What qualifies..

Do you think that mothers who drink alcohol or do drugs while pregnant should be charged with child abuse?

For starters of course it should be a requirement that the mother know or suspect that she is pregnant.

Alcohol I really think the damage depends on the extent to which the mother is drinking - after all, for centuries women have been having healthy babies in spite of drinking somewhat during their pregnancies. Prosecuting a mother who indulges in alcohol but rarely and moderately would be like prosecuting a mother who fails to take folate tablets or every once in a while eats pate or something.

But yes, if a mother is abusing drugs or alcohol to an extent where significant damage to the baby is likely, why not? I think any reasonably-educated woman would be aware that these things do harm to a fetus.

If a radiologist were, knowing the mother is pregnant, to xray the mother and damage to the baby resulted, or another doctor were to, knowing the mother is pregnant, continue to prescribe drugs that are known to be harmful to babies, you can bet your life they’d be prosecuted and rightly so. We have the Thalidomide cases of the 1960s to show that, where an anti-morning-sickness drug was found to have been negligently put on the market and prescribed in spite of it being known to cause fetal deformities.

Smoking too, perhaps?

Sadly, we cannot legislate against stupidity. :eek:

The issue begs the question, do you take the child away from the mother immediately after birth?

Well, it is done in cases where the mother urgently needs rehab and is deemed to be unfit by reason of drug or alcohol dependency.

understand your point in the context of this thread, however, we do legislate stupidty, consider seatbelt and drunk driving laws.

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