions that mimic some of those found in jail, what’s the difference?

    I am not for placing restrictions on the populace in general but this person is, for the next ten years, a ward of the state. The state has opted that she serve out her sentence someplace other than the lockup.

    You can argue with the conviction or the length of the sentence but to act like and equal amount of time on probation is worse than jail time is ridiculous.

    It’s like if someone commits a crime while drunk, and one of the conditions is that they never drink again.

    Probation isn’t indefinite. It has a fixed time limit as do all criminal sentences. If the time served on probation is in excess of the typical sentence for jail time then there is a disconnect and one I suspect would be challengeable in court. But the only way this would function is if an individual was effectively sentenced to “life” on probation and I am not sure if that even happens.

  30. In addition to the above reasons, in case she does become pregnant, and doesn’t want to have an abortion, can the state force her to terminate the pregnancy?

    Not at all. She will have a choice between abortion on the one hand, and having the kid and going to jail on the other.

    Although she might be able to get off by immediately giving the kid up for adoption.

  31. It is not the ability to tell someone how to live their life.

    Uh, guys, probation is ALL ABOUT them telling you how to live your life. Drug tests, electronic monitoring, random visits at home and work…

    Epi, I can see your point, but ultimately disagree. There was due process. She also had a choice between probation and confinement. Not choices she necessarily liked, but choices nonetheless.

    I don’t think you’d ever see a forced abortion, particularly not in Texas. What you’d see is the woman being confined in a special unit for pregnant inmates, giving birth in the slammer, and the kid handed over to social services after 48 hours.

    Mort, get an effing life. What I said to Epi, above, only with more venom for you. Due process.

  32. Uh, guys, probation is ALL ABOUT them telling you how to live your life. Drug tests, electronic monitoring, random visits at home and work…

    It is about them checking up on you, but being an alternative to totally controlling you. If they ramp up the control to near-prison levels, what is the point?

    Epi, I can see your point, but ultimately disagree. There was due process. She also had a choice between probation and confinement. Not choices she necessarily liked, but choices nonetheless.

    Ok, but this sort of imperial pronouncement from on high from the judge doesn’t bother you?

    What if he forbade her to have sex? What if he forbade her to masturbate? What if he forbade her to have ice cream sandwiches? Where does it stop?

  33. While I certainly don’t think that this woman ought to be having any more children, it seems to me that if anything is a fundamental right which can never be taken away, then making babies is such a right.

  34. Ok, but this sort of imperial pronouncement from on high from the judge doesn’t bother you

    Those crazy judges, always imperially pronouncing from on-high.

    Parlour game: Go into a courtroom and ask the judge who he thinks he is.

  35. Kwix, IANAL and am not familiar with Texas law. However, am generally familiar with the criminal justice system.

    Probation is a sentence, as is confinement. Generally probation is given in lieu of confinement when it’s felt that confinement would not be productive. The term of probation is generally the same length of time as the convicted would serve had she been sentenced to confinement.

    If the supervisee (person on probation) violates probation, it’s the dark stripey hole for them.

    Probation is generally only given to misdemeanor offenders (definitionally crimes for which the sentence is under one year), or for minor felonies.

    BTW, misdemeanor convicts (1 year) to prison.

  36. Why shouldn’t the woman be allowed to have kids with a caring father and do it right the next time?

    Because women like this can’t or won’t pick “nice guys.” It is like they are attracted to the jerks.

    I am not ever too keen on sending people to prison for what that don’t (in this case, failure to protect) do rather than what they DO do (say armed robbery).

    And I agree with Epi’s concerns about what probation is supposed to be. But probation officers have an enormous amount of authority over other human beings. Too much IMHO. Probation officers can tell you “no more drinking” and there is no fucking due process regarding their decisions. And I think too many conditions for probation simply sets people up to fail which is fucking stupid.

    So I think the answer whereby the most amount of freedom can be exercised by her is to have some sort of reversible sterilization. No probation, no prison. If she can show that she isn’t going to shack up with a jerk, has a job, has a place to raise a child, doesn’t use meth, then she could have that one right that is taken away, returned to her.

  37. Meant to write: BTW, misdemeanor convicts (sentence 1 year) to prison.

    A little joke: What’s the difference between God and a judge? God knows he’s not a judge.

    Ok, but this sort of imperial pronouncement from on high from the judge doesn’t bother you?

    It does, a bit, but serveral orders of magnitude less than I’m bothered by the toddler with broken bones. And lose the “imperial” bit, you’re hyperventilating like a liberal.

