Should a pregnant woman be criminally charged for using drugs that can harm her baby

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Posted by ad1x2 (5564 posts) 3 months, 11 days ago

Poll: Should a pregnant woman be criminally charged for using drugs that can harm her baby (45 votes)

Yes, she should think about her unborn child. 62%
Yes, but give amnesty to women who come forward for treatment on their own. 16%
No, it's her body and she can do what she wants. 18%

Yahoo - First Woman Charged on Controversial Law that Criminalizes Drug Use During Pregnancy

A Tennessee woman, 26, was the first woman charged under a new controversial law that criminalizes using illegal drugs while pregnant. Shortly after giving birth, both her and her newborn baby tested positive for meth.

The new law allows a woman to be charged if her baby is harmed or addicted to any illegal drug she took while pregnant. The woman confessed she smoked meth several days before giving birth.

Opponents of the law say it should be overturned because it causes drug addicted women to avoid seeking treatment while pregnant because of fears they may be arrested and charged.

Do you think the law is fair? Or do you think it should be overturned?

#1 Posted by JangoWuzHere (16278 posts) -

If they are illegal drugs, then of course.

#2 Posted by airshocker (29405 posts) -

Yes.

#3 Posted by Aljosa23 (24850 posts) -

Criminally charged? No. But I do think they should get help.

Also, wouldn't this conflict with abortion laws?

#4 Edited by bobaban (10558 posts) -

Of course, baby is innocent and has no control.

#5 Edited by airshocker (29405 posts) -

@Aljosa23 said:

Criminally charged? No. But I do think they should get help.

Also, wouldn't this conflict with abortion laws?

Are you kidding? How is this different from anybody else putting their kid in harms way?

#6 Edited by Bigboi500 (29636 posts) -

No. Her friends and family should be the ones to help her stay out of trouble. Leave the government and state to get the drugs off the street and make harsher drug laws.

Authorities outside your home, family and friends inside your home.

#7 Posted by -Sun_Tzu- (17384 posts) -

As if prisons aren't crowded enough. Doesn't seem like much more than a self-righteous law that doesn't do much good. I doubt any woman is deterred from a pipe just because the act has been criminalized, especially since the drugs in question have already been criminalized in the first place. This country has got to get beyond the mentality of using the penal code to solve all public health matters and try coming up with more imaginative solutions (then again this is Tennessee we're talking about, so maybe I'm asking for too much).

#8 Posted by Aljosa23 (24850 posts) -

@Aljosa23 said:

Criminally charged? No. But I do think they should get help.

Also, wouldn't this conflict with abortion laws?

Are you kidding? How is this different from anybody else putting their kid in harms way?

Unless you plan on jailing mothers for drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco then this law makes no sense. Don't see the difference just because the drug is illegal. There are others way too that she can "harm" the child during pregnancy like unhealthy eating.

#9 Posted by airshocker (29405 posts) -

@Aljosa23 said:

@airshocker said:

@Aljosa23 said:

Criminally charged? No. But I do think they should get help.

Also, wouldn't this conflict with abortion laws?

Are you kidding? How is this different from anybody else putting their kid in harms way?

Unless you plan on jailing mothers for drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco then this law makes no sense. Don't see the difference just because the drug is illegal. There are others way too that she can "harm" the child during pregnancy like unhealthy eating.

You didn't answer my question. People get in trouble with the law all the time for putting their children at risk. How is this any different?

#10 Posted by ad1x2 (5564 posts) -

As if prisons aren't crowded enough. Doesn't seem like much more than a self-righteous law that doesn't do much good. I doubt any woman is deterred from a pipe just because the act has been criminalized, especially since the drugs in question have already been criminalized in the first place.

This specific pregnancy law is probably taking the same stance as laws against DUIs and texting while driving. It is less about protecting the driver and more about protecting innocent bystanders who are harmed by the driver's actions.

In this case, it isn't about protecting the mother but the child. Of course, if they go this route they could try to make smoking and drinking illegal too but I doubt they could get the support for that one.

I wouldn't be against keeping the law but allowing somebody who comes forward while pregnant and admitting that they have a drug problem to be treated without being charged so it wouldn't discourage other addicts from coming forward.

#11 Edited by chessmaster1989 (29192 posts) -
@airshocker said:

@Aljosa23 said:

@airshocker said:

@Aljosa23 said:

Criminally charged? No. But I do think they should get help.

