During a prenatal exam, a Wisconsin woman divulged that she suffered from an addiction to painkillers, but that she had successfully kicked the habit and was no longer using. Subsequent drug tests confirmed that she was, in fact, drug free. Nevertheless, she opened her door one day to find a group of county sheriffs, who promptly took her into custody under a Wisconsin law that allows "child-welfare authorities [to] forcibly confine a pregnant woman who uses illegal drugs or alcohol 'to a severe degree,' and who refuses to accept treatment." Never mind the fact that, in this case at least, the woman had no apparent need for treatment.
Now, I'm all for the protection of fetuses--to an extent. I can sympathize with those who would want to make it a crime for a pregnant woman to use illegal drugs. But I would point out to those folks that there's really no need to do that, as using illegal drugs is already. . . what's the technical term? Ah, yes: ILLEGAL! On the other hand, I cannot see how punishing a woman who comes to a prenatal exam and provides an honest and accurate medical history--who wants, in other words, to make sure that her fetus develops healthily--advances anyone's interest in child welfare.
Furthermore, I am sick and tired of these right-wing lunatics who claim that unborn children must be protected at all costs, but then turn around and condemn poor people--many of whom have actual BORN children at home--as moochers. In fact, in the spirit of compromising with morons, I have a modest proposal: You want to punish pregnant women who abuse drugs or alcohol for endangering "children"? Fine. But. You must, then, ensure that every pregnant woman has enough to eat and a secure place to live--in fact, let's put all pregnant women up in nice hotels. Not necessarily the Four Seasons, but, you know, a nice Sheraton, at least. Seems fair to me.