Should pregnant women be charged with child abuse if they use drugs or alcohol?

ANGEL 2012/06/01 11:43:43
While I understand the argument that drug and alcohol abuse is a disease - when does a woman start being accountable for her behavior nevertheless - when such behavior may kill and if not that - may adversely affect the child's life forever?


According to this article "Recent activities in a number
of states have renewed the debate on whether women who abuse drugs or alcohol
during their pregnancies should be subject to criminal sanctions. In South
Carolina, the state supreme court ruled that Cornelia Whitner could be
held criminally liable for using cocaine and thereby endangering her fetus.
The court indicated that its holding applied to legal as well as illegal
substances. In Wisconsin, criminal charges were brought against Deborah
Zimmerman for her abuse of a legal substance (
i.e., alcohol) during
her pregnancy. Ms. Zimmerman is facing charges of attempted first degree
intentional homicide and first degree reckless conduct. Prosecutors also
have tried, without success, to bring criminal actions against substance-abusing
pregnant women in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan,
Nevada, New York, and Ohio...

Opponents argue that this can get out of hand - raising the question whether pregnanc women should be prosecuted for other harmful conduct such as smoking, inadequate diet, not getting pre-natal care, etc. They suggest alternatives to criminal charges such as education and treatment.

Do you think that a woman should be charged with child abuse if she uses drugs or alcohol during her pregnancy?

NOTE: Too many polls on SH are resurrected to divide the community based on religious or sexual affiliation, for example. I don't see the point in bashing people because of such associations. I have many friends who believe differently than I do, and friends who are bi-sexual, homosexual, etc., but they are good friends and good people, and some have truely enriched my life. Whether you are an atheist, agnostic, involved in Christianity, Scientology, a Pagan, a Jew, a Muslim - please feel free to comment on my polls and thank you for your friendship.
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  • charlesphaire 2012/11/09 15:42:40
    Since I started my web page 2 weeks ago I have had over 1500 hpage views. For me as an fas survivor this just shows the power I really have to reach people with my message. I hhad a friend of mine email me yesterday and give me the ideal of fassurvival.com and now it's amazing. Fas survivors are amazing people.I believe that FAS has allowed me to become an evolved being. To evolve means to adapt and as I learn how to live I adapt. thusly evolving into someone better
  • charlesphaire 2012/11/07 13:16:19
    As a 43 year FAS survivor (fetal alcohol syndrome) I believe it may not be such a bad ideal to make an example out of someone besides using me as an example of what can go wrong as a result of drinking while pregnant. the goal is to stop this from happening to other children. Children with FAS grow up to be adults with FAS. charlesphaire.com is my web page. I use it to share my exiprences with fas and raise awareness so people understand why there is no safe amount.
  • Kat 2012/06/29 03:27:08
  • Brosia - KarmaRaven 2012/06/28 04:10:20
    Brosia - KarmaRaven
    If she is using drugs or alcohol in the third trimester, yes, because it is abuse to a fully viable fetus/child.
  • Sayer Stewart 2012/06/16 17:09:20
    Sayer Stewart
  • Texas Gal 2012/06/04 17:46:54
    Texas Gal
    I personally believe that life begins at conception. In a perfect world a woman (more appropriately - a female -- often the mother is not a "woman" mentally and ready to be a "Mother") would be responsible enough to not want to harm her baby, whether the baby is still inside her uterus or has been born and is living independent of her body. If a female who has given birth intentionally harms her baby, she should legally be charged with child abuse, neglect, etc. -- so I think the same would apply if the baby is still in the uterus.
  • Jay Jays 2012/06/04 01:50:29
    Jay Jays
  • Lonely girl 2012/06/03 09:08:44
    Lonely girl
    I know of a couple of cases where the court actually stepped in once they were made aware of the issue but there wasn't much they could really do to enforce the order to abstain from alcohol and drug abuse. I don't think it would really help the situation to prosecute them on criminal basis but I do feel that in certain circumstances, a woman that is that careless as to subject her unborn child to known dangers should have that child taken away or at the least Child Protective Services should step in and make certain that the child is not placed in any further danger once they are born. It is still difficult for me to believe that with all the education and information out here there are still women who don't know about the dangers of fetal alcohol syndrome.
  • Dave0626 2012/06/03 03:39:09
    Not sure about 'Child abuse' ....but certainly with negligence of their responsibly.
    But because of the issue of legalized abortions...it becomes something of a double standard.
    But then again... if they are caught drinking and doping...they should be at the very least ...sterilized from future pregnancies.
  • gstrahan 2012/06/03 00:58:13
    absolutely no. If they do this, where does it stop? I don't want the government interfering in peoples lives any more. We would do better to start reversing bad law instead of making more laws or perverting the laws on the books to include behaviors not intended in the original law.
  • CaptnSassy 2012/06/02 16:53:49
    I agree with Sjalan, to a point.
    I feel that the drug of choice, it's severity and length of use should be brought into consideration. Nicotine vs cocaine, smoking until she finds out she's pregnant vs smoking the entire pregnancy.
    As a society, we need to bring back personal responsibility.
  • strange_armour 2012/06/02 15:46:48
    Every kid deserves a clean start.
  • Treasure ♥ijm♥ 2012/06/02 14:30:25
    Treasure ♥ijm♥
    I don't personally think women should drink or do any drugs during pregnancy but to charge them with child abuse sounds a bit extreme in my opinion.
  • sjalan 2012/06/02 04:43:30
    Child endangerment would be far more acurate.

