Taking a strong stand against child sex abuse, Republican Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed a bill into law that requires a person convicted of a sex offence against a child under the age of 13 to be castrated chemically, a month before he is released on parole.
Chemical castration is done by administering medication to take away sexual interest and make it impossible for a person to perform sexual acts. However, the effects could be reversed if the person stops taking the drug.
According to the law, if the offender chooses to stop receiving the treatment, he will be in violation of parole and forced to return to custody.
The offender can choose at any time to stop getting the medication and return to the prison to serve the remainder of his term.
Offenders will be required to pay for the medication. A court will decide when it is no longer necessary.
The use of chemical castration, though internationally controversial, is legal in several US states like California, Florida, Guam, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana and Wisconsin. According to critics, forced chemical castration violates human rights.
“It certainly presents serious issues about involuntary medical treatment, informed consent, the right to privacy, and cruel and unusual punishment. And, it is a return, if you will, to the dark ages,”Randall Marshall, the executive director of the Alabama chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said.