    What if he forbade her to have sex?

    But he didn’t.

  38. For some reason my correction keeps getting eaten: Misdemeanors are crimes for which the maximum sentence is one year or less, felonies are crimes for which the minimum sentence is one year or greater.

  39. probation is ALL ABOUT them telling you how to live your life. Drug tests, electronic monitoring, random visits at home and work…

    It is about them checking up on you, but being an alternative to totally controlling you. If they ramp up the control to near-prison levels, what is the point?

    Right. I would also add that I disagree with drug tests as a condition of probation as well, for the same reasons. These are among the long list of activities that the state should have no say in. They are not crimes, nor do they inexorably lead to crimes.

    Checking up is one thing, but expanding the penal state even further beyond the walls of prisons is a scary, scary thought. The state already has sufficient powers to discipline and punish, I think.

  40. Uh, guys, probation is ALL ABOUT them telling you how to live your life. Drug tests, electronic monitoring, random visits at home and work…

    this is the way it is.

    It is about them checking up on you, but being an alternative to totally controlling you. If they ramp up the control to near-prison levels, what is the point?

    This is the way it is supposed/should to be.

  41. And lose the “imperial” bit, you’re hyperventilating like a liberal.

    Do you have a paper bag I can borrow?

    What if he forbade her to have sex?

    But he didn’t.

    Still, what next?

    But probation officers have an enormous amount of authority over other human beings. Too much IMHO.

    And sometimes they purposely set you up so they can violate you and pump up their numbers. It’s a serious problem and judges and POs setting all kinds of arbitrary rules make it much worse.

    This is an interesting argument but unfortunately I must go and play Ultimate Frisbee.

  42. It is about them checking up on you, but being an alternative to totally controlling you. If they ramp up the control to near-prison levels, what is the point?

    Because it’s cheaper.

  43. Thank you Tonio for the information.

  44. Libertarian my ass. You’re just a run of the mill crank.

    Oh, does this mean we’re not friends now?

    Damn.

    Some of you seem to want her to have actually gone to prison instead of being allowed to roam free (with some limits). How bizarre.

    What if he forbade her to have sex? What if he forbade her to masturbate? What if he forbade her to have ice cream sandwiches? Where does it stop?

    All of that, right there, can be imposed on you in prison. So, right now, she can do all of those things, she just can’t have kids. If she were in prison, the things you listed above would be at the total discretion of the jailers (read: she couldn’t do any of them) AND she couldn’t have kids.

    What’s better for her?

  45. While this is not my usual schtick, I’m going to go ahead and channel my S.O., who would undoubtedly say the following:

    1. You guys (and gals) in favor of this crap are sexist simply because interfering with the reproductive rights of a *man* in this situation would be right out, never contemplated, and would be overturned without hesitation if it were attempted faster than a prior restraint order written by a chimpanzee

    2. The state has *no right* to interfere with the disposition of a woman’s womb…and here you guys all call yourselves Libertarians! Hah!

    3. Unless the state is also going to provide some compensation for the birth control that she would be forced to use (unless you’re reading this as an order *not to have sex*, which I think we can all agree the court can go fuck itself on, or *mandating abortion*, which, um, ditto times ten), the state is imposing quite a financial burden on the woman.

  46. I am not ever too keen on sending people to prison for what that don’t (in this case, failure to protect)

    I disagree. You should be have a legal duty imposed on you to take care of your children. You put them in harm’s way and brought them in naked and hungry and ignorant. It’s your job to make sure that they’re clothed and fed and cared for.

  47. El – your #1 is false. From the article:

    [I]n a past Wisconsin case, a father of nine who was convicted of intentionally failing to pay child support was ordered to have no more children as a condition of probation. The Supreme Court of Wisconsin upheld that condition.

    The state has *no right* to interfere with the disposition of a woman’s womb…and here you guys all call yourselves Libertarians! Hah!

    Are you kidding me? You don’t think there’s some reasonable disagreement amongst libertarians here? This is your litmus test?

    the state is imposing quite a financial burden on the woman.

    She imposed it on herself. Again, I ask, would you rather she have went to prison, where she would *zero* rights or control over *anything* she did?

  48. unless you’re reading this as an order *not to have sex*, which I think we can all agree the court can go fuck itself on

    Not necessarily. In this case, yes, I would find that onerous. But if you’re HIV+ and have demonstrably been shown to infect others recklessly and without informing them of your condition, I don’t have a problem regulating your sexual activity to the point of banning it.

