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Thread: Should drinking/smoking while pregnant be illegal?

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    Should drinking/smoking while pregnant be illegal?

    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.
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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.
    Even though abortion is legal, this should be considered severe child abuse, or at least punishable to a similar degree. I see it as one of the worst forms thereof, in fact, as the damage can be permanent.

    People sometimes lose certain rights as a result of their criminal acts. I find this to be an act that is criminal enough in nature to call for a suspension or termination of reproductive rights.

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    Re: Should drinking/smoking while pregnant be illegal?

    I don’t see how it could be enforced without serious risk of infringing on one’s liberties. How would you enforce it? How do you know if the person is pregnant or not (it isn’t always obvious). What is the punishment for having a glass of wine while pregnant? People who aren’t swayed by changing their behavior for the sake of the health of their child aren’t going to change it to avoid a fine.

    It is like smoking in your car or home when there are children inside it with you. I think that is despicable and part of me thinks it should be outlawed. But enforcing it would be way too problematic.

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    Re: Should drinking/smoking while pregnant be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcogito View Post
    I don’t see how it could be enforced without serious risk of infringing on one’s liberties.
    That's what we do when people commit crimes against their children. We infringe on their liberties via due process.

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    Re: Should drinking/smoking while pregnant be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    That's what we do when people commit crimes against their children. We infringe on their liberties via due process.
    And it is hard enough to do correctly when the victim is an actual child standing there who can talk and show bruises. I can’t see how this would work effectively on a woman one thinks is pregnant. I am open to suggestions on how it would work, though.

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    Re: Should drinking/smoking while pregnant be illegal?

    Life has risks. Quit trying to throw everyone with a vice in prison.

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    Re: Should drinking/smoking while pregnant be illegal?

    I say no. Women have been smoking, drinking and having babies for a very long time sucessfully.

    I suspect quite a few babies are conceived by drinking before and smoking after conception.

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    Re: Should drinking/smoking while pregnant be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    Even though abortion is legal, this should be considered severe child abuse, or at least punishable to a similar degree. I see it as one of the worst forms thereof, in fact, as the damage can be permanent.

    People sometimes lose certain rights as a result of their criminal acts. I find this to be an act that is criminal enough in nature to call for a suspension or termination of reproductive rights.
    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?

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    Re: Should drinking/smoking while pregnant be illegal?

    My Japanese better half thinks our American consensus against (moderate) drinking or eating sashimi while pregnant is hilarious.

    I tried to argue that these are not "mere superstitions", and looked up the literature, and...well....turns out, there's not a whole lot of evidence.

    Even in the studies that came anywhere close to statistical credibility, drinking alcohol was not dissociated from other "life-style" factors - like social status, conditions at work, amount of stress, or hours of sleep per day.

    A chronic alcoholic mother is more likely to have a sick child (duh). But does it mean that a glass of pinot noir that is supposed to be good for you (resveratrol, and all that) is bad for the baby? Generations of Italians, Frenchmen and Spaniards can testify that it is hardly the case.

    (Well, the baby will be apparently more likely to vote for dysfunctional socialist governments when he grows up; but our own sobering experience suggests that this kind of brain damage is not directly related to ethanol consumption).

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    Re: Should drinking/smoking while pregnant be illegal?

    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.

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