A father of four, who owes $97,000 in back child support has been ordered to stop procreating. Judge James Walther, of Elyria, Ohio, handed down the sentence to Asim Taylor and he also received five years’ of probation for failure to pay child support. If Taylor impregnates another woman within this time period, he could face a year in jail.
Judge Walther told the defendant at his sentencing, according to the Lorain county Chronicle-Telegram: “I put this condition on for one reason and one reason alone. It’s your personal responsibility to pay for these kids.”
Of course Taylor’s lawyer finds this unconstitutional. “The Supreme Court has ruled that this particular order is illegal,” says Attorney Douglas Merrill. He says the judge’s ruling violates the father’s rights. Merrill plans on appealing the case on the grounds that it violates Taylor’s right to privacy, citing a previous Ohio Supreme Court decision.
“It’s not a question whether or not if he wants to have more kids. It’s a question of whether or not the government should be telling somebody that they can or they can’t,” explains Merrill. “I’ve heard from at least one of the mother’s that he does do what he can to help support the child.”
Merrill also said that he’s concerned if Taylor does impregnate a woman, that woman might feel pressured to have an abortion to prevent Taylor from going to prison. That could conflict with the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision that guarantees a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion.
The judge would be willing to lift the ban if Taylor, “’Can prove to the Court that he is able to provide support for his children he already has and is in fact supporting the children or until a change in conditions warrant.”
When speaking on his own behalf, Taylor admitted to not paying child support. “I take care of my children,” he said. “I just don’t pay them through child support.”
Do you think this order is Constitutional?