Monday, December 08, 2003

Here's an interesting article from The Nation discussing laws criminalizing certain types of activities during pregnancy.

The article is interesting for a couple of logical fallacies. I think the author is at least correct in noting that "A pregnant woman who has used drugs doesn't easily win public sympathy." To say the least. Nevertheless, we can always count on The Nation to find sympathy in their hearts. The author does this with splashes of "McKnight was a seasonal tobacco farm worker ... tenth-grade education ... homeless, drug-addicted ... trying to cope with the recent loss of her mother .... never received help for her drug problems." Sounds like an unfortunate case most certainly. I say she should receive complete immunity for any crimes, being, after all, a victim.

Not surprisingly, the author draws a dubious conclusion from all this sympathy, and one that is not likely to garner much support from moderate Democrats. The author concludes that this is evidence of "prosecutors who have decided that they have the right to judge and punish women for what happens to their bodies. [Ignoring the fact that a dead "VIABLE" fetus is a prerequisite to prosecution.] It is a definitive step toward a government that would have the power to tell us what constitutes acceptable pregnancy and motherhood."

Yipes. Fortunately, I don't think most people see a slippery slope from throwing "meth moms" in jail for delivering stillborns to the outlawing of abortions.

An interesting article nonetheless. Perhaps one wonders why ardent libertarians don't take up the decriminalization of meth momming... No, one doesn't. My favorite bit, for anyone still reading, is the second paragraph:

"In the eyes of the South Carolina Attorney General's office, McKnight committed murder. Her crime? Giving birth to a five-pound, stillborn baby. As McKnight grieved and held her third daughter Mercedes's lifeless body..." I mean, seriously South Carolina, isn't it enough that she lost her baby? No, I didn't think so either. Let me also add that the author's sentence construction is painfully cliche. Shame.

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