Quite a difficult topic, but a great piece written by Chelsie. Story can be found here:
What is your take? Should pregnant addicts be criminally charged if their addiction harms their baby?
I’m a professional counselor and recovering addict. What interests me is that no one wants to arrest the father during the pregnancy of an addicted mother. Well, after all, the father’s use has no direct affect on a gestating baby, right ? But we know that over the long term, kids with an addict for a father are much more likely to use, themselves, not to mention the depression and anxiety that marks children of addicts. I think throwing addicted pregnant mothers in prison is ludicrous. What problem does that solve ? But why do we always want to punish women ? No man has to answer for his addictive behavior the way a pregnant woman does. I get it that women and gestating babies are connected by physiology, and men and babies are not. If we are legislating against addicted parents, then call men on the carpet as well. The answer is to not criminalize addiction, for either gender. Legalize,regulate and tax drugs of abuse. Focus on harm reduction and restoring health. The war on drugs is a miserable failure, and women have suffered more from that failure than men have because they are often left with responsibilities of children, when men are disinterested or incarcerated. Addiction is not a gender neutral social problem, and this very discussion is an illustration of that point.
Ohhhhh, this is a tough one. On one hand, there is abuse being committed. On the other hand, the person isn’t thinking rationally. I’m not sure where I fall on this, but wouldn’t whatever you believe also have to apply to addicts who abuse their children AFTER their born too? Wouldn’t the same logic apply to both?