New Dutch law cannot include forced contraception: Advocate General
Contraception cannot be made compulsory as a form of compulsory care on the basis of the new Compulsory Mental Health Care Act (Wvggz). This would require other, more specific legislation, concluded Advocate General (AG) at the Supreme Court Myriam Lückers. The Advocate General's conclusions are usually adopted by the Supreme Court.
The law came into effect in 2020 and regulates the provision of mandatory care to people with a mental illness that could make them a danger to themselves or others, which is decided by a judge. Since the law came into effect, judges have ruled differently in cases involving forced contraception.
In the first case that is now before the Supreme Court, contraception was imposed on a woman. She had to accept a long-acting contraceptive swab or other long-term contraception and appealed.
According to the Advocate General, the law offers no scope to force someone to use contraception in this way and thus avert dangers for a possible child. "Only if a pregnancy would seriously harm the person concerned, there might be scope to allow forced contraception."
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has always held that forced sterilization violates the right to physical integrity and the right to found a family, said the Advocate General, but has never commented on a temporary restriction.
According to the Advocate General, the use of the Wvggz for forced contraception can also lead to legal inequality, because other people for whom such a measure would seem appropriate are not covered by the law. “For example, parents who are considered unable to raise a child because of drug or alcohol addiction or parents who have already shown in the past that they are unfit or unable to care for and raise children, as in case of serious neglect or child abuse," Lückers said.
She also pointed out articles that say that "focusing on women as legal subjects of mandatory contraception as a mandatory health care measure creates legal inequality, now that forms of contraception for men can also be used."