The mother, known as Brandy F., received the Court Order in December. Due to the ruling, she must gain back the custody of her infant son before she will be allowed to conceive another child. The child and three siblings were taken after findings of neglect. Her attorney plans to appeal the decision.

Mother or state rights?

The woman's attorney, Tim Donaher, stated to reporters, "Judge Gallagher's decision raises significant constitutional concerns regarding the right to privacy and the role of the state in telling people when or whether they can procreate." The case is not the first example questioning a mothers right to conceive.

The same court saw a ruling overturned in 2004 by a different judge, when a mother and father where ordered to regain custody of their seven children before they be allowed to have more. Both parents also suffered from drug addiction.

Buck v. Bell, in 1927, gave the state the right to require a woman to be sterilized after deciding she was considered to be "feeble-minded." The case, focusing on one woman, led other states to follow suit. Thousands of women were affected by mandatory sterilization laws as a result. 20 years later, the US Supreme Court ruled that laws requiring a woman be sterilized were unconstitutional. The original ruling, however, was never overturned.

Addiction and mothers

The mother has lost custody of all four of her children at separate times due to her addiction. The order includes findings that the infant in the case showed signs of withdrawal after being born prematurely. She admitted to having used drugs and alcohol during her latest pregnancy. She also admitted to prostitution.

Patricia Gallagher, the judge of the case, mentioned the rise of heroin use as a contributor to multiple neglect cases against other parents as well. Gallagher wants the order to assist the woman in rehabilitation and feels pregnancy would be detrimental to her recovery. Within the ruling is a plan for the woman to follow so that she may regain custody. Despite criticism, many are in agreement with the judge. They are hoping to see Brandy reunited with her son and able to provide for the child once she has recovered.