Also, wouldn't this conflict with abortion laws?

Are you kidding? How is this different from anybody else putting their kid in harms way?

Unless you plan on jailing mothers for drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco then this law makes no sense. Don't see the difference just because the drug is illegal. There are others way too that she can "harm" the child during pregnancy like unhealthy eating.

You didn't answer my question. People get in trouble with the law all the time for putting their children at risk. How is this any different?

Well, if you believe abortion should be legal, then this should be legal anytime abortion is legal (or at least, shouldn't be penalized beyond whatever it is for normal drug use).

If you don't believe abortion should be legal, then it isn't any different.

#12 Posted by Aljosa23 (24850 posts) -

@Aljosa23 said:

@airshocker said:

@Aljosa23 said:

Criminally charged? No. But I do think they should get help.

Also, wouldn't this conflict with abortion laws?

Are you kidding? How is this different from anybody else putting their kid in harms way?

Unless you plan on jailing mothers for drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco then this law makes no sense. Don't see the difference just because the drug is illegal. There are others way too that she can "harm" the child during pregnancy like unhealthy eating.

You didn't answer my question. People get in trouble with the law all the time for putting their children at risk. How is this any different?

That depends on when it's illegal for a woman to get an abortion in Tennessee, I guess. It becomes a "child" only after abortion is illegal unless the mother's life is at stake, so in that case there's no difference between what you said. Unless abortion law changes she would be okay to shoot up as much as she wants before that time, which is why I said it will conflict with the established abortion law.

#13 Posted by -Sun_Tzu- (17384 posts) -

@Aljosa23 said:

@airshocker said:

@Aljosa23 said:

Criminally charged? No. But I do think they should get help.

Also, wouldn't this conflict with abortion laws?

Are you kidding? How is this different from anybody else putting their kid in harms way?

Unless you plan on jailing mothers for drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco then this law makes no sense. Don't see the difference just because the drug is illegal. There are others way too that she can "harm" the child during pregnancy like unhealthy eating.

You didn't answer my question. People get in trouble with the law all the time for putting their children at risk. How is this any different?

It's different because there are better ways to go about treating addiction than by criminalizing it. Prisons are already overcrowded with addicts, and this law will only make that problem worse.

How is this law any different than a law that would criminalize pregnant women from smoking or drinking? Would you support that? Would you support a law that makes it a criminal offense for parents to smoke under the same roof as their kids? Would you support criminalizing parents who feed their kids junk? Should we criminalize parents teaching their kids creationism? There are a lot of things that are harmful to kids, that isn't reason enough to make something a felony.

#14 Posted by SUD123456 (4445 posts) -

America can't make up its mind if it is the land of the free or the nanny state. Next up will be the precog solution.

#15 Posted by -Sun_Tzu- (17384 posts) -

@ad1x2 said:

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

As if prisons aren't crowded enough. Doesn't seem like much more than a self-righteous law that doesn't do much good. I doubt any woman is deterred from a pipe just because the act has been criminalized, especially since the drugs in question have already been criminalized in the first place.

This specific pregnancy law is probably taking the same stance as laws against DUIs and texting while driving. It is less about protecting the driver and more about protecting innocent bystanders who are harmed by the driver's actions.

In this case, it isn't about protecting the mother but the child. Of course, if they go this route they could try to make smoking and drinking illegal too but I doubt they could get the support for that one.

I wouldn't be against keeping the law but allowing somebody who comes forward while pregnant and admitting that they have a drug problem to be treated without being charged so it wouldn't discourage other addicts from coming forward.

But DUI and texting laws can be properly enforced by policing the roads. That isn't the case here, logistically there's no comparison between those laws and this law - it's already been proven that criminalizing drug behavior doesn't solve the problem of drug addiction. We should be looking to find ways to lower addiction rates, not ways to put more people behind bars. Does this law do anything to lower addiction rates among pregnant women? That should be the only question being asked here, and I highly doubt that it is because its already against the law to use these substances in the first place.

#16 Posted by ad1x2 (5564 posts) -

@Aljosa23: The thing about an abortion is that it terminates the pregnancy immediately. No future burden to society. Shooting up while pregnant could result in a child born with major birth defects. Even if you don't give a flying fuck about the child the fact that it will be alive and disabled means it is now a burden on society for their treatment.