  49. “Unless the state is also going to provide some compensation for the birth control that she would be forced to use…the state is imposing quite a financial burden on the woman”

    Damn, how much are condoms going for now a days? (I have been married for sometime now)

  50. shit, even the basic price for “the pill” is 47 bucks a month. That’s a couple extra hours a week flippin’ burgers.

    Don’t give me a bunch of sob stories.

  51. lmnop:

    1. You guys (and gals) in favor of this crap are sexist simply because interfering with the reproductive rights of a *man* in this situation would be right out, never contemplated,

    Not true, I believe that a man has been ordered to not father any more children. You’re reaching on this one.

    2. The state has *no right* to interfere with the disposition of a woman’s womb…and here you guys all call yourselves Libertarians! Hah!

    I tend to agree, but only if that’s extended to a mans penis. Which it has been. Not every infringement is about gender.

    Unless the state is also going to provide some compensation for the birth control that she would be forced to use

    I’d be ok with that. Condoms are cheap– and free for that matter.

    the state is imposing quite a financial burden on the woman.

    Umm… hmm. Where to go with this one. Mmmaybe. If she has more children, that won’t be a financial burden to… herself? Oh wait. No, wait, that’ll be a financial burden to me. You’ve convinced me. Let’s give her free condoms.

  52. TAO —

    Your reading comprehension is slipping. I said these would be my S.O.’s arguments, which I agree with on the merits if not the minutiae of the details. (p.s. Do you honestly think that the probation restriction of “don’t have kids” for a guy would survive SCOTUS review? Srsly?)

    And, FWIW, point the second is not an abortion litmus. Libertarians can disagree honestly on whether a fetus is a human being, yadda yadda yadda, but I’d be hard pressed to find a Libertarian argument for a state *interfering in a woman’s potential use of her own uterus to make a baby*.

    Not necessarily. In this case, yes, I would find that onerous. But if you’re HIV+ and have demonstrably been shown to infect others recklessly and without informing them of your condition, I don’t have a problem regulating your sexual activity to the point of banning it.

    Of course you don’t. You don’t have HIV. And this would be an entirely faithless argument from a libertarian perspective, since to engage in mutually consensual behavior incurs responsibilities on those participating to first guard themselves from harm. Your argument (that somehow if you have sex with an HIV positive person without protection it’s somehow their fault instead of yours that you didn’t use protection) is the same logic that bans gun ownership and supports many other onerous regulations.

    Do you support readily-visible tattoos for TB carriers, TAO? Same logic.

  53. Not necessarily. In this case, yes, I would find that onerous. But if you’re HIV+ and have demonstrably been shown to infect others recklessly and without informing them of your condition, I don’t have a problem regulating your sexual activity to the point of banning it.

    I agree. For example, I would be against a law that flat out said that people with HIV can never have sex. If I want to take that risk (which, with protetion, is less of a risk than going hunting with Dick Cheney), that is my business. However, I would be in favor of limiting someone whose purpose is to kill people with his dick.

    1. You guys (and gals) in favor of this crap are sexist simply because interfering with the reproductive rights of a *man* in this situation would be right out, never contemplated, and would be overturned without hesitation if it were attempted faster than a prior restraint order written by a chimpanzee

    actually no. These pricks, pun intended, that have tons of kids that i end up paying for through welfare and food stamps, I would have no issues reversibly sterilizing them (no prison, no jail, no probation) and saying, once you can show that you are paying for the kids you alreay have, then you can have more. Again, I see this as the altervative that solves the problem, paying for kids that aren’t mine, while keeping that largest amount of freedom.

  54. For all y’all who are arguing “condoms are FREE!!”, keep in mind that condoms fail (with statistically significant regularity higher than *never*) so if the court were serious about not making complying with this order the equivalent of joining a cloistered order of nuns, they’d have to provide supplementary protection in the form of spermicidal lotions and/or creams, or a norplant, or other supplementary prophylactic care.

    And information and/or training on how to use those things. After all, a person could reasonably say to the state “I wish to comply to the best of my abilities, but I don’t know how to use those things effectively”.

    And then there are the compliance tests, which would cost money. At the very least the court would be required to get a doctor to confirm a pregnancy if it occurred.

  55. Do you support readily-visible tattoos for TB carriers, TAO? Same logic.

    WTF? What WOULD you do about someone carrying a highly-contagious, airborne and possibly deadly disease?

