Some Alabama prisoners who committed sexual crimes against minors will be chemically castrated, according to a new law signed by Governor Kay Ivey on Monday.
This makes Alabama the seventh U.S. state with a chemical castration law, according to BBC News. The law dictates that sex offenders seeking parole will need to take drugs meant to block testosterone production and eliminate sex drive — a drastic measure that's intended to protect children, but which means prisoners will be subjected to a controversial medical practice.
The American Civil Liberties Union has already pushed back against the new law, the BBC reports.
"It's not clear that this actually has any effect and whether it's even medically proven," said ACLU of Alabama Executive Director Randall Marshall. "When the state starts experimenting on people, I think it runs afoul of the Constitution."
Generally, chemical castration is reversible — the testosterone-blocking drugs wear off after a while if people stop the treatments. In this case, the timeline will be decided by the Alabama courts.
The offenders who are chemically castrated as part of their parole deal will be required to pay for the drugs themselves, and will have to continue treatments for as long as the court deems it necessary.
READ MORE: Chemical castration: Alabama enacts new paedophile law [BBC News]
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