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Thread: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

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  1. #1
    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

    http://www.thewbalchannel.com/news/4868032/detail.html

    EASTON, Md. -- Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union are appealing the conviction of an Easton woman who was accused of endangering a child by using cocaine while she was pregnant.

    Kelly Cruz, 30, was found guilty of a reckless endangerment charge Aug. 5 after waiving her right to a jury trial. She was ordered to serve 2 1/2 years in prison.

    Cruz was charged in February, about a month after giving birth to a premature baby boy who tested positive for cocaine.

    Defense attorneys had sought an acquittal, arguing there was never a risk of harm to another person -- because a fetus doesn't meet the definition of a person under state law. But a Talbot County judge ruled that the person who suffered the risk was the baby after it was born.

    ACLU attorneys said prosecuting women for their actions during pregnancy is unprecedented elsewhere in Maryland and claim it is an attempt to create a new crime by charging pregnant women for harming their fetuses.
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    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

    This is all part of the very, very dangerous slippery slope (legally and morally) that exists whenever we start attaching "rights" to an unborn fetus.

    That is all I will say on the matter.
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    Re: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor
    This is all part of the very, very dangerous slippery slope (legally and morally) that exists whenever we start attaching "rights" to an unborn fetus.

    That is all I will say on the matter.
    Except it wasn't going to be a fetus forever, and the potential health problems that it may suffer from this woman's reckless behavior will extend far beyond the relatively short time it spent as a fetus.

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    Re: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

    Quote Originally Posted by WilyMoROCKS
    Except it wasn't going to be a fetus forever, and the potential health problems that it may suffer from this woman's reckless behavior will extend far beyond the relatively short time it spent as a fetus.
    But, where do you draw the line between "reckless" behavior and "acceptable" behavior for the woman.

    Further, there is no way of knowing (often) the results of prenatal behavior on any child that is born. Thus, there would be an issue of selective prosecution to consider: do we punish strictly any woman who is found to be doing anything that might be deterimental to her baby's health in the future, or only women who partake in such behavior AND find later that it has a detrimental impact on individuals? Are we going to ticket all speeders or just the ones who cause an accident as a result of their speeding?

    What about civil claims? Will a child be able to sue it's mother for poor decisions made while it was still a fetus?

    Will we end up with women, paralyzed by the fear of lawsuits and prosecution at a later date, simply sitting at home on the couch while pregnant because they are fearful of what might occur to their fetus if they leave the house?

    Like I said...slippery slopes are problematic...
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    Re: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor
    But, where do you draw the line between "reckless" behavior and "acceptable" behavior for the woman.

    Further, there is no way of knowing (often) the results of prenatal behavior on any child that is born. Thus, there would be an issue of selective prosecution to consider: do we punish strictly any woman who is found to be doing anything that might be deterimental to her baby's health in the future, or only women who partake in such behavior AND find later that it has a detrimental impact on individuals? Are we going to ticket all speeders or just the ones who cause an accident as a result of their speeding?

    What about civil claims? Will a child be able to sue it's mother for poor decisions made while it was still a fetus?

    Will we end up with women, paralyzed by the fear of lawsuits and prosecution at a later date, simply sitting at home on the couch while pregnant because they are fearful of what might occur to their fetus if they leave the house?

    Like I said...slippery slopes are problematic...
    First off CE, I wanted to mention that I've found your opinions very informative and well considered on numerous subjects. I've really enjoyed reading your recent posts (and learning from them as well). I'm not sure this particular issue is as slippery a slope as you perceive though. There's a tremendous difference between abusing an illegal substance, and not taking one's prenatal vitamins, for instance. One thing is clearly against the laws of the United States, physically detrimental, and has scientifically been documented to seriously harm developing fetuses, whereas the other would likely have pretty minimal impact in my opinion.

    I think there should be some consideration given to the amount of potential harm the action could cause. Again, there is a tremendous difference between throwing down Jack Daniels vs not exercising enough. I think, in lawsuits like this, there should be a reasonableness type assumption - as in "would a reasonable person consider this relatively safe behavior during a pregnancy?" As for childen suing their parents, I would think by the time they could intellectually realize their parent was doing something detrimental during pregnancy, the statute of limitations for a civil suit would have expired.

    I do completely agree with you that it's nearly impossible to effectively quantify how something affects a fetus's development, unless it's something knowingly harmful (drinking excessively, drug abuse, etc). For instance, how does vegetarianism affect a developing fetus? Is that potentially harmful? A glass of wine once per month? How do supplements affect a developing fetus? All of these are very intriguing questions.

    I do agree, however, with the basis of this lawsuit in the sense that the woman knowingly engaged in what I consider reckless and derelict behavior during a pregnancy. It has been shown in numerous studies how dangerous drug use is during pregnancy, and it's common knowledge that pregnant women should abstain from drinking and drug usage. While I agree that you can't litigate based on "slippery slope" issues such as caffeine usage, or diet, or other factors that might negatively affect a pregnancy, I think this was pretty flagrant behavior on her part.