Especially when you factor in that many people who are drug addicts are eligible for Medicaid due to their income (before somebody tells me rich women use drugs too many of them are smart enough not to use while pregnant). Or the fact that if they're still disabled after they turn 18 tax dollars are paying for their treatment even if their parents can afford to.

#17 Posted by BranKetra (48459 posts) -

Absolutely, though the United States needs major reform in its criminal justice system, altogether.

#18 Posted by ad1x2 (5564 posts) -

@ad1x2 said:

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

As if prisons aren't crowded enough. Doesn't seem like much more than a self-righteous law that doesn't do much good. I doubt any woman is deterred from a pipe just because the act has been criminalized, especially since the drugs in question have already been criminalized in the first place.

This specific pregnancy law is probably taking the same stance as laws against DUIs and texting while driving. It is less about protecting the driver and more about protecting innocent bystanders who are harmed by the driver's actions.

In this case, it isn't about protecting the mother but the child. Of course, if they go this route they could try to make smoking and drinking illegal too but I doubt they could get the support for that one.

I wouldn't be against keeping the law but allowing somebody who comes forward while pregnant and admitting that they have a drug problem to be treated without being charged so it wouldn't discourage other addicts from coming forward.

But DUI and texting laws can be properly enforced by policing the roads. That isn't the case here, logistically there's no comparison between those laws and this law - it's already been proven that criminalizing drug behavior doesn't solve the problem of drug addiction. We should be looking to find ways to lower addiction rates, not ways to put more people behind bars. Does this law do anything to lower addiction rates among pregnant women? That should be the only question being asked here, and I highly doubt that it is because its already against the law to use these substances in the first place.

I already mentioned that I wouldn't be against giving pregnant women who willingly seek help a pass on being criminally charged so they wouldn't be discouraged from coming forward. We even do that in the military, troops who admit they have a drug problem don't get punished as long as they come forward before receiving a command urinalysis and attend mandatory treatment. They'll lose their security clearance if they have one but at least they aren't getting demoted or kicked out.

Your suggestion pretty much says don't charge anybody for using drugs, ever, even if their drug use hurts other people who depend on them like their children. I could see looking the other way in regards to pot when they aren't pregnant but when somebody is smoking crack or meth while pregnant they are just asking for a defective child that will become a lifelong burden on society. Especially if they don't have the money to treat them.

#19 Posted by BranKetra (48459 posts) -

@-Sun_Tzu-: Implying creationism causes harm to children is a slippery slope.

#20 Posted by -Sun_Tzu- (17384 posts) -

@ad1x2 said:

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

@ad1x2 said:

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

As if prisons aren't crowded enough. Doesn't seem like much more than a self-righteous law that doesn't do much good. I doubt any woman is deterred from a pipe just because the act has been criminalized, especially since the drugs in question have already been criminalized in the first place.

This specific pregnancy law is probably taking the same stance as laws against DUIs and texting while driving. It is less about protecting the driver and more about protecting innocent bystanders who are harmed by the driver's actions.

In this case, it isn't about protecting the mother but the child. Of course, if they go this route they could try to make smoking and drinking illegal too but I doubt they could get the support for that one.

I wouldn't be against keeping the law but allowing somebody who comes forward while pregnant and admitting that they have a drug problem to be treated without being charged so it wouldn't discourage other addicts from coming forward.

But DUI and texting laws can be properly enforced by policing the roads. That isn't the case here, logistically there's no comparison between those laws and this law - it's already been proven that criminalizing drug behavior doesn't solve the problem of drug addiction. We should be looking to find ways to lower addiction rates, not ways to put more people behind bars. Does this law do anything to lower addiction rates among pregnant women? That should be the only question being asked here, and I highly doubt that it is because its already against the law to use these substances in the first place.

I already mentioned that I wouldn't be against giving pregnant women who willingly seek help a pass on being criminally charged so they wouldn't be discouraged from coming forward. We even do that in the military, troops who admit they have a drug problem don't get punished as long as they come forward before receiving a command urinalysis and attend mandatory treatment. They'll lose their security clearance if they have one but at least they aren't getting demoted or kicked out.

