Monday, November 10, 2008

The Netherlands: Forced contraception for "unfit" women?

A draft bill in the Dutch parliament is causing a stir among disability activists and others: it would force women judged "unfit" to take contraception or face having any children they have taken away by the state. Notably, the English-language press coverage doesn't indicate the likelihood that this legislation will actually pass.

It's not clear whether there is any other consequence in addition to the immediate taking of any child for foster care. Women in this country who have been judged unfit to parent their previous children already face a high risk of having any additional children they have taken away - though the process is generally not automatic, as it appears would be the case under the Dutch bill.

In any case, the bill would still be an undue infringement on reproductive freedom. To the extent Europe's human rights courts agree, I would think it could be struck down - if it is ever passed - as a violation of the fundamental right to privacy in the European Charter.

H/t Feministing.

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