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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Criminal Act?

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posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 03:41 PM
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How is this not a crime?



When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, so does her unborn baby. There is no known safe amount of alcohol to drink while pregnant and there also does not appear to be a safe time to drink during pregnancy either. Therefore, it is recommended that women abstain from drinking alcohol at any time during pregnancy.

www.cdc.gov...


There is nothing more in this world that grinds my grits more than an innocent victim. Who is more of an innocent victim than a living, breathing fetus who has to consume their mothers alcohol on a regular basis?

In the first four weeks of pregnancy, the embryo's features are created. Facial features including the eyes are all formed in the very early stages. The central nervous system, brain & spinal cord, are right behind them. So a pregnant mother who goes on a bender early in the pregnancy could be scarring their child for life.

What is the difference in a pregnant mother consuming alcohol and pumping some Thalidomide into their system. For those not familiar with Thalidomide, just click the link.

www.thalidomide.ca...

This was a drug to prevent morning sickness in pregnant women. When they consumed it in the first trimester it resulted in terrible birth defects in their children. These poor women did not know what they were doing to ther child. But the pregnant women who consume Alcohol on a regular basis are aware of the harm they could be causing. Yet this crime goes unpunished on a regular basis.

I understand the doors that I am opening here, the rights of the embryo and fetus or when does life begin? Well even if your not a believer that the fetus has rights, are you open to this blatant torture?

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) can stem from physical abnormalities to a complete shut down of the brain.

What do our members think? Should a mother who willingly abuses alcohol during her pregnancy be held accountable if her child is born with defects that are directly related to her alcohol consumption?

I firmly believe pregnant women should be held accountable for their actions, and if they lead to abnormalities in their children then they should have to answer to it.

I do not link this with Abortion, others may think it is on the same level but I do not. If a woman is in the right state of mind, and believes she and the baby are truly better off then that is their decision to make. But when they torture it in so many ways, it has to be a criminal act.

Here are a few images of children who suffer from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. You can notice the distinct differences in their eyes, noses, lips & ears. The last image is alittle chart of what is directly effected by the alcohol.











I open this to everyone, what are your thoughts?




posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 03:59 PM
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posted by chissler

How is this not a crime?



“ . . it is recommended that women abstain from drinking alcohol at any time during pregnancy. [Edited by Don W]


There is nothing more in this world that grinds my grits more than an innocent victim. Who is more an innocent victim than a living, breathing fetus who has to consume their mother’s alcohol on a regular basis?
What is the difference in consuming alcohol and pumping some Thalidomide into their system? When they consumed Thalidomide in the first trimester it resulted in terrible birth defects. Yet this crime goes unpunished on a regular basis. I understand the doors that I am opening here, the rights of the embryo and fetus or when does life begin
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) can stem from physical abnormalities to a complete shut down of the brain. Should a mother who willingly abuses alcohol during her pregnancy be held accountable if her child is born with defects that are directly related to her alcohol consumption? I open this to everyone, what are your thoughts? [Edited by Don W]



1) Not every woman knows immediately when she is pregnant.
2) Women are entitled to the right of privacy spelled out in Roe v. Wade
3) How intrusive to you want the government to be in our lives?
4) A lot of women - especially young women - are not as aware as we are about the adverse effects of alcohol
5) Environmentalists warn us that many chemicals in our air and water as well as our food may be harmful to us so if we’re going to hold pregnant women accountable, ought we not limit carbon monoxide they have to breathe and dozens of chemicals of unknown genetic effect found in so much drinking water furnished by municipal sources? And so on and on.

You are right, this is a problem. Apparently it is not a large problem. So, rather than single out pregnant women, why not direct our energy to making our world around us safer for everyone?



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 04:18 PM
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Originally posted by donwhite
1) Not every woman knows immediately when she is pregnant.


That is no excuse or explanation. We are talking about their child, alittle responsibility should be installed.


Originally posted by donwhite
2) Women are entitled to the right of privacy spelled out in Roe v. Wade


Not familiar with the case, but women are entitled to their privacy. However, when they openly abuse their child like this they should have their privacy revoked.


Originally posted by donwhite
3) How intrusive to you want the government to be in our lives?


Good point. Every pregnant women could not be watched. But if a woman gives birth to a child with FAS, they should be watched in the future. If someone you know is pregnant and abusing their body with drugs, then family and friends should be obligated to report it to the police. This is not government intrusion, this is the friends and family stepping up to protect the fetus.


Originally posted by donwhite
4) A lot of women - especially young women - are not as aware as we are about the adverse effects of alcohol


The effects of alcohol are very clear. And Ignorance is not the answer to anything.


