Thursday, July 10, 2008

So You Can Kill a Fetus, but You Can't Harm It?

I salute my state senator, Gwen Howard, for recognizing the right of the human being in the womb to not be subjected to illegal and harmful drugs. But that position raises some questions.

Senator Howard, prompted by the recent birth of a baby who tested positive for methamphetamine, wants the law changed to allow child abuse charges to be filed against women who use illegal drugs while pregnant.

I agree.

But apparently, then, Senator Howard would say it's OK to kill the fetus in the womb, but it's child abuse to harm it with drugs.

There I disagree.

There can be no charge of child abuse unless there is a child in the womb. If there is a child in the womb, and if it is wrong to harm that child by putting illegal drugs into his system, then how can it be right to kill the child? Abuse is a greater offense than intentional killing, which the law calls "murder"?

Indeed, such an illogical policy could be an incentive for abortion. If I have taken drugs while pregnant, what's my "better" course of action: abort the baby, or let it be born and run the risk of being charged with child abuse?

Senator Howard said she would not apply the proposed change in law to alcohol because it is legal. Hmm. I presume an adult who pours alcohol down the throat of a child could be subject to a charge of child abuse. The product is legal, but forcing it into a child's system is not.

Wouldn't the same logic apply to a child in the womb? Maybe it would be like driving. A certain blood-alcohol level would trigger an abuse charge. Abuse of alcohol while pregnant automatically subjects one to a possible charge of child abuse. Something like that.

Next you will hear conservative, even libertarian, arguments from otherwise liberal pro-choicers: How dare Nanny Government dictate what women can ingest while pregnant? Shall we throw them in jail for drinking pop and eating potato chips? All that sugar, salt, and caffeine is not good for the child in the womb.

If there is evidence that potato chips cause the same life-shattering degree of damage to a child as narcotics and alcohol, then yes, put them on the list, too.

That's the way it works in a free and democratic society based on majority rule. If a majority says a proposal is ridiculous, then it dies. If a majority embraces it, it becomes law.

Give Senator Howard credit for treading where others, especially pro-choicers, fear to tread. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

1 comment:

OmaSteak said...

Gwen Howard has become the living face of nanny state government in Nebraska. Hopefully this proposal will meet the same fate as most of her other nanny state proposals. The taxpayers of Nebraska do not need to pay for clogging the courts and jails with crackwhores or meth heads to a greater extent. There is no legislative solution to the terrible problem of female addicts becoming pregnant unless you're willing to require sterilization as sentencing requirement for such drug offenses. This is a serious and severe moral problem that will only be resolved through and with the faith community. Or in the alternative, let's legalize crack, meth, heroine, etc. and make unlimited quantities available to addicts on demand. The problem will then become self-correcting as they die of overdoses and disease.