Friday, June 18, 2010

to what extent should babies in the womb be protected?

From Tom Loftus in the C-J...

The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a woman who takes illegal drugs while pregnant can't be charged with endangering her child.

In a 5-2 decision, the court held that such prosecutions are "expressly precluded" by the Maternal Health Act passed by the 1992 General Assembly.

The ruling came in the case of Ina Cochran of Casey County, who was indicted on a charge of first-degree wanton endangerment after giving birth in late 2005 to a child who tested positive for cocaine.

Sounds like it is in concert with the 1992 law. There would seem to be larger (and contradictory) Constitutional issues, so it'll be interesting to see if this is appealed and overturned.

I suppose one could argue that there's a slippery slope here-- that once you start regulating pregnant mothers, they could be prosecuted for all sorts of sins of omission and commission. But at least at this extreme, it's a shame that babies are not afforded appropriate protection in the womb.


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