A New Zealand woman wants to be able to use her partner's sperm to get pregnant. The catch? He's currently serving life in prison for a brutal murder.
In 2011, Karl Nuku was found guilty of the murder of 38-year-old man Dean Browne. He beat Browne to death with a hammer and then drove the body 350km away and dumped it in a garage.
He has a non-parole period of 18 years and is now petitioning for prisoners to be able to make seminal donations, as well as organ and blood donations.
While Corrections Minister Louise Upston says most New Zealanders would agree that people in jail for serious crimes give up the right to become new parents while locked up, a debate has started over whether Nuku's partner - who wants to be able to have a child - should have to suffer for his crime.
The woman, named Charlie, rang Newstalk ZB radio in New Zealand this morning to tell her side of the story. She says she has been told she has a window of two years to have a baby, while Nuku will serve at least another nine and a half years.
"Why should a family be punished as well? Really, I’m being punished for loving my husband. Why should I be punished for his mistakes?" she asked, as reported by the New Zealand Herald.
"Why should I leave my husband because he ended up going to jail? I’m not going to leave my husband to have children with somebody else. I want his child, and only his child."
Upston's stance was that "the consequences of a prison sentence are a loss of freedom and certain rights," however, others, such as Mike Williams, chief executive of the New Zealand Howard League for Penal Reform, say that requests to give sperm to father a child with a partner should be judged by a third party such as the Parole Board.
"There would be some cases which have merit, I would imagine," he said. "One of the influences, if you like, of reducing reoffending is keeping a family group together. Which is why visiting is a good thing."
"Clearly someone who has got 18 years for murder, I don’t think that is viable because he is going to have no relationship with his child," he finished.
Act Party leader David Seymour slammed the petition on the AM Show today that Nuku "seems to think you can bash someone’s head in with a hammer, be convicted of murder, go to jail for 18 years, but hey - there’s no consequence."
As for whether Chalie (who only identified herself by her first name) should have the right to have children with her partner taken away because of his crimes?
Again, the country is divided, with many pointing back to Nuku's punishment - or lack thereof if he wins the petition - being the biggest concern.