    I have a very close friend that was born addicted to nicotine. YEP his mother smoked from long before he was born until the day she died. He started smoking at 6 years old because it was the only thing that would calm his nerves. Finally about 4 years ago he took the plunge to quit completely. It took two years of absolute agony but he did it. He went on a body cleansing program that extracted all the nicotine from his system.

    He has now been clean for over 2 years and is in better health than in years. Just one problem, he put on 20 pounds and is now trying to take that off. It is not very easy but he now jogs every morning and works out in the gym as well.
  • Me 2012/06/02 03:30:27
  • L1 2012/06/02 01:40:36
    No, I don't.
  • Teri- Oregon 2012/06/02 01:00:05
    Teri- Oregon
  • words to live by 2012/06/02 00:48:45
    words to live by
  • Reggie☮ 2012/06/01 23:40:38
    IMO no. It usually starts out with what seems like a good idea and in no time at all that good idea goes over the edge. After drugs and alcohol it will go to something else i.e. cigarettes > too much sugar > too much fat > too many carbs, etc. After the diet has been sufficiently restricted activities will come next, too dangerous and so on. The pregnant woman will have little control over what she does or what she eats.
  • W123 2012/06/01 21:08:03
    Its more of charge for neglectance along with the abuse. This neglectance may possibly lead to abuse and frequent abuse may cause irreversable damage to the child. Sometimes even a frequent indirect abuse may cause severe damages emotionally. So such actions outcomes and final results must not be underestimated specially when it comes to a child that may be unable of protecting himself.
  • Fingon Celebrindal 2012/06/01 20:32:50
    Fingon Celebrindal
    Yes. Though the law does not allow it yet, I have made it clear to my wife that it is a sure way of getting me to divorce her.
  • angie45 2012/06/01 20:23:00
    yes, they are responsible for the child they are carrying.
  • ☂cinderella.dress.in.yellow☂ 2012/06/01 18:26:53
    yes that can really hurt your baby
  • Moose 2012/06/01 18:20:50
    Yes, they should be charged and criminally convicted. However, the sentencing should reflect the nature of the crime. They should be required to be educated on the harmful effects of these substances on unborn children.
  • Pops 2012/06/01 18:20:44
    Yes I think so.
  • Jiorgia 2012/06/01 17:11:01
    If they abuse drugs and alcohol, yes.
    If they use drugs and alcohol, no.
    Doctors recommend to those that are addicted to those substances that they continue in very small doses (like a pack a day smoker cutting back to 5 cigarettes a day for the first trimester before quitting) as the stress of quitting cold turkey actually causes more of a problem for the baby then the substances do.
  • Metaldane 2012/06/01 15:54:59
    If she's abusing drugs or alcohol or ven smoking then yea because that can greatly affect the kids health when he's born. I don't think diet or pre natal care issues should be treated the same though.
  • bluelady 2012/06/01 15:50:04
    yeah, I can see that
  • Patric 2012/06/01 15:44:08
    I say YES , but I find it hard to believe the liberals not fighting this tooth and nail..

    think bout this,... they kill the unborn child , why not drug and alcohol them first ?

    jack up the child with crack, smack, vodka , big deal, they are looking to kill the baby anyhow
  • Metaldane Patric 2012/06/01 15:58:10 (edited)
    And people wonder why I'm pro choice.
  • Lady Wh... Metaldane 2012/06/01 16:04:22
    Lady Whitewolf
    WHAT in Starclan's name are you meowing about?
  • Metaldane Lady Wh... 2012/06/01 16:28:04
    Trolling mood I guess cons have been on me since I logged in gets me in a attacky mood.
  • Patric Patric 2012/06/01 16:04:30
    hmm,, I am now waiting for some far left winger liberal to blast away , with either a race card rant or a NAME CALL RAMPAGE,
    not sure which one . or if both , but I am sure the liberal baby killer will respond to my post
  • rand 2012/06/01 15:32:00
    If we have the resources to try and incarcerate, we have the resources to provide therapy. IF jailing them is the only way to protect the fetus, then jail them.
  • ColourfulxRain 2012/06/01 15:30:45 (edited)
    Yes they should.

    You wouldn't give alcohol to a new born baby, yet I see a lot of women who don't think it matters if they drink while pregnant..
    They endanger their childs life for a temporary high.
  • JohnT 2012/06/01 15:04:34
    Fetal alcohol syndrome causes physical birth defects to a infant. It is sad to see, and mothers that are alcoholics should not be pregnant. Eventually I do see prosecution of the more severe incidents that result in injury or death of the infant.
  • Sam DePecan 2012/06/01 15:01:41
    Sam DePecan
    There are so many abortions now days that it's kind of difficult to find a woman who will admit that she is 100% pregnant. Most are either not pregnant any more; or they are, admittingly; just "a little-bit-pregnant".
  • Lerro D... Sam DeP... 2012/06/01 15:04:52
    Lerro DeHazel
    Whaaaaaaa! . .. ..

  • Brian 2012/06/01 14:38:20
    I don't know how that squares with current abortion laws and views, we tell people, women specifically, that an abortion is simply the removal of a "Fetus" or a "Unviable tissue mass" And then out of the other side of our mouth we tell them that smoking, drinking alcohol or taking drugs will be unhealthy for their Baby, which is it, a baby or a tissue mass, one matters the other doesn't.
  • Nestofasssps 2012/06/01 14:25:18
    why not just house women in pens until they give birth?

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2016/02/14 01:54:42

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