19/08/2010 11:35 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Judge Rules Against 'Forced' Birth Control For 'Low IQ' Woman

A judge has said that it would not be 'acceptable' for a local authority to impose birth control upon a 29-year-old woman in a bid to stop her having more children.

Mr Justice Bodey ruled against police officers removing the married woman from her home so doctors could sedate her and implant birth control against her wishes.

The woman, who lives in the Midlands, is said to have a low IQ and lack the mental capacity to make decisions about medical treatment. Social workers believed she was a victim of domestic violence, and having already had two babies removed from her care at birth, were concerned about her abilities to adequately look after subsequent children. Her local council said it began Court of Protection proceedings to 'protect her interests'.

The judge said that forcing birth control upon her would 'raise profound questions about state intervention in private and family life'. He did however agree that the woman - known only as Mrs A - lacked the capacity to decide whether to have contraceptive treatment. He said her decision to stop taking birth control was not at her own free will, and that she had been under 'coercive pressure' from her husband.

What do you think?
Does the state ever have the right to decide who can and cannot have children?