Viewers of Channel 9’s Today show have been left divided after conservative columnist Miranda Devine suggested an ice-addicted couple be sterilised in a bid to avoid them having any more children.
Over the weekend it was revealed the Sydney couple previously had eight children taken away from them due to family violence and drug addiction, but had been appointed a full-time care worker to help them look after their ninth child.
“How can someone who is ice-addicted look after a child?” Devine asked Today host Lisa Wilkinson on Monday.
Daily Telegraph columnist, Miranda Devine. Source: Channel 9.
"It's ridiculous that the taxpayer is expected to actually have a full-time carer in there to look after the baby that the parents can't take care of; that's not an ideal situation," she continued.
"I mean, ninth child. Obviously, these parents are no good at being parents. So what needs to happen I think, is you give them an incentive not to have children; to get sterilised," Devine reasoned.
"And we pay them for sterilisation. It sounds like a dramatic thing, but it's babies who are being damaged in this and I think that would be by far a better solution than having these poor children born into situations where they're neglected and abused," she concluded.
Ice-addled Blacktown parents stripped of eight kids — now fighting to keep baby nine: https://t.co/cuCVNI0XQi
— The Daily Telegraph (@dailytelegraph) October 23, 2016
The allocation of a full-time carer is part of the NSW government's new program to help more than 2000 unborn babies considered to be at severe risk, and aims to help people learn to parent effectively.
To date, the now seven-month-old boy has been able to remain at home with his parents.
Many seem to agree with Devine's radical opinion, sharing their thoughts on Today's social media channels.
Today host Lisa Wilkinson. Source: Channel 9.
"I think it's disgusting that the Sydney drug couple, who have already had 8 babies removed from their care are now being allowed o try and keep baby number 9, with a government paid carer," one Facebook user wrote, continuing, "they should both be fixed up so their are no more drug addicted babies, this is so stupid and they also have a history of domestic violence, how stupid can the government be, these people should NEVER be allowed near any baby ever."
Others agreed sterilisation was reasonable, but didn't believe the couple should be financially rewarded for it.
"Under no circumstances should those Druggie Ice Addicts be paid to stop having babies," one viewer commented.
"Just sterilise both of them, they don't deserve rights or bringing more drug effected babies into this world."
Taking up the issue again on Today Extra, host David Campbell shared a different opinion, saying sterilisation "worked really well in Nazi Germany, but this is Australia so that's not really an argument."
The host continued, "You can't just take babies away from people, we have a whole stolen generation for that. You have to be able to intervene and do something."
Again viewers took to social media, with some sharing Campbell's sentiments and others disagreeing completely.
Host David Campbell discussing the issue on Today Extra. Source: Channel 9.
"Nobody plans on being an addict...Just because someone is addicted to drugs does not mean they don't love and want to take care of their children!" one viewer commented.
"David, you infuriate me so much with your opinion on the ice addicts and their rights. The child will be born with an addiction, possible disabilities and a life that you or I would never want to live," another disagreed.