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Thread: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

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    Re: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

    Quote Originally Posted by cincinnati chili
    That's a different thread, but it's a good question. I can handle paternalistic laws if they relates to behavior such as driving on a public street, extracting taxes for the public interest, etc. But I fail to see the policy purpose of criminalizing private behavior.

    I'm firmly pro-choice, but I understand the concerns of certain well-intentioned people in the pro-life camp much more than I understand our criminal drug laws.
    FTR, I don't really have an answer either. I'm pro-choice but I'm not ready to legalize heroin. But these kinds of inconsistencies show me that our laws aren't as rational as we would like to think. Rather, they are a reflection of our cultural prejudices. There's very little reason for booze to be legal and pot illegal except for the fact that everybody's grandfather drank.
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    Re: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

    Quote Originally Posted by Rojo
    FTR, I don't really have an answer either. I'm pro-choice but I'm not ready to legalize heroin. But these kinds of inconsistencies show me that our laws aren't as rational as we would like to think. Rather, they are a reflection of our cultural prejudices. There's very little reason for booze to be legal and pot illegal except for the fact that everybody's grandfather drank.
    Sure, there's bleed-through and messiness in our laws, no question. The best we can do is aim at a consistency of philosophy and provide that transgression must, in some ways, be built into the system.

    Obviously, you're right, booze being legal and pot being illegal is, in a certain manner, inconsistent. As a sidebar, I see no reason why most drugs aren't legal. But the issue of legality and illegality of the substance seems an almost tertiary issue, not a central one, to this case.

    I think the precedent that this case sets up is one where you could simply substitute "cocaine" with "poor diet," "lax neo-natal care," or "no exercising" as potential reasons for "harming the health of an unborn child." That's dangerous precedent. That a woman could potentially be jailed or fined for not following a prescribed diet while pregnant seems a real possibility based upon the precedent this case sets up.

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    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

    Quote Originally Posted by GAC
    And then we inject into the argument the reasoning of "protecting civil liberties", as to lump that unborn child into the general, generic, category of other civil liberties, and the right of the woman to make that "choice"... ending the life of an unborn child, simply because that child would be an "inconvenience", or as Jocelyn Elders once said.. " a planned, wanted, child". That's what it is all about. And it is a sad testimony, and very indicative off our current society.
    Here's some controversial food for thought for you, then...is it simply better that some babies don't come into this world?

    I worked in the Juvenile Court this summer as part of my internship, and I came into contact with tons of kids who were born with the entire deck stacked against them. Mothers who were too young and irresponsible to be raising children when they were born, too ill educated to understand the importance of getting their child into school, working 3 jobs and never home with their children, etc. These kids weren't wanted...they were afterthoughts in the lives of their parents and ended up being raised by the worst elements in our society. Then, at age 12 and 13, we express shock that they are able to be stealing cars, carrying guns, or causing fights. Most of these kids will end up in prison for long periods of their lives.

    And these kids are positively well-off when compared to the plight of a great many children in the developing and third world. Take the children in Africa who are born to parents with AIDS that basically live with a death sentence on them from the moment they open their eyes...or the children born into unspeakable poverty in India and China. Can we really say that condemning someone to a life of suffering, hunger and pain is a good?

    And therein lies my problem with the majority of anti-abortionists: they decry the practice of abortion as barbaric and claim it to be murder. However, I see very few ponying up the cash in order to fund programs that provide free prenatal care for poor mothers or volunteering to be foster parents for these children that are brought into the world "Unwanted," or demanding better funding in schools so that these children can have a future even if their parents don't want them.

    Ending abortion is a laudable goal...but I think a better goal is to create a society where every child should be born not because they have some existential right to exist but, rather, because we fully expect every child to have a chance at contributing to the betterment of mankind and it would be a tragedy to lose the potential contribution of any one child.

    You don't create that world with big posters that show a dead fetus on the side or by protesting in front of abortion clinics...you do that by campaigning for positive change in the way society treats ALL children, not just the ones in our neighborhood.
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    Re: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor
    Here's some controversial food for thought for you, then...is it simply better that some babies don't come into this world?

