Inmates at the White County jail in rural central Tennessee are being offered 30 days off their sentences if they agree to be sterilized, reports UPI. Judge Sam Benningfield said he introduced the program May 15 to both men and women as a way to prevent procreation by repeat drug offenders and others accused of crimes. “I understand it won’t be entirely successful, but if you reach two or three people, maybe that’s two or three kids not being born under the influence of drugs. I see it as a win-win,” he told WTVF-TV in Nashville.
So far, 32 women have had a Nexplanon implant put in their arm, which can prevent child birth for up to four years. Thirty-eight men have signed up to get a vasectomy, which can be permanent. District Attorney Bryant Dunaway said he does not support the idea, which he called unethical. It might also be unconstitutional. “Offering a so-called ‘choice’ between jail time and coerced contraception or sterilization is unconstitutional,” said Hedy Weinberg of the Tennessee ACLU. “Such a choice violates the fundamental constitutional right to reproductive autonomy and bodily integrity by interfering with the intimate decision of whether and when to have a child, imposing an intrusive medical procedure on individuals who are not in a position to reject it.”