Fetal abuse can take on many forms. For many, it is drugs and alcohol. In some states around the country, the same protective laws that have been used to help protect children in abusive situations are being used on mothers to be who have potentially caused harm to their child by taking in these substances. There are a growing number of criminal charges being pressed. But, there is a good and a bad side to these stories of fetal abuse.
While there are many laws to protect children from the abuses of their parents, there are not as many to protect unborn babies. But, with states such as South Carolina enacting rights for these children, there are more and more mothers to be being charged and in some cases, not only having their babies taken away from them at birth but also their older children. But, is this a good thing?
Many pro life groups are cautioning governments that are enacting these laws. Simply, if a mother to be is taking drugs and knows that she can be arrested if caught by her doctor, will she stop taking drugs or will she stop seeing the doctor? Without prenatal help, babies are more likely to face larger complications in the long run. Also, and even worse, many activists claim that these laws will encourage more and more women to seek out abortions because they can not get over the addiction of the drugs they are on.
There is little doubt that these substances do in fact cause birth defects that are physical and mental. Laws for fetal abuse are quite different in each location. In some areas, laws will allow mothers to be to be charged with child endangerment by exposing them to drugs even though the child is born fine. Other states are charging mothers with attempted murder in such cases where mothers were drinking and taking drugs to purposely kill their child. Still others charge mothers with providing controlled substances to children. It is important that every mother realize the importance of staying away from these chemicals during pregnancy because even one use can do significant, lifelong damage to the unborn baby. Fetal abuse cases are becoming more popular and currently 17 states have enacted laws to protect these children.