Originally posted by donwhite
5) Environmentalists warn us that many chemicals in our air and water as well as our food may be harmful to us so if we’re going to hold pregnant women accountable, ought we not limit carbon monoxide they have to breathe and dozens of chemicals of unknown genetic effect found in so much drinking water furnished by municipal sources? And so on and on.


Not at all. Consumption of alcohol is a deliberate disregard for the well being of their child.


Originally posted by donwhite
You are right, this is a problem. Apparently it is not a large problem. So, rather than single out pregnant women, why not direct our energy to making our world around us safer for everyone?


Here is where I Believe you are wrong. It is a big problem.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is the leading contributor to birth defects in our children. Sadly, the mothers are to blame and something should be done to protect the children.



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 04:51 PM
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Women of childbearing age should be very cautious of what they put in their bodies.
Any responsible woman would stop cold whatever alcohol intake or drug intake and take responsibility if she is going to have a child. Putting a child at risk of being born with high levels of alcohol or drugs is CRIMINAL.

Even after birth, if the child is breastfeeding, nothing should be taken by the mother to endanger that child.

If you're going to be a mother, be a good one or give it up to someone who can bring it up properly. In this case, child protective services should step in and remove the child..no ifs ands or buts.



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 05:13 PM
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If only an alcoholic quitting drinking were as simple as that.
I've dealt with addiction, and while not to alcohol I know wht it feels like to rely and depend on something with your whole soul. I've experienced having to make decision about my health with regard to the addiction and didn't always make the right ones simply because addiction is not easy to deal with even if you KNOW what's right and wrong.

Alcohol is something completely different when it comes to addiction. Alcohol withdrawals can actually cause death so it is at times not quite as simple as finding out you're pregnant therefore no more booze. For severe alcoholics it may be necessary to do a controlled detox which is not availible to everyone - to assume such is presuming adequate health care and economic resources to cover such treatment as well as community and social supports to help aid the recovering alcoholic from any relapse for the during of pregnancy and after, of course.

What would be interesting would be to see any numbers regarding FAS children born of alcoholic mothers versus those born to mothers who drank unknowingly during the first weeks of pregnancy or in small amounts, knowingly, during pregnancy.

Sometime's it's too late. Sometime the damage is done before someone realizes it can cause damage in the first place. Some women just don't know. Ignorance is of course no excuse and you mentioned responsibility and accountability? These mothers are responsible and accountable every day of their lives after having these children. They have to live with it. Education is of course key to prevention but I'm not sure whether I see FAS as criminal. I think things are a bit more complicated than a blanket judgement would allow.



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 05:24 PM
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Good point. then, if you're an alcoholic woman....you should not have kids.

I am totally against drinking...I think they should abolish booze alltogether. I'd be very happy if there was prohibition- and death to anyone making their home brew.

I cant stand being around a drinker.
I've dealt with someone close to me for too long with this little habit and this is a problem to ME.


Man or woman- It sucks to drink and shows weakness and lack of regard for others.




posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 05:43 PM
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Man, you are asking a lot of tough questions lately. Is it criminal? No I don't think so. Alcoholism is a disease. Would you prosecute a woman for contracting Chicken Pox while pregnant? I know, alcoholism CAN, in some instances, be controlled by the drinker. I'd bet it's not a 50-50 bet though.

As pointed out earlier chissler, women don't know the day they are pregnant. It takes time. This precludes any action that she can take. Are you saying that women of child bearing years be prohibited from drinking? Not realistic or viable. I, for one, met my wife in pub. Details are not forthcoming.



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 05:46 PM
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Originally posted by parrhesia
What would be interesting would be to see any numbers regarding FAS children born of alcoholic mothers versus those born to mothers who drank unknowingly during the first weeks of pregnancy or in small amounts, knowingly, during pregnancy.


I believe that is the strangle hold on this issue.

We can not gather information surrounding the mothers and how much they have consumed during the pregnancy. We can only go by what they admit to and the people close to them can describe. Nobody can be certain how much alcohol is necessary to inflict harm on the embryo in the early stages.

The embryo is so frail in the early stages that a very small amount could be too much.

A documentary I watched on this some time ago was interviewing a young child who suffered from FAS. Her social skills were fine, but she could not comprehend simple mathematics. She was asked if she would mind trying a question, and she was willing.

They asked her what 4+4 was. She tossed back and forth for a few minutes trying to work the problem out in her head. She said, "If I had 4, and then you gave me 4 more..... ahh.. then I would have 6". What alarmed me was how hard she worked towards her final answer. She did not quickly reply, she hesistated and thought it over a few times.

Now look at the big picture, this young girl has to struggle through this because Mommy had a few drinks one night.




posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 05:56 PM
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Originally posted by intrepid
Man, you are asking a lot of tough questions lately.


Ahh makes for good discussions.



