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InvisibleSimplepowa
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Court rules exposing fetus to illegal drugs a crime
    #15028483 - 09/04/11 05:22 PM (9 years, 8 months ago)

MONTGOMERY | An Alabama appeals court has ruled that a law designed to crack down on parents who expose children to methamphetamine labs can also be used to prosecute women who take illegal drugs during their pregnancies

The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals said the general term “child” in Alabama’s chemical endangerment law is broad enough to encompass a “viable fetus.” The court said its ruling is the first to address the prosecutions of new mothers that have been brought by district attorneys across the state.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said Thursday the ruling means “the court has affirmed the value of life, including the lives of unborn children who are, after all, among the most vulnerable members of our society.”

Defense attorney Carmen Howell said Friday she will appeal the case to the Alabama Supreme Court. She said 30 to 40 cases have been brought across the state, and she expects to see an increase because some district attorneys had been holding off on bringing cases until the appeals court ruled.

Prosecutors say they have brought cases to discourage illegal drug use by pregnant women and keep unborn children safe. Organizations that have filed briefs in some of the cases, including the American Public Health Association and National Association of Social Workers, say it is bad public policy.

Howell said the law has caused some pregnant women with drug problems to go out of state to have their babies or avoid prenatal care for fear of being prosecuted, and she predicts that will increase.

“If the goal is to protect life — born and unborn — this is doing the opposite,” she said.

In 2006, the Legislature sought to crack down on parents who operate methamphetamine labs in their homes and expose children to dangerous chemicals. Lawmakers enacted a chemical endangerment law that makes it a crime, punishable by one to 10 years in prison, to expose a child to illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia. The maximum sentence increases to 20 years for injuring a child and life in prison for the death of a child.

District attorneys began using the law to prosecute women who gave birth to babies that tested positive for illegal drugs because mothers used drugs during pregnancy. Several women challenged the law, saying “child” doesn’t include a fetus. In an appeal involving 29-year-old Hope Elizabeth Ankrom of Enterprise, the appeals court agreed with the attorney general’s argument that the law applies to a woman’s drug use during pregnancy.

An appeals court in South Carolina earlier reached a similar conclusion. But courts in at least 13 other states, including Georgia, Florida and Kentucky, reached the opposite conclusion on similar laws in their states.

Alabama’s appeals court said Alabama is different from some of those states because its homicide statutes don’t apply to a fetus. In Alabama, the homicide statute “does apply to unborn children,” and the Legislature has stated that the “public policy of the State of Alabama is to protect life, born and unborn,” Judge Liles Burke wrote.

In other states, appeals courts have expressed concern that if the laws were applied to illegal drug use during pregnancy, then they could be used to prosecute women who smoke or drink during pregnancy or don’t wear a seat belt. Alabama’s law is not a general child endangerment law and is limited solely to drugs, the appeals court said in its Aug. 26 decision.

In Ankrom’s case, she gave birth to a son on Jan. 31, 2009, in Enterprise.

She and the baby tested positive for cocaine. She pleaded guilty to chemical endangerment and received one year of supervised probation, but she preserved her right to appeal. In the appeal, all five judges on the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed her conviction.

http://anonym.to/?http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/article/20110903/NEWS/110909934/1007/news?p=1&tc=pg


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OfflineDoDahDay
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Re: Court rules exposing fetus to illegal drugs a crime [Re: Simplepowa]
    #15028679 - 09/04/11 06:05 PM (9 years, 8 months ago)

Im glad they brought up the fact of drink and smoking cigs as potentially similar offences.

Now, I dont agree with what these mothers are doing, my ex did this, but, what if some one blow a hit at someone or something like this? The positive test would not be genuine and the mother would be prosecuted.  They should have them go through treatment, not prison time. Now the kids is fucked from drugs and will get fuck through the dcfs system.  Its a win win for America.


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OfflineKonyap


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Re: Court rules exposing fetus to illegal drugs a crime [Re: DoDahDay]
    #15028949 - 09/04/11 06:52 PM (9 years, 8 months ago)

thats extremely unlikely but pot is healthy for preggo moms so:/


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OfflineTranzfixed
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Re: Court rules exposing fetus to illegal drugs a crime [Re: Konyap]
    #15029388 - 09/04/11 08:36 PM (9 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

aiyobro said:
thats extremely unlikely but pot is healthy for preggo moms so:/




really? can you back that up?