    Your argument (that somehow if you have sex with an HIV positive person without protection it’s somehow their fault instead of yours that you didn’t use protection)

    No. HIV+ individuals should (and do) have a duty to disclose. The assumption is that you are HIV-; if you have fail to disclose a condition like that and someone has sex with you under the assumption that you’re “clean”, you SHOULD be the one to be in trouble for that. It induces consent on false pretenses.

    Do you honestly think that the probation restriction of “don’t have kids” for a guy would survive SCOTUS review? Srsly?

    That Wisconsin case I cited above was denied certiorari by SCOTUS, so there’s no telling. But if SCOTUS wanted to weigh in on this, they had their chance.

  56. I agree. For example, I would be against a law that flat out said that people with HIV can never have sex.

    I’m a little lazy to look it up, but I believe that in the nineties, someone who was HIV+ and was having a lot of unprotected sex and subsequently infecting people did get some kind of court order against his… personal activities. Too lazy to look it up now.

  57. Really LMNOP,
    pushing the argument that birth control is “quite a financial burden” is much, even for you… Com’on… surely you must be joking.
    It’s very difficult to take anything else you have to say on this subject seriously.

  58. “However, I would be in favor of limiting someone whose purpose is to kill people with his dick.”

    Ok, that made me spew my drink in laughter. I totally agree with it, but it was still funny.

  59. And information and/or training on how to use those things. After all, a person could reasonably say to the state “I wish to comply to the best of my abilities, but I don’t know how to use those things effectively”.

    And then there are the compliance tests, which would cost money. At the very least the court would be required to get a doctor to confirm a pregnancy if it occurred.

    Dude… dude…

    Reasonable people can disagree about this case. I’m still on the fence. But this argument about the complexities and costs of birth control? Please. Let’s go have a drink and forget this nonsense.

  60. TAO —

    Moral duty, definitely. Legal duty? I don’t think it’s a good idea.

    I thought having sex was an inherently risky activity and as such the burden is placed on the participant to protect him/herself from harm.

  61. I thought having sex was an inherently risky activity and as such the burden is placed on the participant to protect him/herself from harm.

    OK, El, so let’s say that you have sex with a young woman and the condom breaks (because, as you noted, condoms do fail) and, surprise! she gives you HIV.

    Don’t you think that you should have been fully informed before taking that risk? After all, it is entirely possible (indeed, probable) that you would not have engaged in sexual intercourse with that partner in the first place, had she fully disclosed.

    And do you think sex SHOULD be an “inherently” risky activity? All activities have risk, but that doesn’t mean that they’re “risky”. Sex shouldn’t be a game of Russian Roulette.

  62. rana:

    Evidence about compliance with a probation order requires, in this country of laws, findings of fact. The only way to get judicial notice of a pregnancy is to have a doctor say someone is pregnant.

    That costs money.

    Do I have to check to see if I’m on the same site where people threw a goddamned shit-fit because it might be useful to require restaurant owners to clearly post nutritional information? This is the same site where today (many of the same) people are very cavalier about the actual costs *to you and I, the taxpayers* that would be incurred by enforcement of this intrusive regulation.

    No points for consistency, guys.

  63. “Your argument (that somehow if you have sex with an HIV positive person without protection it’s somehow their fault instead of yours that you didn’t use protection) is the same logic that bans gun ownership and supports many other onerous regulations.”
    huh? what about a HIV-infected spouse having unprotected sex with his or her spouse (who is not aware of the other’s HIV), would your argument still hold?
    Are you telling me that everytime I have sex with my husband I should ask him if he is HIV positive? and if I dont, or he lies, if I get infected from him is it MY FAULT?

  64. Sex shouldn’t be a game of Russian Roulette.

    This isn’t Candide, this is reality. The “shouldas and shouldn’ts” on individual conditions don’t enter into it. Fact is, sex *is* risky, and everyone not having been asleep for the last half century is aware of this fact.

  65. I thought having sex was an inherently risky activity and as such the burden is placed on the participant to protect him/herself from harm.

    You’re sooo libertarian. Get with the new millennium. There’s a smoking thread above where a bunch of Supreme Court justices disagree with risky activity being “the burden on the participant”.

    Just sayin’.

  66. Do I have to check to see if I’m on the same site where people threw a goddamned shit-fit

    Fallacy of composition. Just because “members of the site” argued with you there does not mean that “THESE members of this site” argued with you there.

    I also call an extremely weak analogy. It is exceptionally easy to get the full rundown of the food you’re going to eat. It is exceptionally difficult to find out (nigh on impossible, actually) if your partner has HIV.

