Week 1: Part 1: Tell us a little bit about yourself! Part 2: In August, 1989, 23-year old Jennifer Johnson was found guilty of delivering a controlled substance to a minor; the minor was her baby who was born a cocaine addict. She could have received a 30-year sentence, but she was sentenced to a year of house arrest in a drug rehabilitation center and 14 years of probation. In 1992, she was cleared of these charges: Still later, in 2001, the National Institutes of Health released a study that showed that maternal cocaine use was not as bad for babies as originally thought: This finding was given additional support in 2009: PART II. My first response is absolutely mothers should be prosecuted for prenatal damage to the fetus. They are no longer harming themselves with an illegal substance but are now exposing another human being to the damaging effects of their irresponsibility. You can be held criminally liable for serving your child alcohol underage so why would “serving” illegal drugs be any different. By exposing children and fetuses to these substances at an early age we predispose them to future bad habits and diseases. Not to mention the fact that it is child abuse, plain and simple. “As of September 1, 2010, fifteen states consider substance abuse during pregnancy to be child abuse under civil child-welfare statutes, and three consider it grounds for involuntary commitment to a mental health or substance abuse treatment facility” (ACOG, 2014). Absolutely smoking mothers should be prosecuted as well. Although it is not illegal, it is still harming the unborn child and there should be something protecting that child. Women who smoke during pregnancy causes additional health problems such as, premature birth, birth defects, and infant death (CDC, 2014). It is frustrating because there was not only a pattern of abuse but there was never a successful rehabilitation for the problem. You cannot help people unless they are willing to be helped so unfortunately that is when laws have to be put into place to protect these children.
ACOG (American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists). (2014). ACOG. Substance Abuse Reporting and Pregnancy: The Role of the Obstetrician-Gynecologist. Retrieved from: - Underserved-Women/Substance-Abuse-Reporting-and-Pregnancy-The-Role-of-the-Obstetrician- Gynecologist CDC. (2014). Tobacco Use and Pregnancy. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from: -------- It is tough to say on whether a mother should face criminal charges. One part of me wants to say that if anything, mothers should be offered some type of treatment and complete it before they can gain custody of their child. In the Jennifer Johnson case, public health authorities say prosecutions of women like Ms.
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