Essay - Pregnant Drug Abusers the Effects of Drug Abuse During Pregnancy...

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Pregnant drug abusers

The effects of ***** abuse during pregnancy have long been documented. The use and ***** of these substances have been known to cause diseases for the unborn children, ranging from cocaine addiction to severe birth defects. Physicians ***** therefore strongly advised pregnant women to refrain from using drugs, alcohol and even cigarettes.

***** what should be done about pregnant women who ignore such warnings?

This paper examines various fetal rights instruments, proposed laws that are supposed to protect unborn children by criminalizing mothers ***** abuse ***** and drugs. The first part looks at examples of such legislation and the arguments of ***** proponents. In the second part, this paper argues that while such efforts have noble intents, ***** fetal rights ***** are misguided and counterproductive.

Based on these weaknesses, this ***** concludes ***** the state must not prosecute pregnant women who engage in substance ***** as crim*****als.

Prenatal protection

Regina McKnight is currently serving 12 ***** 20 years in a South Carol*****a prison for the murder of her daughter.

This homicide, however, happened even before her daughter was born. When ********** infant was stillborn, an autopsy found drugs present in ***** ba*****'s system. After a subsequent ***** test where she tested positive, McKnight then *****dmitted to ***** crack while she ***** *****. Based on this behavior, ***** was ***** guilty of murder in the second degree, as her negligent behavior w***** found to have directly caused the death ***** her ***** (Gearan *****03).

McKnight's case has generated much criticism, but supporters of her prosecution believe that ***** trial ********** help protect unborn children from suffer*****g addiction's after-effects. Many observers of this case, however, ***** that ***** example would send a stiff warning ***** other subtance abusers, to avoid using narcotics while they are pregnant or ***** avoid getting pregnant altogether (Gearan 2003).

Cruz's case is far from new. In the late 1980s, the heyday of concern for ***** rights of fetuses, the Medical University of ***** Carolina began to screen pregnant patients with for cocaine use. Women ***** tested positive were then turned over to the police. ***** these cases, the threat of prosecution convinced many pregnant women ***** seek treatment for their substance addiction (Jonsson 2001).

*****se examples embody many ***** the arguments that ***** who take drugs during ***** ***** should be treated as criminals. First, *****re are legal precedents for doing so. South *****, ***** example, has a h*****tory of recognizing ***** viable fetus as a living person (Jonsson 2001). Therefore, ingesting *****, *****icul*****rly during the third trimester of pregnancy, is tantamount to reckless endangerment of a child.

The more important reason, *****, is ***** recognized harm that drug abuse can cause to an unborn child. Proponents ***** these laws ***** believe that criminalizing drug ***** during ***** will help to scare mothers ***** engaging in r*****ky practices. Prenatal test*****g is a way of trying to address the issue for ***** mo*****rs, hoping that they will seek *****.

In cases ***** the mothers refuse


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