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Abuse During Pregnancy

One aspect of this is epidemiological evidence of pathological impact of a pregnant woman's behavior on the physical well-being of her child. Kandel and Schaffran (1998) cite research showing "a significant relationship between maternal smoking during pregnancy on the child smoking thirteen years later. . . . Heavy prenatal maternal drinking increases the risk of the child drinking." A significant legislative history, chiefly though not entirely at state level, has emerged in recent years, suggesting that resolution of any controversy is likely to be accomplished on the platform the public policy. Equally, a significant body of advocacy literature has arisen around the issue of conceptualizing the physical status of a pregnant woman's body in terms of her responsibility to her fetus with reference to possible child abuse.

A number of states have either enacted or are in process of debating laws similar to AB2187. A legal-advocacy group called the Law Center uses the Internet to post state-by-state summaries of legislative actions dealing with "whether women who abuse drugs or alcohol during their pregnancies should be subject to criminal sanctions" (Lisko, 1998). Lisko cites both proposed and enacted statutes regarding criminalization of fetus endangerment, notably a 1997 Tennessee law making knowing consumption of illegal drugs or harmful alcohol by a pregnant woman a misdemeanor child-abuse offense where a drug-addicted child is born. In Hawaii, a proposed bill creates a Class C felony for "consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs during pregnancy, once the woman knows of the pregnancy . . . for endangering the welfare of a minor" (Lisko, 1998). In South Carolina and Wisconsin, women have been charged with fetus endangerment on account of their ingestion of both legal (alcohol) and illegal (narcotics) substances.

The Law Center's Internet site goes into some detail about the arguments against criminalization of pregnant women's be...

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Abuse During Pregnancy. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 23:07, November 27, 2015, from
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