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Pregnant Drug Addicts Aren't Child Abusers

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posted on Sep, 30 2006 @ 09:39 PM
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Recently, pregnant women have been arrested in several states and charged with child abuse for using drugs and/or alcohol while pregnant. On one hand law enforcement officials claim that if the women are arrested, they have no access to drugs or alcohol which will protect the fetus and the women can receive treatment. On the other side all the leading medical organizations claim that alcohol and drug abuse is a health issue that should be treated thru education and treatment, not the criminal court system.
 



www.alternet.org
Law enforcement officials often justify the application of criminal laws to pregnant women by claiming that the arrest and imprisonment of pregnant women will protect fetuses and advance children's health.

But every leading medical organization to address this issue -- including the American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Nurse Midwives, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the March of Dimes -- has concluded that the problem of alcohol and drug use during pregnancy is a health issue best addressed through education and community-based family treatment, not through the criminal justice system.

As leading public health and child welfare groups have long noted, pregnant women do not experience alcoholism and other drug dependencies because they want to harm their fetuses or because they don't care about their children. Threats Don't Work



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


This is a pretty serious subject here, and I can see how both sides are right.

On the legal side, I think everybody knows how using drugs and alcohol during a pregnancy can harm the fetus. Incarcerating the women who are addicted (to drugs or alcohol) will prevent the woman from using drugs or alcohol and prevent further harm to the fetus. Also the woman can get treatment and counseling.

The stand that the medical field is taking is that these women are not taking these drugs or alcohol to harm the child, they are addicted and can't control their urge. It's not that they want to harm their unborn child, but that they are addicted and can't stop. The medical profession stands firmly that treatment is the best for these women, not incarceration. The leading medical organizations claim that women in these areas that are arresting women for child abuse for taking drugs or alcohol during a pregnancy is deterring these addicted pregnant women from seeking prenatal care for fear of being arrested, which further endangers the unborn child.


[edit on 30/9/06 by Keyhole]




posted on Sep, 30 2006 @ 10:15 PM
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Most of these women should be helped and this not helping at all. There not child abusers. They can't stop by them self it really hard.



posted on Sep, 30 2006 @ 10:23 PM
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I agree. Drug and alcohol abuse is a sickness (physical and mental), but a lot of emotional issues are behind it. You can put someone into a substance abuse hospital and help them get clean, but the most important part is helping them learn to deal effectively with the deep emotional problems that force them to self-medicate in the first place.

A lot of people don't have the willpower to overcome these problems and end up back in the same situation again. Antidepressant medication can really help but everyone's different.



posted on Sep, 30 2006 @ 10:38 PM
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The whole article should really be read.

I couldn't believe what I was reading about the way pregnant women were treated in jails when they started having labor pains and started giving birth, this part of the article probably deserves a thread of its own, it's just deplorable and inhumane.

From the article


Parsons gave birth to her son alone in a dirty Maryland jail cell furnished only with a toilet and a bed with no sheets. She had been in labor for several hours and had countless times pleaded for help and medical attention. The requests were denied.

The Jennifer Road Detention Center, where she was incarcerated, repeatedly ignored her cries that she was well into labor and needed to go to the hospital. Other inmates, hearing Parsons' cries, implored guards to take her to the hospital.[

Instead, guards took her out of a holding area with other inmates -- who had helped to time her contractions -- and put her in a cell by herself. A few hours later, Parsons gave birth completely alone, without health care or support of any kind. According to press reports, although completely healthy when he was born, Parsons' son soon developed an infection due to the unsanitary conditions of his birth.

When Kari Parsons began to have labor pains a few days before giving birth, she was taken to a medical facility and later returned to the detention center. She was transported in handcuffs and shackles. Although international law and treaties signed by the United States prohibit the shackling of pregnant and birthing women, Amnesty International USA reports that only two states -- Illinois and California -- have banned the barbaric practice throughout pregnancy and childbirth.


I'm sure this is the exception and not the norm, but it is hard to believe that this is going on at all in our jails in this day and age.



posted on Sep, 30 2006 @ 10:57 PM
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It is sick I know I just can't believe I forgot to mention it thank you for reminding me. But it not like this isn't normal it happen all the time where I live.

[edit on 30-9-2006 by El Che]



posted on Sep, 30 2006 @ 11:24 PM
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Key

Could you provide a link to that please??

Semepr



posted on Sep, 30 2006 @ 11:46 PM
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It's right under were it says "Original News Source" in the original post.

But, just in case it's not working for you:

Pregnant Drug Addicts Aren't Child Abusers

Let me know if any of them aren't working, they seem to be working for me.



posted on Oct, 1 2006 @ 12:15 AM
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Here is another article, an addict descrbes the problems her children have due to her drug use while pregnant.