Originally posted by intrepid
Is it criminal? No I don't think so. Alcoholism is a disease. Would you prosecute a woman for contracting Chicken Pox while pregnant? I know, alcoholism CAN, in some instances, be controlled by the drinker. I'd bet it's not a 50-50 bet though.


I agree somewhat to this. But when an addict is abusing the drug, they are abusing themselves. If someone is going to get pregnant, they are responsible for the life inside her. Consuming alcohol while pregnant is no different then physically abusing the child after birth. Alcoholism is something I have dealt with on a very personal level. I have had more of a fair share in my family, so trust me I know exactly how it works.

But I still strongly feel that a person should be held responsible for this when they are pregnant. I have shown compassion in the past, you will see this in several other threads I have created. I show compassion to drug addicts who are battling their disease. However, if the individual is pregnant, a whole new set of rules should be enforced.


Originally posted by intrepid
As pointed out earlier chissler, women don't know the day they are pregnant. It takes time. This precludes any action that she can take. Are you saying that women of child bearing years be prohibited from drinking? Not realistic or viable. I, for one, met my wife in pub. Details are not forthcoming.



Canadian 'til the end!


I can understand showing some leaniance to the pregnant mothers who are not aware they are pregnant. But those who are aware they are pregnant and still consume alcohol, this should be considered a crime.

Punished by Jail Time? Not necessarily, but someone should step in to ensure the safety of the child. Even if it is a daily phone call and random tests, not too much to ask for the safety of the children.



[edit on 21-9-2006 by chissler]



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 06:24 PM
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posted by parrhesia

If only an alcoholic quitting drinking were as simple as that. I've dealt with addiction . . addiction is not easy to deal with even if you KNOW what's right and wrong. Alcohol withdrawals can actually cause death so it is at times not quite as simple as finding out you're pregnant therefore no more booze. What would be interesting would be to see any numbers regarding FAS children born of alcoholic mothers versus those born to mothers who drank unknowingly during the first weeks of pregnancy or in small amounts, knowingly, during pregnancy. Sometimes the damage is done before one realizes it. Some women just don't know. Education is key to prevention but I'm not sure whether I see FAS as criminal. I think things are a bit more complicated than a blanket judgement would allow. [Edited by Don W[



Everyone agrees an FAS child is tragic. But we also have those children born of mothers addicted to crack, heroin, meth and so on. I too, wonder how much alcohol and when, is required before you have an FAS infant. We know - intuitively - that many women have some alcohol during pregnancy and the fetus is not adversely effected. That point alone, Mr Chissler makes a blanket rule unwise. Luck determines a crime. Not good.

There are warning labels on beer. I don’t go for hard liquor but I’d guess there are warnings on those labels, too. How much good that does may be found by the long time experience with warnings on cigarettes. My mother told me that when she found she was pregnant - she did not explain that - she took nothing, not coffee, not tea, not aspirin . Fortunately, she had no real problems so taking anything really was not an issue. I think I’m normal but not every poster here may agree.

This is one more of those social problems that defy easy solution, maybe any solution. Maybe we’d be better off spending more money on how to treat the FSA than how to prevent one. Hmm?



[edit on 9/21/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 08:14 PM
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All signs may point to yes.

Still, it is tough to accept that this can continue without some sort of justice. I try to avoid blanket rules, but on something so tragic it appears it maybe necessary.

donwhite, I appreciate your input.

Would you mind answering this:

A woman gives birth to a child with FAS. Two years later she gives birth to another child with FAS. At what point does this become criminal? She ignores the horrific consequences and continues to become pregnant and abuse alcohol.

Mistakes happen, I understand that but I guess when I created this thread I was thinking extremes.

Would you support legislation that held women accountable for repeated births of defected children?



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 08:33 PM
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Originally posted by chissler
Would you support legislation that held women accountable for repeated births of defected children?


This may not be directed to me, but absolutely not.
Certainly not the way you've phrased it.

Defective (or defected) children? That's not even isolated to FAS but a broad category. As I'm sure you're aware, birth defects can come as a result of a variety of causes, some environmental, some congenital, some accidental (FAS can concievably fall in this category), etc.

I don't think you can even begin to talk legislation or punitive measures or whatever until you can accurately account for the numbers of FAS children borne of women who are alcoholics and those borne of women who simply drank whilst not knowing they were pregnant. And even then I wouldn't agree.

I just see so much more to it. I've worked in and with a lot of communities struggling with alcoholism and in many cases there are plenty of things that make beating alcoholism very difficult if not impossible for a variety of reasons. Even in Canada lack of availbility of treatment options is a huge one.



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 08:42 PM
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Is not more criminal that children that are born addicted to crack coc aine and many of these children ends up in the foster care system anyway, because they are unwanted children from mothers that don't even have and idea that they are carrying a child to begin with because of their addiction.