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Invisiblegamer4life
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Re: Court rules exposing fetus to illegal drugs a crime [Re: Simplepowa]
    #15029415 - 09/04/11 08:44 PM (9 years, 8 months ago)

What about women that want abortions? Okay I see the light, it's ok for the US to kill your baby if you ask them to but it's not okay to do a little drugs while the baby is in the oven. I don't support either but if the government can kill your baby then what's wrong with doing some dope while your pregnant.
Sounds hypocritical to me.


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OfflineMycoMayhem
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Re: Court rules exposing fetus to illegal drugs a crime [Re: gamer4life]
    #15029799 - 09/04/11 10:12 PM (9 years, 8 months ago)

It's not "good" for them. But there is no physical addiction. Babies who come out addicted to crack are in pain. Not so with bud


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OfflineKonyap


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Re: Court rules exposing fetus to illegal drugs a crime [Re: MycoMayhem]
    #15030241 - 09/04/11 11:51 PM (9 years, 8 months ago)

second hand pot smoke will not show up in your piss man

and smoking weed increases the chances your baby is delivered alive


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InvisibleLayinUp
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Re: Court rules exposing fetus to illegal drugs a crime [Re: Tranzfixed]
    #15030248 - 09/04/11 11:52 PM (9 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

Tranzfixed said:
Quote:

aiyobro said:
thats extremely unlikely but pot is healthy for preggo moms so:/




really? can you back that up?




Yes, I too am interested in reviewing the research that leads you to make such a statement.

Additionally, I see this as a positive development in American law, and truly hope that this law will come to encompass woman who consume alcohol or cigarettes while pregnant.


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OfflineKonyap


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Re: Court rules exposing fetus to illegal drugs a crime [Re: LayinUp]
    #15030277 - 09/04/11 11:56 PM (9 years, 8 months ago)



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InvisibleLayinUp
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Re: Court rules exposing fetus to illegal drugs a crime [Re: Konyap]
    #15030345 - 09/05/11 12:06 AM (9 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

aiyobro said:
http://www.salem-news.com/articles/june272010/marijuana-infants-sc.php




That's very interesting. I read the article, then re-read your post.

I realized in your post what you actually said was "but pot is healthy for preggo moms", the key word being "moms".

I misinterpreted your statement at first. I thought you were stating that marijuana during pregnancy was good for the child, but that is not what you said. Therefore, I have to agree with you that marijuana use seems to ease the trauma of childbirth on the mother.

However, there is scientific evidence to suggest that marijuana is not at all healthy for a developing infant.

http://mamabirth.blogspot.com/2011/02/smoking-marijuana-while-pregnant.html

http://www.babycenter.com/404_is-it-safe-to-smoke-marijuana-during-pregnancy_2490.bc

The OP was about a law designed to protect children, in this particular instance, an unborn fetus. Insofar as that is concerned, I would like to respond by elaborating on your post if I may:

"thats extremely unlikely but pot is healthy for preggo moms" - but they should still be considerate of their unborn children and the effect that drugs have on them during fetal development.


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OfflineAlan RockefellerM
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Re: Court rules exposing fetus to illegal drugs a crime [Re: LayinUp] * 1
    #15030409 - 09/05/11 12:16 AM (9 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

LayinUp said:
Additionally, I see this as a positive development in American law, and truly hope that this law will come to encompass woman who consume alcohol or cigarettes while pregnant.






These laws don't keep mothers from doing drugs, they keep mothers from going to the hospital and obtaining medical care.

They also separate kids from innocent mothers in the event of a false positive or switched sample.



What if there is a drug that make babies more likely to survive, should we prosecute mothers who don't take it?


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InvisibleLayinUp
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Re: Court rules exposing fetus to illegal drugs a crime [Re: Alan Rockefeller]
    #15030465 - 09/05/11 12:26 AM (9 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

Alan Rockefeller said:
What if there is a drug that make babies more likely to survive, should we prosecute mothers who don't take it?





I don't know, it depends on the circumstances I suppose  :shrug:


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OfflineHybridprX
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Re: Court rules exposing fetus to illegal drugs a crime [Re: LayinUp]
    #15031262 - 09/05/11 09:00 AM (9 years, 8 months ago)

My mom smoked weed while she was pregnant with me, no problems here.

Its the addicts that use substances like opiates and amphetamines that need a good close encounter with death to wise them up. There's enough retards in this world with mental deficiencies brought on by poor parenting but lucky for most of us their all killing each other off slowly but surely.