  67. rana —

    And we have finally crossed over into bizarro-reason.

    YES! If you have sex with someone, and you don’t use appropriate protection from STD transmission vectors, then it is *at least* as much your fault as his.

    Now, if you ask and he lies, and harm directly results from the misrepresentation, you surely would have a civil claim. But criminal? No way.

  68. The “shouldas and shouldn’ts” on individual conditions don’t enter into it. Fact is, sex *is* risky, and everyone not having been asleep for the last half century is aware of this fact.

    No shit. I never said it wasn’t *risky*. I said that it’s unacceptable (I guess, to me) to allow individuals with a lethal virus to infect all and sundry in the name of their “right” to do so.

    Would you please answer my question about if you contracted HIV from a nondisclosing partner?

  69. “That costs money.”

    Many things cost money. A pack of gum or a condom costs money. A BMW also costs money.

    Your argument is that the financial burden for birth control is significant. That is hogwash, and any reasonable person knows it.

    Besides, any birth control costs would be the same, with or without the probation terms, unless she is looking to get pregnant, in which case I submit that having a child is a greater financial burden.

  70. It is exceptionally difficult to find out (nigh on impossible, actually) if your partner has HIV.

    Not everyone who has HIV is aware of their status. How would you prove (given reasonable privacy laws regarding medical records) that a person actually knew they were HIV positive?

  71. YES! If you have sex with someone, and you don’t use appropriate protection from STD transmission vectors, then it is *at least* as much your fault as his.

    You *honestly* find it reasonable to place the burden on an individual in what she believes is a monogamous relationship to ask every single time if her husband contracted HIV outside the marriage?

    The individual who has upset the “normalcy” of the situation is the one who should have a legal and moral duty to disclose. I find it absurd to think that it should be permissible to introduce lethality on unsuspecting people.

  72. This is the same site where today (many of the same) people are very cavalier about the actual costs *to you and I, the taxpayers* that would be incurred by enforcement of this intrusive regulation.

    We are concerned with the cost of having a bunch of abused, rat-bastard kids who grow up to rob me in ten years.

    Our services are based on a sliding fee scale.
    That means that we charge clients based on their ability to pay.
    No one is turned away because they cannot afford to pay. We also accept medical coupons and private insurance. There are state programs that can pay for some or all of your birth control services even if you have your own insurance. Our clinics can help you to find out if you qualify.

    http://www.metrokc.gov/health/famplan/clinics.htm

    Just sayin’

  73. How would you prove (given reasonable privacy laws regarding medical records) that a person actually knew they were HIV positive?

    I don’t know…ask the prosecutors who have successfully proven it and jailed reckless individuals like that in the past. It would depend on the facts of the case.

    Of course, if a number of your partners called you and said “Hey, I got HIV from you” and you still refused to get tested, I would say you are at least negligent in that regard.

  74. Also, El, you have an outstanding TB-related question to answer.

  75. “And we have finally crossed over into bizarro-reason…”

    Hmmm, yes, because reasoning that I should be able to have unprotected sex in a monogamous relationship (marriage)… is… bizarre.

  76. Also, El, you have an outstanding TB-related question to answer.

    Yeah, what if you’re trapped in a room with a prostitute dying of consumption? Huh? Huh?

  77. What WOULD you do about someone carrying a highly-contagious, airborne and possibly deadly disease?

    Uh, NOT THAT. And absent confining them indefinitely or issuing permanent badges of stigma, I don’t see what a government (which respected the right of autonomy even a teensy bit) *could* do.

    IIRC, there is a scene in the movie Outbreak where a government official makes precisely this point. Sure, incinerating a small town filled with people infected with a plague that could kill most of humanity might be the right moral thing to do, and yet he couldn’t find anything in the Constitution that grants the government leave to do such a thing.

    If I were in such a position, I would probably do what he did (and hopefully get impeached later), knowing full-well it is outside the scope of government’s legitimate powers. But I would *never*, if I were a judge, make a ruling that such activities are a legitimate part of the State’s arsenal in dealing with unfortunate situations.

    You get the difference, right?

  78. I were a judge, make a ruling that such activities are a legitimate part of the State’s arsenal in dealing with unfortunate situations.

    Yet again, prison was in the State’s arsenal, with all of that control that entails.

  79. Yet again, prison was in the State’s arsenal, with all of that control that entails.

    My opinion of prison is approximately the same as Epi’s; locking up people like animals is on the ragged edge of cruel, a sensibility from another and much darker age. The actual (not pro-state propaganda palace crap) conditions in prisons reflects exactly what they are: inhumane, dehumanizing, and sociopathic.

