HB 379 in Alabama is a bill that requires certain child sex offenders to undergo chemical castration and, according to Fox News, it is now just awaiting the governor's signature before becoming law. Unlike physical/surgical castration, chemical castration uses drugs to suppress sexual urges.
The bill was introduced by Republican state Rep. Steve Hurst and specifically targets sex offenders whose crimes involve anyone under the age of 13. Hurst says that his aim is to reduce the number of sex crimes committed against children by making offenders "think twice" before they act.
"If we do something of this nature it would deter something like this happening again in Alabama and maybe reduce the numbers," Hurst continued.
Hurst said: “They have marked this child for life and the punishment should fit the crime.”
To add insult to injury, the offender would also have to pay for the procedure. Refusing the procedure would result in a violation of parole, according to the bill.
Hurst concluded: "I had people call me in the past when I introduced it and said, 'Don't you think this is inhumane?' I asked them what's more inhumane than when you take a little infant child, and you sexually molest that infant child when the child cannot defend themselves or get away, and they have to go through all the things they have to go through. If you want to talk about inhumane -- that's inhumane.”
Attorney Raymond Johnson said there's already harsh enough punishment for child molestation. He argues that the bill is going to meet resistance:
"They're going to challenge it under the Eighth Amendment Constitution. They're going to claim that it is cruel and unusual punishment for someone who has served their time."
Several states have already passed similar bills, but it is not known how often the procedure occurs.
The bill now sits on Gov. Kay Ivey's desk and awaits her signature.