A Virginia man has agreed to get a vasectomy in order to reduce his sentence as part of a child endangerment case. The judge ruled that Jessie Lee Herald, a 27-year-old father of seven, needs to be able to support the children before fathering any more.

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Critics are comparing the plea deal to forced sterilization of thousands in the United States in the last century. Many states abandoned the practice after World War II when it became closely associated with Nazi Germany’s racial purity efforts.

Today on Happening Now, Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl argued that the procedure isn’t voluntary since Herald faced up to five years in jail if he didn’t take the deal.

“By the way, the Supreme Court in 1942 already ruled against […] punitive sterilization,” Wiehl said.

Former federal prosecutor Doug Burns disagreed that it’s punitive sterilization because a vasectomy is reversible. He also noted that Herald is allowed to reverse it once his probation ends.

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