Lawmaker shelves surgical castration bill for convicted child rapists
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - “When you hear a young person tell you that they can remember when they were five and being abused, that to me is absolutely horrific and no child should ever have to experience that at any level,” said Sen. Regina Barrow (D) before the Senate Judiciary C Committee on Tuesday, April 26.
In an attempt to bring more severe penalties to people convicted of raping children 13 or younger, Sen. Barrow’s bill would require those offenders to have their testicles surgically castrated.
“For those individuals who were concerned about this only pertaining to males, it does not only pertain to males because there is a way that women can be impacted as well,” Sen. Barrow added.
But before debate could even begin, she decided to voluntarily defer her own bill. Saying she wanted to make some changes to hopefully make it better. But most of the committee said she would have had her support.
“I think had you not pulled it back you’d probably have got that bill out of committee...okay, just so you know,” said Sen. Bodi White (R).
“I think it’s an appropriate discussion to have and I appreciate you having the courage to bring this because it’s not an easy bill,” Sen. Rick Ward (R) added.
“I was with you on this. But we talk about deterrence all the time and...it’s a deterrent,” said Sen. Beth Mizell (R).
However, not everyone saw it that way. Morgan Lamandre with the Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response organization believes the bill would actually make the offenses worse.
“When you don’t have...that as a tool to hurt survivors you use objects, you use things that are more deadly. And I have represented survivors, I have seen horrific things. But in terms of being there for survivors you know we have to do thing that actually work,” said Lamandre.
Since Sen. Barrow’s bill was deferred she tells me a resolution study will be conducted around this to address some of the concerns her opponents had and see if they hold up. But she says she will absolutely try again next year.
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