Can you call criminal a woman that is addicted? Children that are born with addictions from their mothers are not from mothers that are casual drinkers but women that are addicted themselves.

Most of the women use sex to get money for their addiction, they are actually victims and their unborn children are victims also.

So what law will condemn addiction in order to protect the unborn?

You tell me.

You may be outrage for what these women do to their unborn children but remember many of them are oblivious of their pregnancy under the influence and many are victims also from rape and abuse.



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 08:50 PM
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posted by parrhesia

I don't think you can begin to talk punitive measures until you can accurately account for the FAS children borne of women who are alcoholics and those borne of women who simply drank whilst not knowing they were pregnant. And even then I wouldn't agree.

I see so much more to it. I've worked with a lot of communities struggling with alcoholism and in many cases there are plenty of things that make beating alcoholism very difficult if not impossible. [Edited by Don W]



Yes to all of the above. I have this idea that people in France and Italy drink a lot of wine. Maybe at every meal. If this is true, or was true in the past, then does anyone have any idea how many FAS children were born in France and Italy, especially as compared to say, Muslim countries where alcohol is forbidden.



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 09:03 PM
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Originally posted by parrhesia

Originally posted by chissler
Would you support legislation that held women accountable for repeated births of defected children?


This may not be directed to me, but absolutely not.
Certainly not the way you've phrased it.


I used the word Defected, but it was meant to be restricted to FAS only.

In this context, you condone a woman to continuosly put their children at risk of FAS?

Even after the birth of previous children with this birth defect.



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 09:19 PM
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Originally posted by chissler

In this context, you condone a woman to continuously put their children at risk of FAS?

Even after the birth of previous children with this birth defect.


The problem is that in our nation you can not make laws to control who has the right to bring children into this world and who should not.

While morally a good argument for the people that cares about what happen to abuse children's because their mother's disregard for them.

We can not forget that you can not legislate peoples personal choices because it will be broader than just been an addicted mother bearing addicted children.



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 09:22 PM
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Originally posted by chissler
I used the word Defected, but it was meant to be restricted to FAS only.

In this context, you condone a woman to continuosly put their children at risk of FAS?

Even after the birth of previous children with this birth defect.


Can you please define your terms here?

At risk?

Considering we have no idea how much or how little alcohol is needed to create an FAS child, or when the effects occur during the gestation I'd say a heck of a lot of women are "guilty" of continually putting their children at risk of FAS.

Can you tell me something?
How many examples do you have of women giving birth to multiple children with FAS? And what was their status with regard to alcohol? Casual drinker or alcoholic?

Do I condone it? Let me just say this: legislating against this, punishing, etc., is not the right way to deal with the problem. Let's say there are the women who drink unknowing they are pregnant. Then there are the more serious drinkers, the alcoholics. Addiction being what it is and understanding the necessity for treatment and social reinforcement, which many lack, I cannot agree with the proposition that it's a criminal act. What's criminal is that people want to quit and there is no help for them.

The point is that these parents are certainly responsible but I'm betting that most mothers who give birth to children with FAS would not have drank had they known or if they'd been able to successfully quit drinking.



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 09:31 PM
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I think you're fighting a losing battle. As long as it is legal to pull a newborn through the birth canal by his feet and suck his brain out through a hole in his skull put there with a pair of scissors, I just don't see poisoning an unborn child as being that big of a deal.


[edit on 2006/9/21 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 09:39 PM
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Grady while your argument may be morally right in your opinion, you have to remember that the birth canal belongs to a human being with rights to her body.

Kind of a very questionable subject when you can not give absolutes right to a fetus without taking away the rights of the human being that its the carrier of that fetus.

You are right is a not win battler.



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 10:03 PM
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Originally posted by parrhesia
Considering we have no idea how much or how little alcohol is needed to create an FAS child, or when the effects occur during the gestation I'd say a heck of a lot of women are "guilty" of continually putting their children at risk of FAS.


Very true. Some of our own mothers as well possibly. I would say a heck of alot have put them at risk, but I would think that alot of women do not continually put their children at risk.


Originally posted by parrhesia
Can you tell me something?
How many examples do you have of women giving birth to multiple children with FAS? And what was their status with regard to alcohol? Casual drinker or alcoholic?


I never said I had examples. I said, IF a woman was contiously getting pregnant and severely abusing alcohol, thus causing her children to be diagnosed with FAS one after another, would you consider it to be criminal?

For arguments sake, CNN reports tomorrow a mother who had given birth to five different children all of whom were diagnosed with FAS. Each time she knew she was pregnant, and she continued to drink anyways. This lady can hold a job, so her addiction doesn't exactly control her life but she can't put the bottle down long enough to give birth.

Five children all born with serious cases of FAS.

Whose to blame?





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