Your suggestion pretty much says don't charge anybody for using drugs, ever, even if their drug use hurts other people who depend on them like their children. I could see looking the other way in regards to pot when they aren't pregnant but when somebody is smoking crack or meth while pregnant they are just asking for a defective child that will become a lifelong burden on society. Especially if they don't have the money to treat them.

There's plenty of room between filing criminal charges against addicts and "looking the other way". Addiction is a public health issue, it shouldn't be a criminal offense. Again, does this law do anything to reduce addiction and/or drug use among pregnant women? That's the only question that matters. Show me the law that does and I'll support it, but I highly doubt this one does the trick for reasons already mentioned. There's so many better ways to go about solving this problem without being draconian about it.

#21 Posted by ferrari2001 (16875 posts) -

@airshocker said:

@Aljosa23 said:

@airshocker said:

@Aljosa23 said:

Criminally charged? No. But I do think they should get help.

Also, wouldn't this conflict with abortion laws?

Are you kidding? How is this different from anybody else putting their kid in harms way?

Unless you plan on jailing mothers for drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco then this law makes no sense. Don't see the difference just because the drug is illegal. There are others way too that she can "harm" the child during pregnancy like unhealthy eating.

You didn't answer my question. People get in trouble with the law all the time for putting their children at risk. How is this any different?

Well, if you believe abortion should be legal, then this should be legal anytime abortion is legal (or at least, shouldn't be penalized beyond whatever it is for normal drug use).

If you don't believe abortion should be legal, then it isn't any different.

Not true, abortion laws in the US are all based on the intent of the mother. If the mother does not intend on getting an abortion then it is illegal to kill to harm the fetus. Hence why an individual can be tried for double homicide if he kills someone that is pregnant. If the woman does something during pregnancy to harm or kill the child and doesn't intend on aborting then that individual is held accountable for the effects of those actions.

#22 Posted by final_lap (327 posts) -

only if thats what would be best for the child.

#23 Edited by fueled-system (6274 posts) -

Already feel bad for that child...yes

#24 Posted by toast_burner (21520 posts) -

@-Sun_Tzu-: Implying creationism causes harm to children is a slippery slope.

How is it a slippery slope? Teaching children creationism is intentionally limiting their education and ability to think rationally. It doesn't cause physical harm but it certainly is bad for the child.

#25 Posted by airshocker (29405 posts) -

@Aljosa23 said:

@airshocker said:

@Aljosa23 said:

@airshocker said:

@Aljosa23 said:

Criminally charged? No. But I do think they should get help.

Also, wouldn't this conflict with abortion laws?

Are you kidding? How is this different from anybody else putting their kid in harms way?

Unless you plan on jailing mothers for drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco then this law makes no sense. Don't see the difference just because the drug is illegal. There are others way too that she can "harm" the child during pregnancy like unhealthy eating.

You didn't answer my question. People get in trouble with the law all the time for putting their children at risk. How is this any different?

That depends on when it's illegal for a woman to get an abortion in Tennessee, I guess. It becomes a "child" only after abortion is illegal unless the mother's life is at stake, so in that case there's no difference between what you said. Unless abortion law changes she would be okay to shoot up as much as she wants before that time, which is why I said it will conflict with the established abortion law.

First off, the issue of abortion isn't as simple as that.

What if the unborn child is past the term that legal abortions allow for?

So you still have yet to actually answer my question.

#26 Posted by foxhound_fox (88060 posts) -

Uh, yeah. As should anything that could harm a child that will be brought to term.

#27 Posted by airshocker (29405 posts) -

It's different because there are better ways to go about treating addiction than by criminalizing it. Prisons are already overcrowded with addicts, and this law will only make that problem worse.

How is this law any different than a law that would criminalize pregnant women from smoking or drinking? Would you support that? Would you support a law that makes it a criminal offense for parents to smoke under the same roof as their kids? Would you support criminalizing parents who feed their kids junk? Should we criminalize parents teaching their kids creationism? There are a lot of things that are harmful to kids, that isn't reason enough to make something a felony.


This isn't specifically criminalizing addiction. It's criminalizing doing drugs while you have an unborn child. I would say that unintended consequence is better than nothing.

Isn't that the same logic you people used when supporting ObamaCare?

#28 Posted by ad1x2 (5564 posts) -

@BranKetra said:

@-Sun_Tzu-: Implying creationism causes harm to children is a slippery slope.