The Real Cost of Prisons Weblog

She also had this to say about tougher laws about using drugs while being pregnant.


But Tracy Fabry, a 19-year-old recovering addict, said having such a law on the books might have stopped her from injecting methamphetamine throughout her two pregnancies.

"It sounds selfish, but in my addiction, I wouldn't have cared about my children. But I would have cared about my freedom," she said.


And then in Florida where the laws are tougher, apparently there was a rise in abandoned and dead babies being found.


Bob Neri, the Florida-based chief clinical officer for West Care, said Nevada wouldn't be the first state to criminalize drug abuse by pregnant women. But, he said, states that have penalties are moving away from incarceration and toward treatment.

He said that in Florida, where laws against illegal substance abuse in the 1980s and 1990s were strengthened to include harsher punishments for pregnant women, authorities found "a boom of abandoned babies and dead babies found in Dumpsters."



posted on Oct, 1 2006 @ 01:55 AM
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OK, I got it Key, Thanks..

Too late now, but I'll do some interesting reading thanks to you, tomorrow...

Semper



posted on Oct, 1 2006 @ 01:38 PM
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Here are some quotes from another website

National Advocates for Pregnant Women


By combining drug war propaganda with claims of fetal rights, new and significant violations of civil liberties and human rights are occurring. In the last twenty years, hundreds of pregnant women and new mothers have been arrested, based on the argument that a pregnant woman’s drug use is a form of abuse or neglect. In 1997, the South Carolina Supreme Court held that a pregnant woman who used coc aine and who gave birth to a healthy baby could be convicted of child abuse. More recently, a pregnant woman who used coc aine and suffered a stillbirth that was caused by an infection-- has been convicted of homicide by child abuse in South Carolina.


It seems to me if they are going to convict women like they did in the incidents above, they need to take this issue out of the courts.



posted on Oct, 1 2006 @ 04:32 PM
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@ Keyhole

Maybe it's just me but I don't see a huge problem with arresting women who are nearing full-term and are abusing drugs. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that drug use can cause irreperable harm to a fetus. If they couldn't kick the habit they should've gone for the abortion in the 1st tri-mester. Why shouldn't they be arrested and charged? It is a crime for anyone to be under the influence of the drugs they are talking about, pregant or not, male or female.

Is adding the child abuse charge wrong? In my opinion, no. Our laws allow for "reckless indifference", meaning there doesn't have to be a direct intent to cause harm. As an example, I'm driving my car through a resedential neighborhood at twice the posted limit and get into an accident killing a kid on a bike. Should I be charged with felony vehicular manslaughter? Absolutely, my driving was a "reckless indifference" to the residents in the neighborhood. I think the drug using pregnant mom fits this category perfectly.

Now I'm not saying that mom needs to be locked away for years and years but she obviously has a major problem if the drugs have taken over so much that she has no regard for her own children. By arresting her the courts can compel her, through the threat of incarceration, to go to counseling ... they will also now have the opportunity to monitor her child and make sure the living arrangements are safe. Personally, I could care less about the drug addict mom, it's the little kid obviously needs someone coming around and checking on her.


Mod Note: Trim Those Quotes - Please Review this link



[edit on 1-10-2006 by DontTreadOnMe]



posted on Oct, 1 2006 @ 05:05 PM
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"ohh boohoo, im a drug addicted selfish bitch who could give a # about my baby, but I am the victim". These women are heathens and should be treated as such. they should be incarcerated in a re-education facility until they give birth, where their child WILL be taken away for a year to show them the issue is a serious one. Only after the woman can prove she has stayed clean throughout that year should her child be returned to her custody.She should remain on probatino for another year to make sure the "I was just young and now I have learned" excuse is not a cover for her to return to her godless habbits.



posted on Oct, 1 2006 @ 05:19 PM
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I think that the above post that talks about Ms. Parsons giving birth to her child in bad conditions in a jail, is a perfect example of why pregnant women shouldn't be put in jails. This should not happen, ever. There are far too many incidents of pregnant women being treated like Ms. Parsons, a situation which is definitely not good for the newborn infant. Also, people don't receive treatment in jail, none. They MAY have an AA mtg once a week or so. I was supposed to work in a jail to give counseling and hold group therapy for addiction, but the Placer County jail decided not to do it, for whatever reason.

The other thing, and it's a major point, is that out of all the drugs that are available for a pregnant woman to take, there are 2 that are by far and away the worst drugs for a fetus/nursing child. Those 2 drugs are:

alcohol and cigarettes, which are legal.

