Chemical Endangerment

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  • #14521
    Vitalogy
    Participant

    After the stillbirth, Kimbrough’s obstetrician diagnosed “occult cord prolapse” – the umbilical cord had descended through the birth canal ahead of the fetus, cutting off blood flow. Yet the authorities chose to ignore that finding, focusing instead on another detail that emerged after the death – that a urine sample taken from Kimbrough had shown traces of the drug methamphetamine.

    At that point, the cogs of Alabama’s justice system began to turn. In 2006, state legislators passed a “chemical endangerment” law. It was initially conceived as a way to protect young children exposed to noxious fumes or explosions when their parents ran improvised meth labs from their kitchens.

    But soon after the law was enacted, state prosecutors began applying it in a way that had never been intended – against pregnant women. The investigative website ProPublica and AL.com have calculated that since 2006 at least 479 pregnant women have been prosecuted for “chemical endangerment” of their fetuses, most commonly for smoking marijuana.

    One of those 479 was Amanda Kimbrough. In September 2008 she was charged with the chemical endangerment of a child with a bond set at half a million dollars. The indictment said that she “did knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally cause or permit a child, Timmy Wayne Kimbrough, to be exposed to, to ingest or inhale, or to have contact with a controlled substance, to wit: methamphetamine”.

    Kimbrough, who declined to be interviewed by the Guardian following her release from prison, is an example of a trend that in recent years has swept across not just Alabama but several other states from Tennessee and South Carolina to Wisconsin. Hundreds of women have been prosecuted – some for murder – for harms allegedly inflicted on their fetuses, even though in many cases their pregnancies have ended with the birth of healthy babies.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/alone-in-alabama-dispatches-from-an-inmate-jailed-for-her-son%e2%80%99s-stillbirth/ar-AAfbNRW?li=BBgzzfc

    Scary stuff.

    #14658
    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    I read the story about Amanda Kimbrough. It stated that she had a past history of using methamphetamine, but she had been clean for a few years. Then, a friend visited her and offered her a line to snort for old times’ sake. This was what caused the positive drug test result.

    At most, Kimbrough should have been sent to a rehabilitation program. I wonder what, if any, the political motivations might be for this interpretation of the chemical endangerment laws.

    #14696
    missing_kskd
    Participant

    It all about establishing personhood for the purpose of controlling abortion.

    The absolutist types using that line of reasoning are following it to its logical conclusion, in effect promoting the rights of the unborn to trump those of the mothers.

    Old fight, new context basically.

    #14697
    Amus
    Participant

    Put simply; The definition of when “Personhood” begins is a religious precept that those who do not buy into are not subject to.

    #14701
    Broadway
    Participant

    >>religious precept
    ah the argument has changed to scientific and humane precept…say Ultrasound…

    #14710
    Vitalogy
    Participant

    A true pro-life person would stand up and say this woman should not have jailed. Her drug use had zero to do with her miscaraige.

    #14723
    skeptical
    Participant

    The scientific and humane precept says broadway belongs in a “home”.

    Keep them ALIVE baby!

    #14730
    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    OK; I can see how the logic would work within the pro-life ideology. If one accepts that life begins at conception, any acts performed to a fetus should be treated the same as said acts performed to a baby. Thus, a pregnant mother eating an unhealthy diet would be the same as a mother malnourishing a baby. A pregnant mother smoking cigarettes would be the same as forcing a baby to inhale large quantities of cigarette smoke. A pregnant mother drinking beer or wine would be the same as forcing a baby to drink alcohol. A pregnant mother using controlled substances would be the same as giving those substances to the baby. Within that ideological system, prosecutors who take the chemical endangerment laws to this extreme are just doing their due diligence. The ideologues might even go an extra step and say that it is worthwhile to lock up a few Amanda Kimbrough types in order to send a “scared straight” type message to young women. Nonetheless, I disagree with the ideologues, and I don’t think that this is an effective strategy.

    I also have difficulty understanding the logic in the below quote:

    >>religious precept
    ah the argument has changed to scientific and humane precept…say Ultrasound…

    Does the ultrasound image prove the “personhood” of the fetus? How so? Scientists were studying fetal development many years before ultrasound imaging became available.

    #14731
    Amus
    Participant

    Exactly!
    Has there been some recent development in Ultrasound technology that detects sentience?

    #14736
    edselehr
    Participant

    Clouds are sentient beings with life and rights. Here’s proof:

    Because if it looks like life, it must be life.

    One can also tell the difference between evil and good people, because evil people are ugly and good people are beautiful.

    Truth is easy to ascertain if you know how.

    #14744
    Vitalogy
    Participant

    The more serious thing here is that any pregnant woman could be subject to criminal charges simply by being pregnant with this kind of legislation.

    Pure and simple this is an over the top charge by a prosecuter.

    #14753
    Broadway
    Participant

    >>Truth is easy to ascertain if you know how.
    Life is all around us…we all see that…it’s just how we respect and respond to it…not very good in a lot of cases these days in the name of personal rights…just think of others sometimes…and if it happens to be in the womb…let there be life!

    #14757
    Chris_Taylor
    Participant

    Broadway – let me quote again from Catholic Nun, Joan Chittister:

    “I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.”

    #14771
    Broadway
    Participant

    >>a much broader conversation
    Talk is not doing much for millions being slaughtered over generations so I think our Nun friend is misguided plus adoption would solve most of those “need” issues mentioned.

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