From In Utero Child Abuse To Illegitimate Abortion
“What do you think the consequences should be for a woman who harms her unborn baby by drinking alcohol?”
That is the question a friend from high school recently asked on Facebook. She and her husband adopted a little girl from Russia who suffers from several physical conditions because the birth mom drank alcohol while pregnant.
It’s common knowledge that when an expecting mom drinks alcohol, it greatly puts an unborn baby at risk. Granted, alcohol isn’t the only harmful threat for a child in regards to the pregnant mom’s wreckless behavior.
What about drugs? What about carelessness in general? What consequences are there for those in our society whom we consider to be “unfit mothers?”
It’s not like it’s easy to always pinpoint the “birth defects” of a child on the mother’s bad decisions. After all, not every baby born from a good mother makes it into this world perfectly healthy.
But going back to the topic of pregnant mothers who make destructive decisions, what exactly can we consider to be “child abuse” in the womb? Or as I like to call it: in utero child abuse.
For me, though, I take this topic a level further:
If a mother deliberately harms her fetus with the intent to kill her child, maybe by using a coat hanger, or having someone repeatedly punch her stomach, or even if the mom herself shoots her own stomach with a gun, and the child dies in the womb, is that definitely considered murder?
I realize each state may have its laws regarding this situation, but I’m less concerned with man’s law and more interested to know how our society perceives this within our own moral scope.
When a mother intentionally terminates her pregnancy on her own in some unthinkable way I just named, is that definitely murder?
Or do we deem that as an illegimate version of an abortion?
Image: Pregnant woman holding a cigarette, via Shutterstock.