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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mothers Smoking During Pregnancy Should be subjected to Criminal Liability

Pregnant women are expected to take extra care of their health during the period of their pregnancy. They are expected to eat the right kind of food and sleep well. They are also expected to abstain from alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. All these precautions are done based on the premise that eating the right kind of food and sleeping well are good for the baby. Vices are also avoided based on the premise that they are bad for the health of the baby.

I support the proposal that pregnant women who continue to smoke during the stage of pregnancy should be subject to criminal action on the ground that it is considered fetal abuse and it is necessary for the government to take the initiative by protecting the unborn child from harm. Smoking is harmful for the mother’s health and the health of the other individuals who inhale the smoke coming from the tobacco. This includes the unborn child. Tobacco products are known to be carcinogens which are responsible for thousands of deaths each year, including the deaths of many people who have never smoked a cigarette in their lives.

I support the proposal that pregnant women who continue to smoke during the stage of pregnancy should be subject to criminal liability because it is necessary to put smoking in the same level as drug use or alcohol abuse during the stage of pregnancy. It is a crime to take drugs or alcohol during pregnancy because it is dangerous for the unborn child’s health. These acts are punishable criminally because the law seeks to protect the unborn child. Smoking during pregnancy also has harmful effects. Smoking during pregnancy also constitutes an act of fetal abuse against the unborn child who deserves to be treated better by their pregnant mother.

Pregnant women who smoke during the stage of pregnancy are threat to the health of the future generations of children who could be born deformed or suffering from any mental or cognitive defect because of their mother’s irresponsible action. Unless something is done about it many children will be born with deformity or mental defects.

Autonomy is not sufficient justification to abuse an unborn child since unborn children have fetal rights which are also protected by law. While it is true that we live in a democratic society where our freedoms and rights are respected, it is also true that no right is absolute. A person’s assertion of his right is valid only to the extent that he does not injure the rights of others. Science has proven that smoking is harmful to the health of the unborn children. Civil law also protects the right of the unborn child from conception until its birth. Thus, autonomy and freedom are not sufficient excuse to allow a mother to continue smoking during pregnancy. If the law prohibits abortion because they violate the fetal rights of the unborn child, then we should also protect the rights of unborn children from their mother who neglect the health of their baby by continuing to smoke during pregnancy.

An unborn child has as much right as anybody else. They are also entitled to our protection. Right now, they need our help. It is time for us to protect them before it becomes too late.

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