(Meredith) -- Alabama lawmakers have passed a bill that would allow courts to order convicted sex offenders to undergo chemical castration.
The punishment would apply to those convicted of a sex crime against children under the age of 13. The convicted sex offender would be castrated before leaving prison.
The bill passed in the Alabama House and Senate and was delivered to Gov. Kay Ivey on May 31. It is still waiting for her to sign it into law.
With chemical castration, a person is given drugs to reduce the amount of testosterone produced in the body and thus aims to lower sex drive and sexual urges. Unlike surgical castration, chemical castration does not remove organs, nor is it a form of sterilization.
The process can also be used as a form of treatment for prostate cancer, when it is typically referred to as androgen deprivation therapy.
According to the New York Times, countries such as Indonesia, Australia, Russia and South Korea use chemical castration as a punishment for convicted sex offenders and pedophiles, in many cases in exchange for more lenient prison sentences.
According to the Connecticut General Assembly, 8 states already allow chemical or surgical castration of sex offenders, including California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Montana, Oregon, Texas and Wisconsin.