Child Abusers Should Be Banned From Having More Kids

empty strollerI've always believed that the standard child abuse sentence should mandate abuse of the abuser, who would be required to suffer the same torment he or she inflicted on an innocent kid. Except way, way worse. To be followed by life in prison, of course.

But Judge David Tincehurst came up with an even better plan for the couple he convicted of heinously abusing their 14-month-old girl. Were it within his power, the judge said, Melissa Phillips and Jordain Palmer would never be allowed to have children again.

If only Judge Tincehurst were able to legally enforce his punishment-of-choice ...


Instead, both Phillips and Palmer were sentenced to just four years each in jail. Phillips was charged with committing the physical acts of abuse that left her toddler with multiple broken bones, countless bruises, and blackened toenails and fingernails, some of which had fallen or been torn off. (Examiners say this kind of injury could have resulted from the little girl having her hands and feet stepped on or shut in a door.)

Palmer insists he never touched the girl, but that didn't get him off any easier. His crime? He let the abuse carry on systematically for months without ever trying to stop or report his girlfriend.

There is no doubt in my mind that neither one of them should ever dare to entertain the notion of having a child again (at 19, Phillips already has three kids!) or be allowed to care for a child again. Unfortunately, the couple will still be in their early 20s when they get out of jail, and with their record of practicing safe sex, it's not unlikely that Phillips and Palmer will have more children, together or with other partners.

I'm generally opposed to government intervention where reproductive health is concerned (well, where most things are concerned). But regarding this situation, and others like it, I have to make an exception. YES, convicted child abusers and molesters should be sterilized.

This case happened to take place in the UK, but I think this measure should become policy both in our country and across the pond ... as well as anywhere else in the world human beings live.

Do you think convicted child abusers and molesters should be banned from having children?


Image via Josh Hallett/Flickr

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