Should women be allowed to drink while pregnant? Watch

viddy9
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#41
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#41
Women should be allowed to drink alcohol during pregnancy, but it should be strongly discouraged and, if they care about the foetus's future welfare, they should be told that drinking alcohol is putting this welfare at risk.

Should it be criminalised? No. The foetus has no preferences - it is not a person but rather a 'being'. Criminalising alcohol consumption during pregnancy would, as some people say, create an inconsistency whereby abortion would be legal but alcohol consumption would be illegal. Then again, alcohol consumption affects the future welfare of the foetus - the mother still wants to have the foetus and, as such, perhaps it should be looked after more; if the mother doesn't want the foetus anyway, then she should be allowed to have an abortion. So, perhaps alcohol could be criminalised while abortion remains legal, but it would be quite a difficult argument to spin.
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Gax
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#42
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you can't be in the club sipping on a Hypnotic whilst you're pregnant...you're about to hypnotise that poor child into thinking he's got 4 legs! :lol:
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joker12345
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#43
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(Original post by Katie_p)

I don't think criminalising this behaviour is incompatible with allowing abortion, as abortion ensures that the foetus does not become a person, whilst such reckless behaviour allows the foetus to grow into a person, but with abnormalities. However, I can see why some people would say it is offensive to disabled people and would draw similarities to eugenics, although I personally don't hold such misgivings.
Surely being denied the right to life altogether is worse (or even if not worse, equal) to being allowed to live but suffer some disabilities? If we're allowing killing of a foetus then it makes little sense to criminalise harming it, as killing is harming it.
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joker12345
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#44
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(Original post by Alice_95)
This is a difficult situation. I want to be able to say that people shouldn't be punished for their lifestyle choices, but it's not just about them. Having nursed a baby with foetal alcohol syndrome, the pain and distress it causes is huge. I don't think you can compare it criminalising abortion. This is a baby that has come to term/to an age it can survive and is now living with the effects of the mother's behaviour. I don't know about criminalising it to be honest. I just think that there needs to be more education, and a hope that people will actually listen and consider their actions and how their choices can have far reaching effects.
The comparison is in that if the mother's choices come above to foetuses right to life, they logically must also come above the foetuses right to not being harmed.
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joker12345
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#45
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(Original post by Rinsed)
I was initially against this on the obvious grounds of a mother's autonomy, but I was swayed by an argument on the radio.

If you shake a newborn baby and give it life-long brain damage, you can be prosecuted. If your alcohol consumption causes comparable disability in the child, is that really any different?

This isn't the same as abortion, foetuses are not conscious and, whatever your take on the ethics, abortion causes no pain. Notions of the rights of unborn children are fairly abstract. Foetal alcohol syndrome causes a lifetime of suffering, to real, conscious humans we might speak to in the street.
But if you kill a newborn you could also be prosecuted (well, not could, will) whereas killing a foetus, ie abortion is fine. The rights of a foetus are different hence the distinction between your example and this.
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joker12345
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#46
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I agree that it's wrong. The only reasonable way to criminalise would be after the abortion deadline.
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Cattty
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#47
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(Original post by Viva Emptiness)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-29614413



I'm all for encouraging women not to drink during pregnancy, but criminalising women who do?

I don't really see how they can say poisoning a foetus might be made illegal without also criminalising abortion.[/FONT][/COLOR]
If a woman caused her baby serious disabilities by shaking him/her then it would be a serious criminal offense. I have seen loads of pregnant women out in town at night getting drunk and it gets me so angry.
I once taught a child with foetal alcohol syndrome- he had; learning difficulties (significant enough to never lead a 'normal' life), behaviour problems, speech difficulties, medical problems and was born with cleft lip and palate.
This poor kid had his life ruined by his mothers selfishness.

Abortion is a whole other debate- i dont agree with it unless there is a good reason (rape, serious disability, pre-eclampsia, etc) so not going to get into that.

It should be criminalised- it would be difficult to enforce, but not impossible. Heres some suggestions
1. It should be illegal to sell a (obviously) pregnant woman alcohol or buy on her behalf
2. Pregnant women should be given routine alcohol tests- if it is high (more than a glass of wine or two) then should be treated as intent to harm their baby
3. Children born with foetal alcohol syndrome should automatically be removed from their mother at birth.

This should also be taught more harshly at high school as part of sex education- none of this 'drinking alcohol can harm your baby' tiptoeing around it- they should be told the harsh reality of drinking, smoking, etc when pregnant and show pictures of severely disabled children so they can see the impact it has.

Also if it was treated as a criminal offense and a pregnant woman was arrested for it, she would not be allowed to drink in custody/prison so no further harm would come to the baby.

Yes, there is the argument that pregnant women have a life and are not incubators. But you can have a life without alcohol- if you cant stop drinking for 9 months to protect your baby, then whos to say you will look after it once it is born?
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sarah_j_jane
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#48
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(Original post by Snagprophet)
I think it should be allowed, but the resultant disabled baby must not receive any support from the state. It's like then people have babies to get money from the state and use their babies as a human shield, saying it's against their human right to receive free money.
Why should the baby have to suffer the consequences because of his/her mothers selfish acts?
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Dima-Blackburn
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#49
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(Original post by joker12345)
The comparison is in that if the mother's choices come above to foetuses right to life, they logically must also come above the foetuses right to not being harmed.
I don't think it's a fair comparison. Aborting a foetus ensures there is no further suffering of any kind; deliberately harming a foetus that would most likely survive and experience suffering after being born is completely different.

Not being able to drink alcohol for a few months is a mere inconvenience at best. It cannot be compared with the right to bodily integrity.

I don't know if it should be made illegal, but it should definitely be strongly discouraged.
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joker12345
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(Original post by Dima-Blackburn)
I don't think it's a fair comparison. Aborting a foetus ensures there is no further suffering of any kind; deliberately harming a foetus that would most likely survive and experience suffering after being born is completely different.

Not being able to drink alcohol for a few months is a mere inconvenience at best. It cannot be compared with the right to bodily integrity.

I don't know if it should be made illegal, but it should definitely be strongly discouraged.
Well, being killed is suffering. By that logic you could say it should be legal to kill a newborn (as no further suffering) though should be imprisoned for harming it.
Yes, it can - because either you do get control over your own body or you don't.
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Dima-Blackburn
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#51
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(Original post by joker12345)
Well, being killed is suffering. By that logic you could say it should be legal to kill a newborn (as no further suffering) though should be imprisoned for harming it.
Yes, it can - because either you do get control over your own body or you don't.
Don't be absurd. As you probably know, it's illegal to abort without specifying a good reason after the 24th week. Yes, one could say that this limit could be considered arbitrary, but generally it is after this point that the foetus becomes somewhat sentient. So no, I don't see how that would justify killing a newborn.

Moral philosophy isn't that simple. Ethicists who take a strict, rights-based approach might agree with you. But from a purely utilitarian perspective, we have to take into account the potential overall well-being and suffering. With abortion, the foetus is not sentient and thus there is virtually no suffering, along with net gain in well-being. With drinking whilst pregnant, you have to weigh the inconvenience associated with not being allowed to drink, against the very real suffering associated with foetal alcohol syndrome.

I'm pro-life not because of arguments along the line of "waaah it's muh body, waaaah I don't care if it causes unnecessary suffering", but because I've considered the arguments from an objective point of view, and found that forcing people to continue a pregnancy is not a mere inconvenience.
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