by Rhonda Johansson, Natural News:
A Tennessee judge believes that offering permanent birth-control procedures to inmates will lessen the number of babies being born with withdrawal symptoms, otherwise known as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). Judge Benningfield admits that the controversial decision to offer a vasectomy or an implanted birth control device to inmates for reduced jail time can raise eyebrows among some people, but argues that the intended long-term effects will help society. He told CBS News, “I’m not on a crusade of any sort, I’m trying to help — trying to help people.”
Tennessee is a state that has seen an almost ten-fold increase in the number of babies being born with NAS. Judge Benningfield believes that for many of these cases, the parents are repeat offenders. Those who regularly engage in risky behaviors such as drugs and alcohol typically commit petty crimes which land them in jail. Women are notorious for becoming pregnant by having unprotected sex while under the influence of drugs. This, in turn, has resulted in a worrying amount of drug-addicted babies or infants who are intoxicated with alcohol when they are born.