An Alabama lawmaker is offering legislation to require convicted sex offenders who target children to be physically castrated at the offender’s expense.
State Rep. Steve Hurst recently pre-filed a bill for the 2014 legislative session that would require any sex offender over the age of 21 convicted of a sex act with a child under 12 to undergo surgical castration prior to being released from prison.
The sex offender would also have to foot the bill for the procedure.
“They would take his testicles out,” Hurst told The Daily Caller.
“We need to make a statement in Alabama that No. 1, we are not going to tolerate this,” Hurst said. “No. 2, if it were to [keep] one child from being sexually molested then it would be worth it.”
According to the Republican representing Munford, Ala., chemical castration is “not strong enough” and “a small child cannot protect itself.”
“More and more now you see on TV and the news that you read, small children being molested, and I just think we have to do something to try to protect the children,” Hurst said.
Hurst has proposed such requirements three other times. According to Hurst, the concern that the law would be challenged and struck down as unconstitutional fueled opposition in the past to the legislation in committee.
“What I’m saying is very simple, you can’t get in the door if you don’t keep knocking. And the other thing is, let’s test it in the federal court,” he said. “The only way this is going to be tested in federal court is if the bill passes and somebody wants to file suit on it.”
Hurst added that each time he has introduced the bill he has gotten more support, and this time support has been “overwhelming.”
To those who would oppose his effort as inhumane Hurst asked, “Which is barbaric? To sexually molest a child as an infant, or is it barbaric or inhumane to castrate somebody who has done that?”
According to a 2012 CNN report at least nine states use some form of “chemical castration” that takes away sex drive and the ability to perform sex acts. The drugs’ effects are not permanent.