Decriminalize Incest? Romania Is Not Alone

Bucharest aims to match laws in 3 EU nations
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2009 3:26 PM CDT
Decriminalize Incest? Romania Is Not Alone
Josef Fritzl was convicted of homicide and other charges Thursday and sentenced to life in a psychiatric prison for holding his daughter captive for 24 years and fathering her seven children.   (AP Photo/Robert Jaeger, Pool)

As the Josef Fritzl case echoes across Europe, Romania is considering a new approach to incest: legalizing it, the AP reports. The Justice Ministry is contemplating the move amid wider legal reforms, arguing that decriminalization would sync its stance with EU members France, Spain, and Portugal. “Not everything that is immoral has to be illegal,” said a legal expert.

But opponents, including the Vatican, oppose the move on moral, social, and psychological grounds, noting the increased risk of genetic problems for offspring. One Romanian woman even said she would “castrate” offenders. “Incest is a sin,” conceded one man, "but maybe it's wrong to make it a crime.”
(Read more incest stories.)

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