Legality of Pregnancy Ban Questioned
CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) — Legal experts are questioning an Iowa judge's decision to prohibit a woman convicted of child endangerment from becoming pregnant again while on probation.
The Mason City Globe Gazette reports that women's and civil rights experts say the pregnancy ban isn't constitutional.
District Court Judge James Drew issued the order for 21-year-old Stephanie Fatland of Mason City during a sentencing hearing in Floyd County District Court. Authorities say Fatland admitted to shaking her 5-month-old son when he would not stop crying.
Rita Bettis, legal director of the ACLU of Iowa, says reproductive freedoms and the freedom to procreate are constitutional rights.
Drake University Law Professor Robert Rigg says the ruling may reflect the court's desire to protect any additional children, but there are other legal ways to do so.