Tag Archives: Alabama HB 379

Alabama passes bill requiring child molesters be castrated

On May 15, 2019, Alabama’s Republican governor Kay Ivey signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act— America’s most restrictive anti-abortion law that makes it a felony for doctors to perform or attempt to perform an abortion in the state. The new law allows no exceptions for rape or incest but does allow for abortions in cases where the mother’s life is at risk.

Alabama’s anti-abortion law provoked these responses from the Left:

  • Feminist, attorney, and NYT columnist Jill Filipovic proposeed a requirement that a quarter inch be cut off of a mans’s penis for every pregnancy he creates.
  • Being the exhibitionist narcissist that she is, actress Emily Ratajkowski posted to Instagram a nude photo of herself in protest.
  • U.N. human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani expressed “concern” that Alabama and several other states, including Georgia, passed laws “severely restricting access to safe abortion for women,” which would “jeopardize” women’s life, health and safety by driving them underground.

Now, Alabama is doing another good thing.

The New York Daily News reports (via Syracuse.com) today that the Alabama Legislature has passed a bill that would require chemical castration of child molesters over age 21 who have abused a child younger than 13.

The bill, known as HB379, would make the measure a condition of parole. Convicted sex offenders would have to undergo chemical castration before leaving prison, both as punishment and to prevent them from harming more children in the future.

The legislation has been introduced before, but this is the first time it has passed both the state House and Senate.

It now awaits Gov. Kay Ivey’s signature.

Attorney Raymond Johnson told WIAT the measure could be seen as a violation of the Eighth Amendment, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, and predicted it would be challenged in court: “They’re going to claim that it is cruel and unusual punishment for someone who has served their time and for the rest of their life have to be castrated.”

But State Rep. Steve Hurst (R-Calhoun County), HB 379’s chief sponsor, maintains that the bill would prevent other children from being hurt. He told WIAT:

“They have marked this child for life and the punishment should fit the crime. 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? If you want to talk about inhumane—that’s inhumane.”

Some objections to the bill were framed around whether or not the measure would actually work. State Rep. Sam Jones (D-Mobile) said: “A molester is still going to molest. Medication won’t do it.”

According to to a July 2010 Harvard Medical School Mental Health Letter, “Pessimism about pedophilia“, drugs that suppress production of the male hormone testosterone are used to reduce the frequency or intensity of a pedophile’s sexual desire, but it may take 3 to 10 months for testosterone suppression to reduce sexual desire. The health letter notes that “physical castration is another option“.

The Harvard mental health letter says pedophilia is incurable:

There is no cure, so the focus is on protecting children.

Pedophilia, the sexual attraction to children who have not yet reached puberty, remains a vexing challenge for clinicians and public officials. Classified as a paraphilia, an abnormal sexual behavior, researchers have found no effective treatment. Like other sexual orientations, pedophilia is unlikely to change. The goal of treatment, therefore, is to prevent someone from acting on pedophile urges — either by decreasing sexual arousal around children or increasing the ability to manage that arousal. But neither is as effective for reducing harm as preventing access to children, or providing close supervision.

Here are other interesting points in the Harvard health letter:

  • Estimates of recidivism of convicted pedophiles vary because studies define “recidivism” term in different ways. The estimates range from 10% to 50%. One long-term study of previously convicted pedophiles (with an average follow-up of 25 years) found a 25% recidivism rate for heterosexual pedophiles, and 50% recidivism for homosexual or bisexual pedophiles.
  • Experts estimate that only one in 20 cases of child sexual abuse is reported.
  • Nearly all people with pedophilic tendencies are male. Studies of child molesters have reported that only 1% to 6% of perpetrators are female.
  • Several reports have concluded that most people with pedophilic tendencies eventually act on their sexual urges in some way.
  • Fears about predatory behavior are valid. Most pedophiles who act on their impulses do so by manipulating children and gradually desensitizing them to inappropriate behavior. Then they escalate it. Pedophiles are able to do this because in most cases they already know the children or have access to them. In about 60% to 70% of child sexual abuse cases involving pedophiles, the perpetrator is a relative, neighbor, family friend, teacher, coach, clergyman, or someone else in regular contact with the child.

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~Eowyn

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