Not marijuana (actually harmless to an infant, not one incident of it ever harming a fetus ever anywhere.) Not crack/coc aine, there are programs in place to teach new moms how to deal with a "crack baby". Public nurses teach moms exercises, etc. to help the baby develop normally, which if the program is followed, they do.

I got all my information from public nurses and other professionals who work in the field of addiction treatment. And as some of you may know, I also worked directly with pregnant women and moms to help them overcome addiction, so I have lots of experience with this, about 7 years just with pregnant women.

And I think that we should care about the pregnant mom. Most middle class moms can afford some sort of pregnancy care. But the others, the poor ones, have usually been molested or beaten by family members, things like that. If you can give them treatment, oftentimes they can become productive members of society. And she also will make a better mom not only for that baby, but also all the rest of her children.

This is just another false crusade about the War on Drugs that your govt wants you to believe, so we'll all get behind the WOD. Ask yourself, why hasn't the govt made criminals out of women who smoke during their pregnancy? It's far more harmful than most any illegal drug.



posted on Oct, 1 2006 @ 06:33 PM
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Sorry.They are child abusers. They are soley responsible for that childs health and welfare. Yeah, addiction sux and these women need help, but gimmee a break. So what happens when said druggie gives birth to a mutant? Who suffers then? Cuz lifes not hard enough as it is, right? Free will's a great thing man. Screw yourself up all You want, but women who give birth to 'crack babies' or those with FAS aren't fit to be parents until They're clean. I mean, carrying these little suckers around for 9 months is the EASY part. What happens when the the real crap hits the fan? Do I sound harsh? I'm not sure I care. Years ago I gave birth to a very premature baby. Crack was just starting to make the seen in Denver, CO. I saw those little babies with their intestines growing on the outside of Their helpless bodies. I saw severe deformities I'd not wish on anyone. Not to mention the mental or emotional challenges they'll suffer. Many of those babies died. Some would never leave the hospital and some were just ditched by drug-addicted Moms. It's very sad to see a mother weep for Her dead child, a child that both parents hoped to God for, while others choose to poison Their unborn child with no regard.

Peace. Kim*

p.s. A drug is a drug is a drug. Crack, meth, nicotine, alcohol. Don't harm Your baby.

p.s.s. Molestation and physical abuse is a pi$$ poor excuse to poison Your child. I was both molested and abused but whatever trash I put into My body ceased when I became pregnant.

Anyway, My children come 'factory' dumb.
Not really.



posted on Oct, 1 2006 @ 07:49 PM
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This thread is not based on a news article, but rather an opinion piece from an internet site that is nothing but opinion, therefore, the title of the the thread is misleading at best.



posted on Oct, 1 2006 @ 08:07 PM
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Has anyone asked if Ms. Kari Parsons is black? IMO that would go a long way explaining the treatment.

All those types of stories have the same ring to them, prejudice being the underlying cause.



posted on Oct, 1 2006 @ 08:33 PM
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ot marijuana (actually harmless to an infant, not one incident of it ever harming a fetus ever anywhere.)


Forestlady,

Just information...


Q: If a woman is pregnant and smokes marijuana, will it hurt the baby?

A: Doctors advise pregnant women not to use any drugs because they could harm the growing fetus. Although one animal study has linked marijuana use to loss of the fetus very early in pregnancy, two studies in humans found no association between marijuana use and early pregnancy loss. More research is necessary to fully understand the effects of marijuana use on pregnancy outcome.

Studies in children born to mothers who used marijuana have shown increased behavioral problems during infancy and preschool years. In school, these children are more likely to have problems with decisionmaking, memory, and the ability to remain attentive(2).

Researchers are not certain whether health problems that may be caused by early exposure to marijuana will remain as the child grows into adulthood. However, since some parts of the brain continue to develop throughout adolescence, it is also possible that certain kinds of problems may appear as the child matures.
www.nida.nih.gov...


Semper



posted on Oct, 1 2006 @ 08:52 PM
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As many of you might know, when it comes to people on this site I'm fairly Liberal. However, there is a line which I do not think can ever be crossed and that's doing harm to another individual against their will [even though I am pro-abortion, but would much rather see adoption be used in its place.]

First though, we need to look at how many women use drugs while pregnant:

Source
Substance Used Percent of Pregnant Women Number of Pregnant Women
Any illicit drug(1) 5.5 220,900
Marijuana 2.9 118,700
Cocaine 1.1 45,100
Crack 0.9 34,800
Alcohol 18.8 756,900
Cigarettes 20.4 819,700


Now, Cigarettes and Alcohol are legal to everyone. So it's good that they're down so low, yet each of those offers problems for pregnant women.

I'll post in alphabetical order.