How is it a slippery slope? Teaching children creationism is intentionally limiting their education and ability to think rationally. It doesn't cause physical harm but it certainly is bad for the child.

Contrary to popular belief, creationism doesn't equal a refusal to believe in science or other things that atheists believe in. Plus, there have been plenty of people who were raised in religious households that are atheists. I'm willing to bet that at least a third of the posters on this forum who claim to be agnostic or atheist have religious parents.

#29 Posted by airshocker (29405 posts) -

@BranKetra said:

@-Sun_Tzu-: Implying creationism causes harm to children is a slippery slope.

How is it a slippery slope? Teaching children creationism is intentionally limiting their education and ability to think rationally. It doesn't cause physical harm but it certainly is bad for the child.

That's a load of horse shit. Just because someone is taught about something doesn't mean they believe in it. If that wasn't the case there wouldn't be people who were raised to follow a religion and now don't practice.

#30 Posted by ferrari2001 (16875 posts) -

@ad1x2 said:

@toast_burner said:

@BranKetra said:

@-Sun_Tzu-: Implying creationism causes harm to children is a slippery slope.

How is it a slippery slope? Teaching children creationism is intentionally limiting their education and ability to think rationally. It doesn't cause physical harm but it certainly is bad for the child.

Contrary to popular belief, creationism doesn't equal a refusal to believe in science or other things that atheists believe in. Plus, there have been plenty of people who were raised in religious households that are atheists. I'm willing to bet that at least a third of the posters on this forum who claim to be agnostic or atheist have religious parents.

This, ^ and while I believe teaching creationism is bad, even if that child does continue to believe in it, it doesn't in anyway limit that individual from being a productive and functioning member of society. So while it can be considered harmful on an intellectual level it doesn't really effect the day to day life of that individual.

#31 Posted by toast_burner (21520 posts) -

@toast_burner said:

@BranKetra said:

@-Sun_Tzu-: Implying creationism causes harm to children is a slippery slope.

How is it a slippery slope? Teaching children creationism is intentionally limiting their education and ability to think rationally. It doesn't cause physical harm but it certainly is bad for the child.

That's a load of horse shit. Just because someone is taught about something doesn't mean they believe in it. If that wasn't the case there wouldn't be people who were raised to follow a religion and now don't practice.

If you're raised to believe in it chances are you will believe in it when you grow up as well. It's rather uncommon for a creationist to come from a family who weren't also creationists.

#32 Posted by Sword-Demon (6970 posts) -

Personally, I think that they should lose custody and be sent to prison.

but legally speaking, I don't see how it can be illegal to do drugs while pregnant. Harming an unborn baby obviously isn't illegal, as they aren't legally considered human lives until they're born.

#33 Posted by thegerg (15063 posts) -

@Aljosa23 said:

Also, wouldn't this conflict with abortion laws?

No. This law has nothing to do with abortion.

#34 Posted by thegerg (15063 posts) -

Personally, I think that they should lose custody and be sent to prison.

but legally speaking, I don't see how it can be illegal to do drugs while pregnant. Harming an unborn baby obviously isn't illegal, as they aren't legally considered human lives until they're born.

"I don't see how it can be illegal to do drugs while pregnant."

It can be illegal to do drugs while not pregnant. Why do you think a pregnant woman is not held to the same legal standard?

#35 Posted by lostrib (35892 posts) -

@BranKetra said:

@-Sun_Tzu-: Implying creationism causes harm to children is a slippery slope.

How is it a slippery slope? Teaching children creationism is intentionally limiting their education and ability to think rationally. It doesn't cause physical harm but it certainly is bad for the child.

Because now you're policing what people can and cannot teach their children

#36 Posted by Sword-Demon (6970 posts) -

@thegerg said:

@Sword-Demon said:

Personally, I think that they should lose custody and be sent to prison.

but legally speaking, I don't see how it can be illegal to do drugs while pregnant. Harming an unborn baby obviously isn't illegal, as they aren't legally considered human lives until they're born.

"I don't see how it can be illegal to do drugs while pregnant."

It can be illegal to do drugs while not pregnant. Why do you think a pregnant woman is not held to the same legal standard?

I was referring to the specific crime of harming the unborn child through the use of drugs, not the drug use itself.

