Louisiana lawmakers approve surgical castration of child molesters

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A bill that would allow the surgical castration of people convicted of sex crimes with victims under the age of 13 has been approved by Louisiana lawmakers.

SB 371 was overwhelmingly passed by lawmakers on the last day of the legislative session on Monday and will now go to Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry for consideration, the Daily Advertiser, part of the USA TODAY Network, reported. It has not yet been signed or passed into law.

The bill was authored by Sen. Regina Ashford Barrow, D-Baton Rouge.

Louisiana is one of a handful of states that already have laws giving judges the authority to order chemical castration in some cases, Reuters reported. But if this law passes, Louisiana would become the first state to allow judges to impose surgical castration as a punishment.

Here’s what you need to know about the bill.

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How would it be enforced?

The bill gives judges the ability to determine the sentence against people convicted of serious rape, serious crimes against nature or serious incestuous crimes.

Any surgery would be performed within the prisons by a doctor appointed by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, and the court would have to deem the suspect suitable for castration at least 60 days before treatment.

According to the bill, failure to comply with the court order for castration would carry a prison sentence of 3 to 5 years in addition to any other prison sentence imposed.

The bill also notes that castration would not be performed if it were medically contraindicated in any way.

What does surgical castration mean?

Surgical castration, also known as an orchiectomy, is a procedure to remove one or both testicles and will permanently lower the level of testosterone in the body, according to the Cleveland Clinic. It is used for the treatment and prevention of testicular cancer, prostate cancer and breast cancer in men.

Unlike chemical castration, surgical castration is permanent and cannot be reversed.

Contributors: Reuters; Jordyn Wilson, the Daily Advertiser