Changing Your Baby's Diaper Can Now Be a Sex Crime Thanks to Insane New Law

mom changing baby's diaper

Newsflash: Changing diapers and giving baths requires touching kids' private parts. It's just part of the job. Which is why it's utterly crazy that a new ruling from the Arizona's Supreme Court essentially makes a child molester out of every parent and caregiver in the state. Do better, world.


It sounds ridiculous, but, according to Slate, a bad law passed by the Arizona state legislature criminalizes "intentionally or knowingly ... touching ... any part of the genitals, anus or female breast" of a child "under fifteen years of age."

Apparently no one who voted to pass the law has ever potty trained a toddler. Those little tushies don't wipe themselves.

From Slate:

Although the laws call such contact 'child molestation' or 'sexual abuse,' the statutes themselves do not require the 'touching' to be sexual in nature. (No other state's law excludes this element of improper sexual intent.) Indeed, read literally, the statutes would seem to prohibit parents from changing their child's diaper. And the measures forbid both 'direct and indirect touching,' meaning parents cannot even bathe their child without becoming sexual abusers under the law.

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Last week, the Arizona Supreme Court affirmed the law and essentially leaves it to prosecutors to decide whether to bring up child molestation charges on what could essentially be anyone taking care of small children. That leaves room for all kinds of abuse and puts the burden on parents and caregivers to prove the contact was innocent, which is a constitutional violation on its face.

Listen, no one is arguing that we should make it more difficult for law enforcement to find and prosecute child molesters. But turning innocent, loving caregivers into criminals doesn't seem like a smart way to tackle the issue.

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What about foster parents? As a former foster parent in the state of Arizona, I feel like this law would certainly make me nervous. Caregivers of our most vulnerable kids often have to deal with hostile birth parents and teams of professionals scrutinizing their every move. And that goes with the territory. It's a sacred trust.

But at a time when more children than ever need to be placed in loving homes, a time when the law enforcement and court systems are underfunded and overloaded, why is threatening caregivers, without a shred of evidence they've done anything other than provide children with basic care, a good idea?

More from CafeMom: 

Arizona lawmakers obviously don't have a clear understanding of how hard it already is to be a parent in this country. Childcare is crazy expensive. Thirty percent of American households with kids have a woman as the primary breadwinner. A woman, who, it's worth noting, already only makes two-thirds of what her male colleagues are earning. Incomes are down, prices are up, and families need help. It would be nice if our state legislatures were willing and able to focus on policies that actually help the folks they represent. 

Thanks for that.

And as this election season dumpster fire continues to burn, let this serve as an example that local elections have consequences too. Sure, Clinton and Trump are arguing about tax cuts for childcare, but right here in my state of Arizona, elected officials are working to make bath time a crime.

What's next? Reading bedtime stories?




Image via Mathom/Shutterstock

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