Source: FDA
Alcohol: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, results in: a disorder characterized by growth retardation, facial abnormalies, and central nervous system dysfunction, miscarriages, etc.
Cigarettes: They're classed as Category D: Adequate well-controlled or observational studies in pregnant women have demonstrated a risk to the fetus. However, if it will save the mothers life they can be taken. Results in growth retardation, facial abnormalies, etc.
Cocaine/Crack: Category X: Adequate well-controlled or observational studies in animals or pregnant women have demonstrated positive evidence of fetal abnormalities or risks.
Marijuana: Studies have shown rate of childhood acute nonlymphoblastic leukemia but scientists have admitted not enough studies have been done on the subject.


If you are willing to run those risks to a child, I don't see how you can be fit to be a child. Punching a 12 year old child will do less damage, than a life long mental illness will do. You probably run a higher risk of causing the metal disorder by taking those drugs than you do by hitting them. However, if you hit them the child would be taken off of you.

If someone would run those risks on a child that was mine, they'd not see it and I would make sure of that.



posted on Oct, 1 2006 @ 11:27 PM
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I guess this is a little off the topic, but it does have to do with medical attention when people are incarcerated.

A friend of mines son was pursued by the police, yes, he was wrong, he ran from them because his license was suspended (young and dumb), anyway, he finally pulled over and ran and hid in some woods. the police were right behind him and he hid not very far in the woods. They had a K-9 unit there and they informed him to lay on the ground, face down, spread eagle, and yell to let them know where he was or they would let the dog loose. He did as was told but when they got to him they still let the dog get hold of him for quite a while I was told (I would think one of those dogs on you for 30 seconds would be quite a while to anybody).

So, he's on the ground and the dog grabs him by the calf, they let the dog pull on his calf so long (while he was on the ground spread eagle) that the dog almost tore his calf muscle off.

Well, I told you that story to get to this part.

His father told me today (he is still in jail) his leg is infected and he hasn't seen a doctor since he went to the hospital 4 weeks ago when the incident occurred. The authorities told his father that he would have to pay for any medical attention that he might need (due to the injury the officer with the K-9 allowed his dog to do to him).

I just heard that story today, and don't get me wrong, I am not a cop hater or anything, I have a lot of friends that are deputies and police officers and I respect the law and the job they do.

But after the couple of articles I posted earlier about how women were treated when they went into labor and this story, I can't see how it would be better for women to give birth while incarcerated.

[edit on 1/10/06 by Keyhole]



posted on Oct, 2 2006 @ 10:55 AM
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Semperfortis, that's a govt website. Do you really expect the govt to tell you the truth about anything? Let me tell you something about govt agencies such as this one: they are merely PR to disseminate whatever the govt wants to. THey are also there so that the politicians can point to these agencies and say "See we're doing something about it." But alot of the people that work for these outfits are simply public relations officers who know next to nothing about drugs/alcohol. This is my point exactly, the govt wants you to believe that all drugs are equally bad. Now on this website you quoted, it also says that MJ has no medicinal value; yet the synthetic MJ pill helps prevent nausea. Huh, how can that happen if MJ has no medicinal value to begin with? Also, you should know that those little Marinol tablet fake-MJ things cost an estraordinary amount of money, something like hundreds of dollars per pill. That way the insurance companies can rake in even more money. This website demonstrates exactly what I was saying: drug info is controlled by the govt and there are alot of things they don't want you to know because this is their current boogeyman. I've sat in on some of these meetings and nothing but marketing strategy was discussed, not treatment, nothing.

Think about this: If there has not ever been a reliable study that showed even one baby to be deformed from MJ, then don't you think MJ is probably not harmful to fetuses? And yes, docs will advise not to use any drug, alcohol or cigarettes. But what they won't tell you, because they don't want to open themselves up to lawsuits, is that it's never harmed a fetus, not that they can substantiate. If they've been studying it this long and not been able to find anything dangerous to a fetus, don't you think they probably won't find anything injurious? Now, myself, I wouldn't smoke it while pregnant, but I don't think it constitutes child abuse, at least not as much as cigarette smoking does, but you don't see anyone going after smoking mothers-to-be do you?

My point is, is that the whole idea of drugs harming fetuses is a straw man argument. What we need to be going after are those moms who smoke and drink because it's much more of a problem, it's more widespread and they do more damage. Most crack babies ARE able to be rehabilitated.

What really gets me, is that our culture shows so much concern about unborn children. But waht about those that are already here and are children? Look at our disintegrating school system, look at the fact that many children don't have health insurance and therefore no access to decent health care. They cut the welfare program but it's clients were by far mostly children, at least 3 out of 5 on welfare are kids. I think there's something a little hypocritical here in our culture.



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