Sorry I wasn't clear about that, but I thought it was a bit obvious.

#37 Posted by lostrib (35892 posts) -

@thegerg said:

@Sword-Demon said:

Personally, I think that they should lose custody and be sent to prison.

but legally speaking, I don't see how it can be illegal to do drugs while pregnant. Harming an unborn baby obviously isn't illegal, as they aren't legally considered human lives until they're born.

"I don't see how it can be illegal to do drugs while pregnant."

It can be illegal to do drugs while not pregnant. Why do you think a pregnant woman is not held to the same legal standard?

I was referring to the specific crime of harming the unborn child through the use of drugs, not the drug use itself.

Sorry I wasn't clear about that, but I thought it was a bit obvious.

I think the law applies if the child is born addicted to or injured by drug use

#38 Edited by -Sun_Tzu- (17384 posts) -

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

It's different because there are better ways to go about treating addiction than by criminalizing it. Prisons are already overcrowded with addicts, and this law will only make that problem worse.

How is this law any different than a law that would criminalize pregnant women from smoking or drinking? Would you support that? Would you support a law that makes it a criminal offense for parents to smoke under the same roof as their kids? Would you support criminalizing parents who feed their kids junk? Should we criminalize parents teaching their kids creationism? There are a lot of things that are harmful to kids, that isn't reason enough to make something a felony.

This isn't specifically criminalizing addiction. It's criminalizing doing drugs while you have an unborn child. I would say that unintended consequence is better than nothing.

Isn't that the same logic you people used when supporting ObamaCare?

I guess you're right - to be accurate It's specifically criminalizing addiction while pregnant, and even then that addiction is qualified - tobacco and alcohol are not included. To repeat myself thrice, does this law lower addiction rates among pregnant women? If it doesn't do that (and there's plenty of reason to think that it won't) then it's a bad law. The punitive treatment of addicts has proven to be a colossal failure. From my perspective it seems to me that people are reflexively supporting this law simply because a pregnant woman not taking adequate care of her body is wrong, without asking the all-important question of "does it work?" It takes a leap of logic to go from "X is bad" to "X should be criminalized."

@-Sun_Tzu-: Implying creationism causes harm to children is a slippery slope.

Um, that's exactly why I brought it up.

#39 Posted by CountBleck12 (22757 posts) -

Yes of course.

#40 Posted by Aljosa23 (24850 posts) -

@Aljosa23 said:

@airshocker said:

@Aljosa23 said:

@airshocker said:

@Aljosa23 said:

Criminally charged? No. But I do think they should get help.

Also, wouldn't this conflict with abortion laws?

Are you kidding? How is this different from anybody else putting their kid in harms way?

Unless you plan on jailing mothers for drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco then this law makes no sense. Don't see the difference just because the drug is illegal. There are others way too that she can "harm" the child during pregnancy like unhealthy eating.

You didn't answer my question. People get in trouble with the law all the time for putting their children at risk. How is this any different?

That depends on when it's illegal for a woman to get an abortion in Tennessee, I guess. It becomes a "child" only after abortion is illegal unless the mother's life is at stake, so in that case there's no difference between what you said. Unless abortion law changes she would be okay to shoot up as much as she wants before that time, which is why I said it will conflict with the established abortion law.

First off, the issue of abortion isn't as simple as that.

What if the unborn child is past the term that legal abortions allow for?

So you still have yet to actually answer my question.

Why are you purposely being dense? I answered your question, check the bolded.

#41 Posted by airshocker (29405 posts) -

@Aljosa23 said:

@airshocker said:

@Aljosa23 said:

@airshocker said:

@Aljosa23 said:

@airshocker said:

@Aljosa23 said:

Criminally charged? No. But I do think they should get help.

Also, wouldn't this conflict with abortion laws?

Are you kidding? How is this different from anybody else putting their kid in harms way?

Unless you plan on jailing mothers for drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco then this law makes no sense. Don't see the difference just because the drug is illegal. There are others way too that she can "harm" the child during pregnancy like unhealthy eating.

You didn't answer my question. People get in trouble with the law all the time for putting their children at risk. How is this any different?

That depends on when it's illegal for a woman to get an abortion in Tennessee, I guess. It becomes a "child" only after abortion is illegal unless the mother's life is at stake, so in that case there's no difference between what you said. Unless abortion law changes she would be okay to shoot up as much as she wants before that time, which is why I said it will conflict with the established abortion law.