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Offline5HTSynaptrip
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Re: Court rules exposing fetus to illegal drugs a crime [Re: HybridprX]
    #15031612 - 09/05/11 11:01 AM (9 years, 8 months ago)

Well it's a huge relief that the law only mentions illegal drugs, because tobacco and alcohol were part of a regular diet for those in utero that are now running our country... that entire generation has done nothing but great, great things.

:lol:


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InvisibleLayinUp
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Re: Court rules exposing fetus to illegal drugs a crime [Re: 5HTSynaptrip]
    #15031692 - 09/05/11 11:25 AM (9 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

5HTSynaptrip said:
...tobacco and alcohol were part of a regular diet for those in utero that are now running our country... that entire generation has done nothing but great, great things.

:lol:





Hmm, I think you have made a very important connection here. O_o


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Offlinedurian_2008
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Re: Court rules exposing fetus to illegal drugs a crime [Re: LayinUp]
    #15031904 - 09/05/11 12:22 PM (9 years, 8 months ago)

Is the pregnant woman volunteering to be tested for drugs, knowing that she can be punished?

Or, does the state believe that the welfare of the fetus gives them the right to perform surreptitious searches?


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Offlinesk8ordude
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Re: Court rules exposing fetus to illegal drugs a crime [Re: durian_2008]
    #15032069 - 09/05/11 12:53 PM (9 years, 8 months ago)

So are drug tests now going to be mandatory for expecting mothers? Next step will be mandatory for everybody, just because they are guilty until proven innocent.


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OfflineAlan RockefellerM
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Re: Court rules exposing fetus to illegal drugs a crime [Re: durian_2008]
    #15032109 - 09/05/11 01:00 PM (9 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

durian_2008 said:
Is the pregnant woman volunteering to be tested for drugs, knowing that she can be punished?

Or, does the state believe that the welfare of the fetus gives them the right to perform surreptitious searches?





The hospital does a lot of tests on newborns.  Not sure why they test for drugs though.  Seems counterproductive for the health of the child and wellbeing of the family.


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OfflineVartousky
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Re: Court rules exposing fetus to illegal drugs a crime [Re: LayinUp]
    #15032331 - 09/05/11 01:46 PM (9 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

LayinUp said:
Quote:

aiyobro said:
http://www.salem-news.com/articles/june272010/marijuana-infants-sc.php



However, there is scientific evidence to suggest that marijuana is not at all healthy for a developing infant.

http://mamabirth.blogspot.com/2011/02/smoking-marijuana-while-pregnant.html

http://www.babycenter.com/404_is-it-safe-to-smoke-marijuana-during-pregnancy_2490.bc




I skimmed over the first link, but read the other. The first link, the woman actually says she's biased. And has a only a few experiences to prove her conclusion.
The second link just says "in one study" not specifying the study. And gives no numbers, so it could be that this
"One study even found that young children whose mothers smoked marijuana during pregnancy had a higher risk of leukemia than those whose mothers did not"
could have been true for one person.
This
http://www.salem-news.com/articles/june272010/marijuana-infants-sc.php
However is backed up by actual evidence, numbers etc.


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Invisiblegamer4life
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Re: Court rules exposing fetus to illegal drugs a crime [Re: Simplepowa]
    #15032405 - 09/05/11 02:04 PM (9 years, 8 months ago)

    All hospitals test newborns for drugs. I'm not sure exactly why by this happens in every hospital. My friends wife tested positive for cocaine and so did their baby when it was delivered. They charged his wife with child endangerment, and child abuse. She spent a year in prison and lost her child.(the system stole her child) The sad part is that she snorted a couple of lines at a party prior to delivery and that was the only time she used during her pregnancy. These guys are rare users of any drug and only use maybe 3 or 4 times a year.

  To make such laws is another tactic to police us all.
The government breaks more laws than any citizen but they get away with it because we allow them to. Don't get me wrong because I think it's wrong to use any drug while someone is pregnant. For them to say that use of illegal drugs isn't accepted while pregnant but cigarettes and alcohol while pregnant is okay sounds hypocritical to me. I believe everyone should have the right to their own bodies, and we should stop telling other people what is good or bad for them. Now if this becomes law some women will be scared to get medical attention while pregnant and we will see more abandoned babies because the mothers will fear prison. Just like any other drug addict, people are afraid to get help anymore because of the fear of going to prison. Once we take the criminal element out of drugs we will see more addicts seeking treatment when they are ready instead of the courts forcing addicts into prison when they aren't ready to get help. If they aren't ready for the help they will just get out of rehab or prison and relapse causing them to get more drug charges and later causing them to get the habitual felon charge which in return will cause some addicts to get 20 years or more in prison.


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