    I agree with Nietzsche on punishment: you have three options. If it is an anti-social compulsion you are dealing with, attempt to treat the compulsion. if unsuccessful, remove the person from the society, either by expelling them (a la penal colonies) or giving them the option to commit suicide, with refusers going to the penal colony.

    Prison only makes people worse, generally speaking.

  80. El, you are more than free to have your opinion about prison. I think that’s great; I’m very much inclined to agree with you.

    However, the choice here was:

    1. Prison, where there are *zero* freedoms and
    2. Parole, with limitations placed on the nature of the offense (failure to properly care for your children means you cannot take on that obligation).

    That’s it!

    Also, I’d like to ask this: Under the Nietzschean rubric, where would *you* place this woman?

  81. TAO —

    As shocking as it might be, I don’t think this woman belongs on any penal rubric. She’s despicable, yes, but long ago we social creatures decided to divide those things which are merely detestable from those things where the society has a greater interest in interfering in order to actually punish.

    At best, I think intercessory action to remove a child after it has been shown the child is being abused is reasonable. It is *not* reasonable to take away someone’s right and/or ability to procreate.

    Thus, in this case, my problem is with the underlying law which indicates punitive action.

  82. Elemenope,
    While this is slightly paternalistic, I think “society” has an interest in her not procreating because the state would have to end up taking away that child, taking care of him or her, and then dealing with the child when he or she becomes a grade A screwing because their dad beat them into retardation while their mom stood by and watched. This bitch has no right to have children. Hell, I’m not sure I would let her have a pet goldfish.

  83. As shocking as it might be, I don’t think this woman belongs on any penal rubric.

    Hey now, isn’t the penal rubric the very thing we’re trying to get her off of?

  84. 1. You guys (and gals) in favor of this crap are sexist simply because interfering with the reproductive rights of a *man* in this situation would be right out, never contemplated, and would be overturned without hesitation if it were attempted faster than a prior restraint order written by a chimpanzee

    IIRC, there’s been been chemical castration proposed (i.e. “contemplated”) for rapists and child molesters. Don’t know if anyone has actually undergone such a treatment nor what the courts have said about it.

  85. Thank god I’ve found some kindred spirits. I’d explode that bitch (I’m that big).

  86. with refusers going to the penal colony.

    Could your conscience really take you being responsible for another Australia?

  87. Could your conscience really take you being responsible for another Australia?

    Yes.

    Especially since conditions don’t have to be that bad. For far less cost than we now spend on prisons, you could set up a decent colony on some shithole island with a decent standard of living.

    Australia (and Georgia, and other experiments with penal colonies) proved beyond a doubt that criminals are not *inherently* sociopathic, because given an opportunity they will create societies of their own. Since they don’t work in ours (I think this particularly applies to recidivists), let them try their hand at building one of their own. If they create their own hell, I don’t feel nearly as bad as I would if I threw them in one of my own making.

  88. “Probation is a sentence, as is confinement. Generally probation is given in lieu of confinement when it’s felt that confinement would not be productive.”

    This fails to address, in any way, why the state should be allowed to embark on the slippery slope of restricting someone’s reproductive rights. The standards for such an issue can always be “rationalized.” If this was a Communist country supporting such a decision, then we would most likely receive incredulous responses, or the usual “See, I told you so.”

    It’s utterly shocking to me that this is even being seriously entertained on a site like Reason.

    “The term of probation is generally the same length of time as the convicted would serve had she been sentenced to confinement.”

    Son, we’re talking about reproductive rights, not about telling someone that they can’t commit a crime while on probation. I would also support the idea that drug testing while someone is on probation is also outside the bounds of the purpose of probation.

    The false analogies are running rampant around here.

    I’m almost compelled to favor forced sterilization for those who actually think that this is any way a reasonable duty of the state. It has terrifying implications.

  89. INRE the sexist aspect of this case:

    I think the thousands of sex offenders who have been placed involuntarily on depo-provera might disagree with you.

  90. And LMNOP: The society that became Australia was 90% populated by voluntary immigrants, not convicts.

  91. It’s utterly shocking to me that this is even being seriously entertained on a site like Reason.

    OH NOES! The freethinking around here is driving Mortimer just MAD! Sorry, sir, we’ll toe the line from now on.

  92. No, hypocritical politcal philosophies drive me mad.

    “Free-thinking” is far more rare.

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