VA Requires a Man to Get a Vasectomy

VA Requires a Man to Get a Vasectomy June 21, 2014

as part of a plea deal.  Amanda Marcotte, proving that a stopped clock is right twice a day, offers a protest that any Catholic would agree with.

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  • Marcotte objects to this man’s forced sterilization because it’s “eugenics.” Really, Amanda? You do know that Planned Parenthood’s Margaret Sanger and other abortion supporters are all about eugenics, don’t you? Why do you imagine there are so many abortion clinics are in black and Hispanic neighborhoods?

    Then she goes into a rant about “forced pregnancy” (in other words, not being allowed to kill your baby) and this sterilization as essentially the same thing. Not exactly something a thinking Catholic would be proud of. Even when she has a good impulse, with her pretzel logic, she can only follow it to a bad end.

    • Marthe Lépine

      Of course she does “follow a good impulse to a bad end”. But don’t ignore the fact that she is not Catholic. However there is nothing wrong, the way I see it, in pointing out a good idea of hers when it is good, in spite of other problems with her rant, which would not have much influence on well-educated Catholics anyway.

      • Dave G.

        But is it an argument that any Catholic would agree with?

  • Dave G.

    While it may not seem that forcing women to have children has all that much in common with trying to force a man not to have children, both are rooted in this unsavory ideal that the basic right to bodily autonomy should be abandoned in the face of other people’s disapproval of your sexual choices.

    Is that an argument that Catholics agree with?

    • Marcotte was talking about abortion, which is not the same thing as “forcing a woman to have children.” No one should force a woman to become pregnant, or not to become pregnant, but once she is pregnant, she has a child; another human being now exists and his or her future depends on the mother. So it is not just about her bodily autonomy but another person’s right to live, a greater right than even bodily autonomy. But Marcotte is determined not to see this.

  • Shawna Mathieu

    In the 1990’s, some judges decided that it was perfectly OK to forbid women convicted of certain crimes from having a child for a certain number of years, requiring them to get contraceptive implants as part of sentencing.

  • Elaine S.

    “some judges decided it was OK to forbid women convicted of certain crimes from having a child for a certain number of years”

    I think most, if not all, of those cases involved child abuse or severe neglect by women who were not married to the fathers of their children. In theory, it doesn’t seem inherently morally objectionable to me to tell a woman, or man, who is NOT MARRIED and who has repeatedly demonstrated egregious cruelty to children (not simply an isolated lapse in judgment or vigilance, or just being poor or overworked), not to have more children — they could fulfill that condition simply by living a chaste life, which they are supposed to be doing anyway if they follow the tenets of any major religion. However, ordering them to undergo invasive procedures such as sterilization or contraceptive implants steps over the line and is immoral.

    Also, I’m not sure how a judge would enforce a “don’t get pregnant again” order without in effect encouraging the woman to abort if she did get pregnant. Some judges, IIRC, have required the woman as a condition of her probation or court supervision to undergo regular pregnancy tests, and have told her that if she tests positive she will be deemed in violation of her parole regardless of whether or not she decides to have an abortion — which would ostensibly take away any “incentive” for abortion. Still, there are probably plenty of ways around this and submitting to monthly pregnancy testing would be invasive as well (though perhaps no more invasive than the compulsory drug testing many employers now require).

    Bottom line is, I think the judges who gave such orders may have meant well and wanted to encourage these women to clean up their lives before having more kids, but the mechanism they used just doesn’t work and sets a really bad precedent for the future.

  • Cypressclimber

    Remember who predicted this? Pope Paul VI. In Humanae Vitae.

  • Willard

    This guy had 8 children by 8 different women? Not surprising because we incentivize bad behavior through our welfare policies. Want to change that? How about we eliminate all welfare(food stamps, section 8, wic, etc.) IN EXCHANGE for giving everyone who can’t find work in the private sector a government job at say 12 bucks an hour with benefits. But we can’t do THAT here because, you know, socialism.

    • jroberts548

      Marginal welfare benefits per marginal child are less than the marginal cost per child. Anyone who’s incentivized by the government to have kids for welfare is innumerate, and changing welfare won’t help that.

      Additionally, a non-custodial, illegitimate father doesn’t get welfare benefits for his illegitimate children. If anything, each marginal child exposes him to more marginal child support obligations. So again, no incentive problem.

  • AnneG

    What about ordering him not to have sex with anybody?

  • FdS

    Something tells me Mark didn’t make it to the bottom of the Marcotte essay, where the stopped clock becomes unstopped again.