Destroying Babies; a Mundane Activity

The ACLU cheers mothers who endanger their pregnancy by ingesting drugs, while condemning the state of Maryland for trying to use the “reckless endangerment” statute as a way to protect the child of the pregnant woman. ( “The ACLU of Maryland is heartened that the high court agrees that prosecuting drug-dependent pregnant women is not what the state of Maryland considers good policy,” said David Rocah, staff attorney for the ACLU of Maryland. “We believe that using criminal law to regulate a pregnant woman’s conduct on the theory that it might harm a fetus or her newborn child is counterproductive, illegal, and, ultimately bad for children and society.”

The organization, on their website, likened crack addiction to “mundane activities” in an effort to prove that prosecuting drug-addicts can lead to women being prosecuted for bad diet or lack of exercise. The court of appeals reaffirmed that such broad prosecutions under reckless endangerment statutes could make pregnant women vulnerable to criminal liability for a wide range of activities, some as mundane as not maintaining a proper and sufficient diet or exercising too much or too little. They also argued that prosecuting the mother after the fact has no benefit for the child once he/she is born. Yeah, and jailing a murderer really doesn’t change or help the fact that the deceased is dead. Although, there is such a concept as justice...

I would argue that charging such negligent mothers does in fact help children and society as a whole; but that’s just me. And it’s not clear how prosecuting people who fill their growing baby with crack, heroin, cocaine, or crystal meth will lead to the regulation of pregnant women. That seems more like a scare tactic than a coherent legal argument. This does, however, say a lot about the ACLU. They defend child molesters, terrorists, and crack heads while attacking the free expression of religion and the national security of the United States.

Politics aside. Should women who are pregnant be subject to criminal prosecution if their child is born with a substantial amount of illegal and dangerous drugs in their blood system? Honestly, I don't know. Are we morally justified, as a society, to protect the lives of our most vulnerable and innocent in such a way; or is the mother’s right to destroy her fetus all that matters?