“Would it be constitutional for the state to pay women on welfare to not have babies or to undergo sterilization?”

February 25th, 2012

An interesting take by Derek Black on the Virginia abortion bill kerfuffle.

Under current precedent, the general answer is that the government would be free to financially encourage women to have fewer children, but it cannot involuntarily sterilize women.Where is the line between the two? Money, at some point, surely becomes compulsion for poor women. And regardless of whether the constitutional currently prohibits it, there should be a limit to the seriousness of the consequences the government can attach to a woman’s or family’s decision to give birth. Would it be okay for the government to move me into a much higher tax bracket should I decide to have a second child?