    I worked in the Juvenile Court this summer as part of my internship, and I came into contact with tons of kids who were born with the entire deck stacked against them. Mothers who were too young and irresponsible to be raising children when they were born, too ill educated to understand the importance of getting their child into school, working 3 jobs and never home with their children, etc. These kids weren't wanted...they were afterthoughts in the lives of their parents and ended up being raised by the worst elements in our society. Then, at age 12 and 13, we express shock that they are able to be stealing cars, carrying guns, or causing fights. Most of these kids will end up in prison for long periods of their lives.

    And these kids are positively well-off when compared to the plight of a great many children in the developing and third world. Take the children in Africa who are born to parents with AIDS that basically live with a death sentence on them from the moment they open their eyes...or the children born into unspeakable poverty in India and China. Can we really say that condemning someone to a life of suffering, hunger and pain is a good?

    And therein lies my problem with the majority of anti-abortionists: they decry the practice of abortion as barbaric and claim it to be murder. However, I see very few ponying up the cash in order to fund programs that provide free prenatal care for poor mothers or volunteering to be foster parents for these children that are brought into the world "Unwanted," or demanding better funding in schools so that these children can have a future even if their parents don't want them.

    Ending abortion is a laudable goal...but I think a better goal is to create a society where every child should be born not because they have some existential right to exist but, rather, because we fully expect every child to have a chance at contributing to the betterment of mankind and it would be a tragedy to lose the potential contribution of any one child.

    You don't create that world with big posters that show a dead fetus on the side or by protesting in front of abortion clinics...you do that by campaigning for positive change in the way society treats ALL children, not just the ones in our neighborhood.
    Excellent post. I would only add that a society that trusts women to make their own choices should also be a goal of our country and our world.

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    Re: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

    Caveat, that is a great post.

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    Re: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor
    Here's some controversial food for thought for you, then...is it simply better that some babies don't come into this world?

    I worked in the Juvenile Court this summer as part of my internship, and I came into contact with tons of kids who were born with the entire deck stacked against them. Mothers who were too young and irresponsible to be raising children when they were born, too ill educated to understand the importance of getting their child into school, working 3 jobs and never home with their children, etc. These kids weren't wanted...they were afterthoughts in the lives of their parents and ended up being raised by the worst elements in our society. Then, at age 12 and 13, we express shock that they are able to be stealing cars, carrying guns, or causing fights. Most of these kids will end up in prison for long periods of their lives.

    And these kids are positively well-off when compared to the plight of a great many children in the developing and third world. Take the children in Africa who are born to parents with AIDS that basically live with a death sentence on them from the moment they open their eyes...or the children born into unspeakable poverty in India and China. Can we really say that condemning someone to a life of suffering, hunger and pain is a good?

    And therein lies my problem with the majority of anti-abortionists: they decry the practice of abortion as barbaric and claim it to be murder. However, I see very few ponying up the cash in order to fund programs that provide free prenatal care for poor mothers or volunteering to be foster parents for these children that are brought into the world "Unwanted," or demanding better funding in schools so that these children can have a future even if their parents don't want them.

    Ending abortion is a laudable goal...but I think a better goal is to create a society where every child should be born not because they have some existential right to exist but, rather, because we fully expect every child to have a chance at contributing to the betterment of mankind and it would be a tragedy to lose the potential contribution of any one child.

    You don't create that world with big posters that show a dead fetus on the side or by protesting in front of abortion clinics...you do that by campaigning for positive change in the way society treats ALL children, not just the ones in our neighborhood.
    Except the Catholic Church IS pretty consistent on these issues. So while this argument can counter some abortion foes, it doesn't counter all of them.

    And I don't know if I could tell a child that lives in poverty that he would've been better off had he never been born.
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle

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    Re: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

    Quote Originally Posted by Rojo
    Except the Catholic Church IS pretty consistent on these issues. So while this argument can counter some abortion foes, it doesn't counter all of them.

    And I don't know if I could tell a child that lives in poverty that he would've been better off had he never been born.
    Where the Catholic Church is consistent leads to more suffering than those Protestants who oppose abortion yet favor the death penalty--at least most Protestant groups that I'm familiar with have few problems with contraception. The Catholic Church goes to Third World nations and preaches that contraception is evil, so people contract and spread AIDS, overpopulate, and die, ad infinitum. They decry sex education--heck, they don't even preach abstinence. Yeah, the Catholic Church is consistent alright.

