- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 11, 2019

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Alabama’s Republican governor, Kay Ivey, just signed into law a measure that allows the state to chemically castrate certain child sex offenders as a condition of their paroles.

As imagined, the American Civil Liberties Union is aghast.

But this is a good thing. The message is: Children matter. And after all, don’t they — as the liberals always like to say, with their “it’s for the children” lines of legislative logic — count most?

It’s not as if Alabama is going male hunting.

The law, signed as House Bill 379, only applies to those sex offenders who harmed children under the age of 13, then who nonetheless become eligible for parole — and in the world of child molestations, that’s a narrow list, anyway. Moreover, the offender has to pay for the treatment.



“This bill,” the bill read, “would also provide that if a person is ordered to undergo chemical castration treatment as a condition of parole and the person refuses to undergo the treatment, his or her refusal would constitute a violation of parole.”

And it’d be back to the Department of Corrections for him.

The ACLU calls the plan inhumane, and quite possibly ineffective.

“When the state starts experimenting on people,” said Randall Marshall, the executive director of the civil rights group in Alabama, to AL.com, The Hill reported, “I think it runs afoul of the Constitution.”

He has a point.

Neither the government nor the medical world has the right to treat U.S. citizens as medical experiments. Yet, it’s been done. With fair frequency. Ask the Tuskegee Airmen about the syphilis study; research the experimentation conducted on America’s disabled and prison inmates. These were involuntary.

Alabama’s law is open; the expectations, transparent.

The offender has a choice.

“I had people call me in the past when I introduced it and said, ‘don’t you think this is inhumane?’ I asked them what’s more inhumane than when you take a little infant child and you sexually molest that infant child when the child cannot defend themselves or get away, and they have to go through all the things they have to go through,” said the bill’s sponsor, Republican State Rep. Steve Hurst, to local WISH-TV. “If you want to talk about inhumane — that’s inhumane.”

Indeed.

The ACLU and other civil libertarians are quite right to raise questions about the morals and ethics of chemical castration, as well as question the soundness of science and studies that suggest the procedure could prove effective in halting sexual crimes against children.

But when evil lurks and innocence is threatened, the right course of action is always to stand on the side of innocence.

When a child’s been brutalized and traumatized by a sick-minded adult, it’s not the adult who deserves the top consideration. It’s the victimized child who had no choice. Certainly, on that, we can all agree.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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