Charles City, Iowa – The Iowa Court of Appeals overturned a North Iowa judge’s order banning a woman convicted of child endangerment from becoming pregnant.
According to the Globe Gazette, the ban, issued by District Judge James Drew against Stephanie Fatland “impinges upon her fundamental right to procreation,” the ruling states.
Fatland, who was a resident of Rockford, was charged with three counts of child endangerment resulting in injury, a Class C Felony, after authorities said she admitted to shaking her 5-month old son when he would not stop crying. The incident happened on July 20, 2014.
Fatland pleaded guilty in Floyd County District Court to reduced charges of two counts of child endangerment resulting in bodily injury, a Class D felony. The third count was dismissed through a plea bargain.
The Globe Gazette article stated that in July of 2015 Judge Drew gave her a suspended five-year prison sentence on each count and put her on probation for five years. One of the conditions of her probation was that she not become pregnant during that time. He also ordered her not to have unsupervised contact with children under age 5 while on probation.
The appeals court also vacated the ban on Fatland having unsupervised contact with children under age 5 and asked the district court to “create a more realistic and precise condition of her probation regarding contact with young children.” The ruling stated that the condition should contain an exception for “incidental contact in public areas where other responsible adults are present.”