First off, the issue of abortion isn't as simple as that.

What if the unborn child is past the term that legal abortions allow for?

So you still have yet to actually answer my question.

Why are you purposely being dense? I answered your question, check the bolded.

You still haven't answered my question. Forget about abortion, it has nothing to do with this.

What is the difference between putting a child in harm's way and doing drugs that will lead to harm being done to a newly born? To me there's no difference. Doing drugs and giving birth to that child leads to an increased risk of mental retardation, diseases, and physical handicaps. That is the very same as knowingly putting your child in harm's way. And we should absolutely make it criminal to do so.

#42 Edited by BranKetra (48459 posts) -

@toast_burner said:

@BranKetra said:

@-Sun_Tzu-: Implying creationism causes harm to children is a slippery slope.

How is it a slippery slope? Teaching children creationism is intentionally limiting their education and ability to think rationally. It doesn't cause physical harm but it certainly is bad for the child.

If you and -Sun Tzu- are in agreement with your claim, then my response is meant for both of you.

Within creationism, there is rationale, believe it or not. Now, I am not sure if you implied there is none, but if you did then I must tell you that is simply incorrect. For example, Acts 17:27 of the Christian Bible gives reason for all that was, is, and ever will be. Teaching kids something with that kind of plan is explaining to them the idea of purpose which is the fundamental trait of rationale. Next, it is not limiting an education in and of itself. If no scientific studies are taught along with it then those individuals would have an understanding of the world and beyond in a sense since modern religion has not been proven to be false. However, creationism alone does not explain in detail why protons are positively charged, the tricarboxylic acid cycle, and so on.

#43 Edited by BranKetra (48459 posts) -

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

@BranKetra said:

@-Sun_Tzu-: Implying creationism causes harm to children is a slippery slope.

Um, that's exactly why I brought it up.

I am aware of that. What I would like to know is why criminalizing purposeful negligent care at best and purposeful harm of an unborn child at worst is, too.

#44 Edited by -Sun_Tzu- (17384 posts) -

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

@BranKetra said:

@-Sun_Tzu-: Implying creationism causes harm to children is a slippery slope.

Um, that's exactly why I brought it up.

I am aware of that. What I would like to know is why criminalizing purposeful negligent care at best and purposeful harm of an unborn child at worst is, too.

Because if harm to a child is the only standard that has to be met in order for a certain behavior to be criminalized then we have a lot of parents that we are going to have to throw in jail. Pregnant women who drink and/or smoke, parents who smoke in the house, parents who feed their kids junk, parents who refuse to get their child vaccinated, and yes in my opinion parents who neglect the education of their children by teaching them fairy tales as if they were fact. These are all deplorable acts, some admittingly worse than others but all meeting the same threshold nonetheless. To repeat, it takes a leap of logic to go from "X is bad" to "X should be criminalized." Sadly that distinction seems to get lost in a country that holds 25% of the world's prisoners while only consisting of 5% of the world's population.

#45 Posted by SpartanMSU (3440 posts) -

@-Sun_Tzu-: It's the degree of harmfulness which makes this different. Smoking meth while pregnant is much more harmful I'm assuming than consuming alcohol or tobacco. Also, second hand smoke and junk food isn't nearly as bad.

Smoking meth while pregnant would be like forcing your kids to go play in the middle of the freeway. It's incredibly dangerous.

However, I agree that this law won't really deter anyone and is rather pointless.

#46 Posted by ad1x2 (5564 posts) -

@-Sun_Tzu-: Not everybody is suggesting throwing every single woman who does drugs in jail. The law states that the ones who do drugs while pregnant can be arrested but in all reality it would probably be more effective to offer them rehab. While I think they should give them the chance to go to rehab, the jail time option should still be on the table because if the woman can refuse treatment and walk away without any punishment then it gives her no incentive to at least try to get better. If she goes to rehab and relapses later then oh well, she tried and we can get CPS to take her kids from her.

As for your opinion that it should be illegal to teach minors creationism, how do you propose we do that? Are you suggesting that we repeal the First Amendment and post police officers at churches, synagogues, and mosques so they can check IDs like bouncers at bars and clubs? I would assume that you are a reasonable person, so I'm sure you can acknowledge that you know some people who are not atheists but are more than capable of getting As and Bs in all of their classes. Not all Christians think the world is only 6,000 years old.