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    Re: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

    Quote Originally Posted by Rojo

    And I don't know if I could tell a child that lives in poverty that he would've been better off had he never been born.
    I don't either.

    But what I DO know is that some people should never, ever, ever have kids.

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    Re: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor
    Here's some controversial food for thought for you, then...is it simply better that some babies don't come into this world?

    I worked in the Juvenile Court this summer as part of my internship, and I came into contact with tons of kids who were born with the entire deck stacked against them. Mothers who were too young and irresponsible to be raising children when they were born, too ill educated to understand the importance of getting their child into school, working 3 jobs and never home with their children, etc. These kids weren't wanted...they were afterthoughts in the lives of their parents and ended up being raised by the worst elements in our society. Then, at age 12 and 13, we express shock that they are able to be stealing cars, carrying guns, or causing fights. Most of these kids will end up in prison for long periods of their lives.
    So now we are gonna add to the justification for abortion not simply that it's not a viable life while in the womb, but the possibly viability of that life when out of the womb? Who are we, as imperfect humans ourselves, to sit and make that judgment? - "This child's probability of success in life are better because it's family is better off economically. While we need to abort this child because it's family is poor and it's chances are pretty slim."

    First off - you have no way of predicting that in an unborn child - the course their life will take. How about that child who is born to those poor circumstances and with the odds apparently against them, who have gone on to have success or make something out of their lives? There are many, many examples that could be sighted. The human spirit is a complex entity, and hard to predict/chart.

    Secondly - the reasons you sight above is still no justification in killing them - "you are most likely not gonna be a 'contributing member' to society, and in foresight we want to keep the welfare roles and prison population down. Don't want to unleash another possible criminal onto society if we can prevent it."

    Last - what about children born with severe disabilities that will prevent them from being contributing members of society, and will always need the parents care or basically, when they are adults, become "wards" of the taxpayers? Should we kill them once this is discovered?

    Take the children in Africa who are born to parents with AIDS that basically live with a death sentence on them from the moment they open their eyes...or the children born into unspeakable poverty in India and China. Can we really say that condemning someone to a life of suffering, hunger and pain is a good?
    How does that justify abortion in America? Those aren't the reasons why millions of abortions have been performed in this country.

    However, I see very few ponying up the cash in order to fund programs that provide free prenatal care for poor mothers or volunteering to be foster parents for these children that are brought into the world "Unwanted," or demanding better funding in schools so that these children can have a future even if their parents don't want them.
    You don't create that world with big posters that show a dead fetus on the side or by protesting in front of abortion clinics...you do that by campaigning for positive change in the way society treats ALL children, not just the ones in our neighborhood.
    Why is activism so accepted in other segments of our society (animal rights, environment, etc); but when it comes to the life of an unborn child it's somehow frowned upon or seen as extremism? To correct/address the problem one must raise awareness and educate. Especially when we are being told that what is developing within them is nothing more then a group of lifeless cells. I will admit that I don't always agree with some of the tactics taken by certain segments of the anti-abortion groups; but I don't let that dissuade me from the nobler task at hand.

    How do you know that those who oppose abortion are not willing to pony up the cash or are unwilling to support programs such as you mention? What statistics are you providing to support this contention? And it's not just a burden that should be shoved onto anti-abortionists; but it's the responsibility of everyone in our society. And I agree with you that more should be done by everyone within our society to provide that environment for raising children/family. I dont know of anyone who opposes abortion who would oppose tax dollars being used to support programs to achieve that goal. The problem is that alot of those initiatives/programs are strongly opposed, and have been defeated, by those organizations/lobbying groups who support abortion. If abortion were somehow outlawed in this country, are you saying that there is no possibilty that the taxpayers wouldn't want the monies now spent to fund abortions being utilized to help such families? I think that it would happen. I feel we would see an expansion of such programs. And if it didn't happen, THEN people would have a right to point fingers.

