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I am not entirely sure, if I am against or for the policy that would enact such laws to incarcerate pregnant women to protect infants from substance abuse. Women who are pregnant should know better than to take drugs or drink alcohol, because it is not just them who are taking the substance, but the baby as well. We have poor health education and not all women who are pregnant, have the proper education or financial needs for health. In the article, Punishing Women for Their Behavior During Pregnancy, it states that there are others who have different opinions about the policy. For example, some public health groups and medical organizations are against pregnant women with substance abuse problems being treated as criminals. They think that it poses a threat to women’s reproductive rights and the best interests of children.
Other people hope to gain legal recognition of fetal rights, they think that a fetus has separate interests and that they are equal to those of a pregnant woman. The article also states, that doctors and hospital officials have pursued court orders forcing pregnant women to undergo cesarean sections or other medical procedures for the benefit of the fetus. Some advocates have argued that children should be able to sue their mothers for prenatal injuries. They also argued that pregnant women who abuse drugs deliver it to fetuses through the umbilical cord. Not only-but also, a mother’s or newborn’s positive drug test has led to charges of assault with a deadly weapon, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and possession of a controlled substance. In some cases, whereas infants who tested positive and soon died after birth, have been charged with homicide or feticide. Some women even have been prosecuted for drinking alcohol or failing to follow a doctor’s order during a pregnancy.
Tennessee is currently, the only state that holds prenatal substance abuse as a criminal act. Women are offered a choice between going to jail or joining a rehab program. Some states consider prenatal substance abuse as part of their child welfare laws, which can terminate parental rights because of child abuse or neglect. These states are, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

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