Judge Orders Woman to Undergo Sterilization

A Georgia judge ordered a mother of seven who pleaded guilty to killing her 5-week-old daughter to have a medical procedure to prevent her from having more children.

Carisa Ashe (search) was charged with murder and faced life in prison if convicted. After two days of trial, Ashe, 34, admitted to voluntary manslaughter.

As a condition of her sentence, she has 90 days to get a tubal ligation (search) or prosecutors can reinstate the murder charge, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes said in an order issued Tuesday.

According to prosecutors, Destiny Ashe had been shaken and hit so badly her brain swelled and hemorrhaged. She died Dec. 16, 1998.

The mother's remaining children — ages 1 to 16 — are with relatives or in foster care, District Attorney Paul Howard (search) said Wednesday.

"We just looked at the circumstances and said there's got to be an end to this," Howard said. "She's still at an age where she could continue to have children. We thought this might be the right thing to do."

Attorney Shannon Weathers, who represents Ashe, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

A tubal ligation is a surgical sterilization technique for women in which the fallopian tubes are closed or tied. Medicaid is covering the cost of the operation, Howard said.

Howard said that the court is leaving the decision of whether Ashe will be able to regain custody of her other children to the Division of Family and Children Services.

Though extreme, similar sentences have been imposed elsewhere in the country.