Alabama has signed into law a bill that requires some convicted paedophiles to undergo chemical castration.
Under the law, those found guilty of a sex offence against a minor under the age of 13 will have to start medication a month before release on parole.
A court will decide when it is no longer necessary.
There are now seven states, including Louisiana and Florida, with chemical castration laws. The procedure involves medication that lowers sex drive.
Offenders will be forced to pay for the medication.
The bill was signed into law by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey on Monday. “This is a step toward protecting children in Alabama,” she said.
The measure was proposed by Republican representative Steve Hurst. He said that he had been affected by hearing an account from a foster care organisation of a small child being sexually assaulted.
The bill has been criticised by the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama. Executive Director Randall Marshall told AL.com: “It’s not clear that this actually has any effect and whether it’s even medically proven.
“When the state starts experimenting on people, I think it runs afoul of the Constitution.”
The US is not the only country where some sex offenders are chemically castrated. In 2016, Indonesia passed a law authorising chemical castration, minimum sentences and execution for convicted paedophiles.
South Korea enacted a chemical castration law in July 2011.
*story by BBC News