At last the nation is having the debate about incentivized sterilisation we’ve been avoiding all these years:
ACT MP David Garrett has suggested offering abusive parents thousands of dollars in return for getting themselves sterilised.
He says this may be one way of preventing the birth of children who might otherwise be injured or killed through domestic violence.
Mr Garrett says one option would be to offer $5000 if the parent agreed to be sterilised.
He argues that some parents who abuse their children continue to have more, and that shouldn’t be allowed.
“That must be costing a huge amount of money and if we can incentivise people who, quite plainly, shouldn’t be having children to stop having them then … that’s something we should at least have a discussion about.”
David Garrett says this is not ACT Party policy, but his own personal view.
I always try to look for practical objections rather than ideological or historic (‘the Nazis!’) flaws. I suspect that the number of people who volunteered for sterilisation would be small to non-existant (it is a form of mutilation) and that no matter what the details of the policy it would be a public relations disaster for our country – the Third Reich in the South Pacific etc.
If you have sterilisation as part of the criminal justice system, either as an option – five grand cash, or two years off if you opt for sterilisation, or whatever – or coerced then you run into issues around over-representation of Maori and the mentally ill in the justice system, again a public relations disaster since it opens you to accusations of conducting a eugenics policy. Also issues of consent around people who are young, abusing drugs or alcohol or mentally ill opting for sterlisation and regretting it ten years down the track, all of which could lead to massive law suits for the government.
I wonder what the Catholic Church’s view on sterilisation – either forced or unforced – is?