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Oklahoma woman receives reduced sentence after getting sterilized

OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma woman convicted of using a counterfeit check has received a reduced sentence after getting medically sterilized at the suggestion of the judge. The Oklahoman reports that U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot showed leniency to 34-year-old Summer Thyme Creel during her sentencing Thursday because she had surgery to prevent pregnancies.

Friot had suggested the medical procedure in a June order, noting that Creel had relinquished her parental rights to six of her seven children.

Friot defended his suggestion Thursday, The Oklahoman reports, saying the U.S. Supreme Court "has yet to recognize a constitutional right to bring crack- or methamphetamine-addicted babies into this world."

Creel was sentenced to a year in federal prison and three years on supervised release. She also was ordered to pay more than $15,200 in restitution.

"When I read the order, I was horrified," Lynn Paltrow, founder of the National Advocates for Pregnant Women, told The Washington Post. "We find it highly unlikely that this judge has asked any man how many children he fathered and used that in his sentencing determination."

Creel pleaded guilty last year to using a counterfeit check at a Walmart in Moore in 2014. She faced a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.