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Thread: Should drinking/smoking while pregnant be illegal?

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    Re: Should drinking/smoking while pregnant be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Viktyr Gehrig View Post
    This is why giving fetuses the right to life is tantamount to enslaving women. As soon as you limit their rights while pregnant, you've effectively opened the door to womens' activites being monitored and restricted at all times between the ages of 12 and 50. Unless she's had a hysterectomy, any sexually active woman can be pregnant at any time-- and any woman can become pregnant at any time with or without her consent.
    Actually having a child that's any age potentially limits rights of the parents had before they were parents. Parents cannot legally go out and leave a newborn alone. They cannot let the kid starve while they use that money for something they'd rather have. In fact they are legally responsible for that kids actions until he's 18, so you could argue that parenthood is a form of slavery. Does that mean a parent should be able to terminate the life of the child at any age they're responsible for him/her to free themselves from the slavery?

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    Re: Should drinking/smoking while pregnant be illegal?

    Absolutely not. People need to learn to mind their own damn business.

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    Re: Should drinking/smoking while pregnant be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by X Factor View Post
    Actually having a child that's any age potentially limits rights of the parents had before they were parents. Parents cannot legally go out and leave a newborn alone. They cannot let the kid starve while they use that money for something they'd rather have. In fact they are legally responsible for that kids actions until he's 18, so you could argue that parenthood is a form of slavery. Does that mean a parent should be able to terminate the life of the child at any age they're responsible for him/her to free themselves from the slavery?
    Parents can absolve themselves of those responsibilities at any time by finding someone else to assume them. Not to mention that people know whether or not they are parents at all times and in most cases do not suddenly become parents without warning.

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    Re: Should drinking/smoking while pregnant be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by joko104 View Post
    And a man who drives over the speed limit with a pregnant woman should be charged with the additional felony charge of child endangerment too, right?
    Are people charged with felonies when they speed with their kids in the car?

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    Re: Should drinking/smoking while pregnant be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by GhostlyJoe View Post
    Life has risks. Quit trying to throw everyone with a vice in prison.
    When it results in permanent damage to a child, that's your response? "Life has risks?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrylek View Post
    A chronic alcoholic mother is more likely to have a sick child (duh).
    People get sick and recover from sickness. Having static encephalopathy isn't being sick. It's having permanent brain damage.

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    Re: Should drinking/smoking while pregnant be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morality Games View Post
    Prevailing culture norms in the United States make either a rare occurrence (only 1/13 women drink while pregnant), but it isn't illegal to do either. Considering the health factors involved, I was going to say 'yes', but it doesn't seem plausible to outlaw either behavior before a state's abortion deadline.
    Practicality is a really, really big issue here. Especially when you factor in the reality of the way alcohol causes damage.

    Some women may not realize they're pregnant through the entire first trimester. It's actually not terribly uncommon.

    However, the first trimester is when alcohol causes the most damage to a ZEF.

    So how the hell are you going to prove that they knowingly consumed alcohol while pregnant when even the most well-intentioned woman can mess it up?

    Also, this paves a very easy gateway to some serious ethical violations. And we have already seen examples of how bad this can get. For example, a woman being criminally charged for with "murder" of the fetus when she attempted suicide. This was a woman who was mentally ill to the extent of being willing to take her own life, and everyone was more concerned about the ZEF.

    There is no way to enforce this, either practically or ethically.

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    Re: Should drinking/smoking while pregnant be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeAndMirrors View Post
    There is no way to enforce this, either practically or ethically.
    It's not practical to remove kids from their homes/families and place them with strangers, but we do it despite all practical hassle when the alternative is worse for the child.

    The tough thing about some ethical dilemmas is that doing nothing is also ethically questionable. On this issue we're doing pretty much nothing.

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    Re: Should drinking/smoking while pregnant be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    It's not practical to remove kids from their homes/families and place them with strangers, but we do it despite all practical hassle when the alternative is worse for the child.

    The tough thing about some ethical dilemmas is that doing nothing is also ethically questionable. On this issue we're doing pretty much nothing.
    There's two big differences here.

    1. The parent of a born child knows that said child exists. A woman during the most dangerous time of pregnancy in terms of FAS risk may not even know she's pregnant. Are you going to tell me you're fine with imprisoning a woman for harming a fetus she didn't know was there? If it's legal for her to drink when she's not pregnant, and she didn't think she was pregnant, on what grounds are you going to argue that case?

    2. The inescapable fact that it is still her body. It is preposterous for me to support legal abortion, and then turn around and make harming a fetus a punishable offense. A fetus is not a person with rights. The woman is. And the amount of invasive and violating molestation that would be necessary to even try to enforce this would be amongst the worst human rights offenses in history. I want no part of it.

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    Re: Should drinking/smoking while pregnant be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    When it results in permanent damage to a child, that's your response? "Life has risks?"



    People get sick and recover from sickness. Having static encephalopathy isn't being sick. It's having permanent brain damage.
    I'm sorry, but you can't put a pregnant woman in a bubble. Millions of women have had a drink or a smoke while pregnant -- knowingly or not -- and while it's certainly not the healthiest activity, the real-life risks to moderate imbibing are very, very small. I certainly don't advise drinking or smoking while pregnant, but I find the push to criminalize it more distasteful than the act itself.

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    Re: Should drinking/smoking while pregnant be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morality Games View Post
    Prevailing culture norms in the United States make either a rare occurrence (only 1/13 women drink while pregnant), but it isn't illegal to do either. Considering the health factors involved, I was going to say 'yes', but it doesn't seem plausible to outlaw either behavior before a state's abortion deadline.
    Of course it shouldn't be illegal, how silly can you get?


    I should note that it is already immoral in many circles but that's beside the point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    Are people charged with felonies when they speed with their kids in the car?
    No, but using your logic they should be. They should also be penalized for living downwind of an air pollution source, not making their kids drink bottled water, and letting them play on the jungle gym. (I mean, seriously, we all know kids can break their arms and legs falling off those things, so it's obvious child endangerment.)

    What about sports? If the school can't take responsibility for injuries doesn't that tell us those sports are dangerous? Obvious child endangerment admitted by authority in those cases. They should be outlawed instead of sanctioned!!!
    Last edited by MoSurveyor; 03-06-13 at 04:48 AM.
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