Women being forced to choose sterilization as part of plea bargains.. WTH?

I just read something that is truly apprehensible to me. In Nashville, female sterilization has been used by attorneys as conditions in plea bargaining deals and the District Attorney of Davidson County Glenn Funk had to officially ban his staff from using the invasive surgery as a bargaining chip. If you’re unclear about what female sterilization is, it’s a permanent procedure to prevent pregnancy. Someone explain to how this is ethical and/or moral on any conceivable level?!

So, the most recent case involved Jasmine Randers, a 26 year old woman with a long history of mental illness was charged with neglect after her baby died. Her case was picked up by Asst. D.A. Brian Holmgren and Asst. Public Defender Mary Kathryn Harcombe. But the Asst. D.A. decided he wouldn’t even consider a plea deal unless Jasmine agreed to have her tubes tied.

It took the Asst. Public Defender going over his head to urge the D.A. to understand how completely unethical and immoral his staff was. Now, it’s a little difficult to conceive that the D.A. had no clue as to what was going on in his own office! I’m just saying. The D.A. is responsible for all decisions that go down in his office and should have knowledge of exactly what’s going on with his staff. But, that’s neither here nor there. Whether he was truly clueless, or doing good pr for the department and himself, the D.A. recently declared, “I have let my office know that that is not an appropriate condition of a plea. It is now policy that sterilization will never be a condition of deal-making in the district attorney’s office.”

According to Nashville defense attorneys this unethical practice has been implemented at least 3 other times in recent years, and this has been happening in other states like West Virginia and Virginia where sterilization has been used to reduce prison time. Crazy that the lives, the reproductive health, and the civil rights of women means so little.

2 Replies to “Women being forced to choose sterilization as part of plea bargains.. WTH?”

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