Proposal to force contraception on women who can't care for a child
A proposal was submitted to parliament to force a contraceptive injection or implant on women who are unable to properly care for a child due to addiction, psychiatric illness or mental disability. The proposal was filed by the 'Standing committee on compulsory contraception', started by former juvenile judge and former vice president of the Rotterdam district court Cees de Groot, AD reports.
The committee wants to regulate by law that the Child Care and Protection Board and the Public Prosecution Service can request a court to impose mandatory contraception on someone. This will apply to women who do not want to accept contraception and pose a risk to a future child. According to the proposal, this includes women with an addiction, with hepatitis B or C or HIV, with a psychiatric illness, with an intellectual disability, or who have been convicted of child abuse.
According to the committee, there are "hundreds" of examples of vulnerable women who could benefit from forced contraception nationwide, though exact figures are not available in connection with privacy.
A spokesperson for the Child Care and Protection Board told AD that it has no opinion about forced contraception. "Know that the Child Care and Protection Board will be called if there are serious concerns about the raising and rearing situation of a child. After investigation, the Board can make a request for a measure for child protection. The judge will rule on this," the spokesperson said.
Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health called this a "very complex and sensitive subject", according to the newspaper. "The situations in which some children come into the world can be called downright distressing. That is why I am and will continue to be an advocate for the prevention of vulnerable parenthood. In some cases it is advisable to prevent pregnancy at all."
Opposition parties received the proposal with reservation. "You have to be very careful with the imposition of compulsory care, but on the other hand, the protection of the child is important. I understand both views and have spoken to enough healthcare professionals to know this is a problem. We may have to ask the Health Council for advice on this," SP parliamentarian Maarten Hijink said.
D66 parliamentarian Pia Dijkstra also thinks it is a good idea to gather more information. The coercive element gives her "great difficulty", she said, calling this an "extremely sensitive issue".