Constitutional Law: The Difficulties of Getting Desterilized

Is sterilization a legal alternative to jail? Can a court require such an operation for a man convicted of nonsupport of his children? And if the man is coerced into submitting to the operation against his will, what if he later wants more children?

Such are the questions facing the California Supreme Court in the case of Miguel Vega Andrade, 44, a Mexican-American whose troubles began when he injured his back, lost his job, and was separated from his wife. Andrade regularly paid $120 out of his $200-a-month medical compensation to help...

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