    But I can sight many, many organizations that are sponsored/supported by those who oppose abortion and offer alternative methods/programs to help families in need at the local and national levels. But sadly enough, many are also sponsored/supported by local churches (not all, but alot) - and we have this sticky issue in this country of separation of church and state that simply scares the heck out of people if they discovered tax dollars were being utilized to support those organizations - even though it's being used to help families - simply because it's a church or church sponsored organization doing it. Who cares who is doing it as long as it's achieving the objective we all want? Look at the stiff resistance that Bush's faith-based initiatives gets.

    Over the last three years our church has been the beneficairy of the Summer Food Program here locally. We provide the facilities and all the volunteer help to feed poor children and their families. It's a great program! The taxpayers provide the financial support, but we do all the work. And our goal is not to proselitize. It is against the government regulations, which we gladly abide by. The goal is to help these families/kids.

    It's programs like these that we need more of. There are plenty of people willing to do so, and help/contribute as much as they can. But even their resources are limited. But if these programs could be expanded, and taxpayers could see how these programs are setup and ran, then I think more people would be willing to see their tax dollars used to sponsor such wothwhile methods. Church and other charitable programs get more for their dollar then any government program IMO. Why? Because they have to. But let the government be the "watchdog" over such programs.
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    Re: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

    "I dont know of anyone who opposes abortion who would oppose tax dollars being used to support programs to achieve that goal."

    I do. I know about 58 million of 'em.

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    Re: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

    "But I can sight many, many organizations that are sponsored/supported by those who oppose abortion and offer alternative methods/programs to help families in need at the local and national levels. But sadly enough, many are also sponsored/supported by local churches (not all, but alot) - and we have this sticky issue in this country of separation of church and state that simply scares the heck out of people if they discovered tax dollars were being utilized to support those organizations - even though it's being used to help families - simply because it's a church or church sponsored organization doing it. Who cares who is doing it as long as it's achieving the objective we all want? Look at the stiff resistance that Bush's faith-based initiatives gets."

    A lot of organizations do "nice" things; but scratch the tin foil on some of them, and scary stuff lurks beneath. The Salvation Army helps feed a lot of people. Great. They also officially proclaim that gays and lesbians are sinners and devils--and have been turned away from the Army's assistance.

    Charities are not self-evident goods. That's how so many shield others from discovering their corruption. Public, governmental programs are transparent and accountable to the taxpayer.

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    Re: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

    Quote Originally Posted by Rojo
    Except the Catholic Church IS pretty consistent on these issues. So while this argument can counter some abortion foes, it doesn't counter all of them.
    Truthfully, the argument begins and ends with: can a woman decide her bodily fate? That's the issue. Where life begins, who's more important, who's to blame, who's not paying child support, who's snorting what--secondary issues.

    This ruling answers that question. No, women cannot decide their bodily fates.

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    Re: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

    Quote Originally Posted by GAC
    I dont know of anyone who opposes abortion who would oppose tax dollars being used to support programs to achieve that goal. The problem is that alot of those initiatives/programs are strongly opposed, and have been defeated, by those organizations/lobbying groups who support abortion. If abortion were somehow outlawed in this country, are you saying that there is no possibilty that the taxpayers wouldn't want the monies now spent to fund abortions being utilized to help such families? I think that it would happen. I feel we would see an expansion of such programs. And if it didn't happen, THEN people would have a right to point fingers.
    What initiatives/programs have been defeated by groups that support abortion?

    And what "monies now spent to fund abortions" are you talking about?

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    Re: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

    The only thing I want to know is why "slippery slope" argumentation is being advanced/supported by the same people who cried foul for such argumentation in discussions/debates on the homosexual marriage issue?
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    Re: ACLU Defending Woman Accused Of Using Drugs While Pregnant

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor
    The only thing I want to know is why "slippery slope" arguementation is being advanced by the same people who cried foul for such argumentation in discussions/debates on the homosexual marriage issue.
    Nice try. This case's precedent points DIRECTLY to other possible means of limiting the freedoms of women; it's a LEGAL precedent--the consequences could set all kinds of dominoes into motion.

    Gay marriage does not open the door in ANY fundamental way to incestuous, bestial, human/inanimate marriages, as those relationships are different in KIND not DEGREE. In this case, you can easily transpose "cocaine" with "alcohol," and the finding would be the same. It's ruling about potential detrimental effects--the agent of harm is immaterial.


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