#47 Posted by BranKetra (48459 posts) -

@BranKetra said:

@-Sun_Tzu- said:

@BranKetra said:

@-Sun_Tzu-: Implying creationism causes harm to children is a slippery slope.

Um, that's exactly why I brought it up.

I am aware of that. What I would like to know is why criminalizing purposeful negligent care at best and purposeful harm of an unborn child at worst is, too.

Because if harm to a child is the only standard that has to be met in order for a certain behavior to be criminalized then we have a lot of parents that we are going to have to throw in jail. Pregnant women who drink and/or smoke, parents who smoke in the house, parents who feed their kids junk, parents who refuse to get their child vaccinated, and yes in my opinion parents who neglect the education of their children by teaching them fairy tales as if they were fact. These are all deplorable acts, some admittingly worse than others but all meeting the same threshold nonetheless. To repeat, it takes a leap of logic to go from "X is bad" to "X should be criminalized." Sadly that distinction seems to get lost in a country that holds 25% of the world's prisoners while only consisting of 5% of the world's population.

Sure, when people go saying things which are not credible like the bolded text, the inappropriate sorting which must be done may be a reason many decide to lock others behind bars for the wrong reasons (read: exhaustion and war of attrition).

I am going to have to disagree with you. About harm and alcohol, there has been debate in recent years about the legal ramifications of consuming that drink regularly while pregnant (Link), so it is not, yet. Tobacco in households with children is a noteworthy issue as well (Link). Forcing vaccinations would be an infringement upon certain religious beliefs and that is unacceptable thus an unlikely outcome unless a plague occurs similar to a draft in response to a declaration of war.

#48 Edited by VaguelyTagged (10157 posts) -

so, do those who are in favor of this law, consider themselves to be prolife aswell?

#49 Edited by -Sun_Tzu- (17384 posts) -

@ad1x2 said:

@-Sun_Tzu-: Not everybody is suggesting throwing every single woman who does drugs in jail. The law states that the ones who do drugs while pregnant can be arrested but in all reality it would probably be more effective to offer them rehab. While I think they should give them the chance to go to rehab, the jail time option should still be on the table because if the woman can refuse treatment and walk away without any punishment then it gives her no incentive to at least try to get better. If she goes to rehab and relapses later then oh well, she tried and we can get CPS to take her kids from her.

As for your opinion that it should be illegal to teach minors creationism, how do you propose we do that? Are you suggesting that we repeal the First Amendment and post police officers at churches, synagogues, and mosques so they can check IDs like bouncers at bars and clubs? I would assume that you are a reasonable person, so I'm sure you can acknowledge that you know some people who are not atheists but are more than capable of getting As and Bs in all of their classes. Not all Christians think the world is only 6,000 years old.

To my knowledge there is not one medical association that thinks that punitive action against drug addicts is effective public policy. We are really the only developed country in the world that handles drug addiction through the penal code rather than through the health care system. If there was evidence that criminalizing drug use works as a means to lower addictions rates I would probably support it, but the evidence just isn't there. You can't solve a public health issue by throwing people behind bars.

And I think I made it pretty clear that I don't think teaching creationism should be criminalized.

#50 Posted by XilePrincess (13129 posts) -

If she knows she's pregnant and she does drugs or ingests substances that are known to cause issues and defects in babies, then yes, she should be held responsible in some way. Not charged, perhaps, but she should be forced to get rehabilitation if she wants custody of her child. If you want to bring a child into the world and are not planning on an abortion and you cause birth defects by being high or drunk during your pregnancy, that is child abuse. You are damning a person to live life as a crack baby or in some way handicapped because of your actions.

Do I think jail is the way to go? Maybe not. But responsibility must be taken.

And if a woman is using drugs or alcohol in an attempt to miscarry in a place where abortion is legal, she should be held responsible for that too, especially if she lives somewhere where abortion is accessible and not outrageously expensive.

This has no parallels to the abortion debate, though. Aborting a bundle of cells so that it never becomes a child is far less cruel than abusing one inside the womb for 9 months and then forcing it to live its' life handicapped (often extensively with drug babies) and dependent on others for even simple tasks.