    JMO. Please keep posting on these topics - I'm really enjoying reading your perspective.

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    Member The Baumer's Avatar
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    Re: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

    It's a sad day when something as harmless as snorting cocaine is deemed "illegal" and "wreckless". I blame the right wing conservatives.

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    Re: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

    Quote Originally Posted by The Baumer
    It's a sad day when something as harmless as snorting cocaine is deemed "illegal" and "wreckless". I blame the right wing conservatives.
    Obfuscate much?

    She wasn't charged with drug use/possession, she was charged with reckless endangerment.

    I think you misunderstood the article, entirely.
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    Re: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

    That Poor Kid.

    ACLU=All Criminals Love Us
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    Re: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

    Quote Originally Posted by zombie-a-go-go
    Obfuscate much?

    She wasn't charged with drug use/possession, she was charged with reckless endangerment.

    I think you misunderstood the article, entirely.
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    Re: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

    I can understand the side of those who think this woman should be punished for her behavior, but where does one draw the line? What about a woman who consumes too much caffeine during her pregnancy? A woman who smokes? A woman who consumes a poor diet? A woman who consumes alcohol? Any one of those activities could potentially endanger the life of the unborn fetus, but should we lock up all mothers who do this?

    I suppose this case is a bit easier, since the object in question is an illegal drug, but if the precedent being set is that the woman simply endangered the life of her unborn child by behaving this way, how will the courts draw a line on this issue?

    Slippery slope, indeed.
    We'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

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    Re: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

    Quote Originally Posted by registerthis
    I can understand the side of those who think this woman should be punished for her behavior, but where does one draw the line? What about a woman who consumes too much caffeine during her pregnancy? A woman who smokes? A woman who consumes a poor diet? A woman who consumes alcohol? Any one of those activities could potentially endanger the life of the unborn fetus, but should we lock up all mothers who do this?

    I suppose this case is a bit easier, since the object in question is an illegal drug, but if the precedent being set is that the woman simply endangered the life of her unborn child by behaving this way, how will the courts draw a line on this issue?

    Slippery slope, indeed.
    Don't you know a fetus is more important than a living, breathing, thinking woman? Come on, man, get with it.

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    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    Re: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

    Quote Originally Posted by registerthis
    I can understand the side of those who think this woman should be punished for her behavior, but where does one draw the line? What about a woman who consumes too much caffeine during her pregnancy? A woman who smokes? A woman who consumes a poor diet? A woman who consumes alcohol? Any one of those activities could potentially endanger the life of the unborn fetus, but should we lock up all mothers who do this?

    I suppose this case is a bit easier, since the object in question is an illegal drug, but if the precedent being set is that the woman simply endangered the life of her unborn child by behaving this way, how will the courts draw a line on this issue?

    Slippery slope, indeed.
    Working with a 35 year old man who has fetal alcohol syndrome, I would definately be a proponent of arresting a woman who drinks while pregnant. This individual I work with stands 5'4" and weighs 60 pounds. He looks elvish, and can't carry on a coherent conversation. I am constantly having to monitor his behavior in public restrooms, because he cannot comprehend what is appropriate behavior, and in public he is seemingly wanting to hug and touch every pretty girl he sees. He has no ability to manage money, and cannot be counted on to work a job. He rambles and shouts out curse words at inappropriate times and places. His life consists of watching TV, listening to the radio and playing with toys that were made for children ages 3-5. He gets angry and frustrated for no apparent reason, and oftentimes his thoughts only turn to radio, television, or inappropriate sexual topics. He cannot drive himself anywhere, and must count on others to take care of his most basic needs while being supported by your money through social security, medicare and medicaid. Oh yeah, his biological mother left him at the hospital and he was finally adopted at the age of ten into a caring family, but his adoptive parents have now both passed away.
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    Member The Baumer's Avatar
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    Re: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

    Quote Originally Posted by zombie-a-go-go
    Obfuscate much?

    She wasn't charged with drug use/possession, she was charged with reckless endangerment.

    I think you misunderstood the article, entirely.
    Not to obturate the intimation you are injuncting, but I did register the article. I simply have a different elucidation apropos the idea of exculpating this woman, which I think is convivial to the extent of merriment.

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    Re: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

    Quote Originally Posted by The Baumer
    Not to obturate the intimation you are injuncting, but I did register the article. I simply have a different elucidation apropos the idea of exculpating this woman, which I think is convivial to the extent of merriment.
    Now let's try the same sentence with a Germanic, as opposed to a Latinate, lexicon:

    I don't want to call your words crap, but I got the point. I think the woman is a b***** and drinks and makes lusty too much.

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    CELEBRATION TIME RBA's Avatar
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    Re: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

    I waiting to hear what Rush has to say on this matter. I'm sure he can remain objective despite the ACLU trying to defend his criminal drug activities.


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