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If man has 10th, he gets eight

Jennie Arnold, Staff Writer

In our restriction-happy society, you have to get a license to operate a vehicle, a permit to build a deck, and permission to dig in your own back yard for fear of damaging buried cables and wires. Yet, what is undoubtedly the largest responsibility of a lifetime, rearing a child, is a freedom that is available to anyone of reproductive age.
Or it had been until now. The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently ruled that a dead beat dad would be sent to jail if he had any more children.
Charles Oakley is a 34-year-old, unemployed factory worker with previous convictions for forgery, damage to property, theft, burglary, battery, and receiving stolen property. He has nine children by four women, and he now owes $25,000 in child support. He has four sons, ages 4, 5, 10 and 12, and five daughters ages 3, 12, 16 and two who are 13.
Oakley was sentenced to five years of probation, and if he fathers any more children during his probation, he will face up to eight years in prison. The court supported its decision by saying any child Oakley fathers in the future “is doomed to a future of neglect, abuse, or worse.”
And the court is correct. Some argue that having children is a basic human right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, but it shouldn’t be. This man has thrown his rights out the window by showing time and again that he will not honor his moral and legal responsibility to support his children. He once had rights, but he has completely voided them. He now has nine children to support, and there is no reason to suppose at this point that he is going to miraculously become a wonderful provider for his family.
Further, there is no reason to feel sorry for the women in his future who are in essence being told that if they choose to bear Oakley’s child, it is equivalent to sending him to jail. The woman who would be crazy enough to fall for Oakley deserves no sympathy, and in the case one would show interest for Oakley, it is a rather simple matter to prevent conception. We’ve all become aware of where babies come from and how we can prevent them. I don’t believe that religion is a consideration, for Oakley has shown that neither morals nor religion are a part of his life.
This ruling does not insinuate that it is a crime to be unable to afford one’s children. But Oakley, like many other dead beat dads, is not unable to provide, he merely chooses not to. The government of Wisconsin is doing everyone a favor in this situation, and many more could benefit from other decisions that may follow. It benefits Oakley’s current children and their mothers because it gives one reason to believe that he could possibly catch up on some of his child support, and it benefits taxpayers because now they will not have to pay to support the children he could produce in the future.
The court made a bold statement by sentencing this man to a life with no more children. Having children should be a privilege, and this man no longer deserves that privilege. Hopefully, this will set a precedent for courts in other states to follow, by not allowing parents to deny the responsibility involved with bearing a child.

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