Smoke-Free Womb

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Remember Bob Mathis, the Arkansas legislator who wondered "whether it was 'constitutional' for a mother to smoke while pregnant"? John Banzhaf, executive director of Action on Smoking and Health, does not address the issue directly, but he is confident that it would be constitutional to prohibit pregnant women from smoking, as Mathis wants to do. An ASH press release informs us that "law professor John Banzhaf, who has successfully led a movement which has spread smoking bans outdoors, into private homes (in custody cases and where foster children live), into apartments (when neighbors complain), and into cars (when children are present), says expanding it into wombs would be constitutional….To those who argue that a ban on smoking by pregnant women would constitute an invasion of her constitutional right of privacy, Banzhaf notes that her so-called privacy rights are inextricably bound up with the right of the child not to be subjected to dangerous unnecessary health risks, if not death itself."

Having examined the slope on which Mathis' proposed ban lies, Banzhaf pronounces it unslippery: "To the concerns… that such a law would inevitably lead to restrictions on many other activities by pregnant women, Banzhaf notes that legislators can and do draw lines. The ban on TV advertising for cigarettes has not spread to other products, handguns–but not shotguns–are banned in certain situations, knives of one length but not another are often illegal, drinking is legal at age 21 but not at age 20, etc."

Maybe those clever legislators could give some line drawing lessons to Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who sounds ready to follow Mathis and Banzhaf into the womb:

"I haven't thought it through all together in terms of the legality of it," Huckabee said while meeting with reporters to announce a planned trip to Asia. "From a health standpoint, heck yeah, it makes sense."…

Huckabee said such a prohibition, if enacted, would probably have to cover other unhealthy activities such as drinking.

"There are a lot of things pregnant women shouldn't do. That's just one of them," Huckabee said. "The point is, if you're going to make that against the law you're probably going to have to extend it to all the other things that are equally unhealthy for the child."

Michael Siegel, one anti-smoking activist who is not joining Banzhaf's march into the uterus, has started a list of "other things": "drinking during pregnancy, unprotected sex during pregnancy, failure to take multi-vitamins with folate during pregnancy, changing cat litter during pregnancy, and eating too much salt while pregnant." He also notes that "the same argument used by ASH to defend this proposed law against the argument that it intrudes into the privacy rights of women could just as easily be used to outlaw abortion," which is a bit more hazardous to a fetus than Mom's cigarette habit.

[Thanks to Linda Stewart for the tip.]

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  1. Well, hell, why don’t we just incarcerate women as soon as they conceive. Or earlier, since pre-conception activities can also be harmful to growing babies. Hell, let’s just keep them incarcerated from menarche to menopause.

    Anything short of this could be harmful to… the children.

  2. into apartments (when neighbors complain),

    I don’t see how this is a problem for a libertarian. Why should I have to allow someone else to pollute my living space with their tobacco smoke?

  3. Why should I have to allow someone else to pollute my living space with their tobacco smoke?

    Replace “tobacco smoke” with “anything that has a discernible scent” and maybe you can figure it out.

  4. Now, on one level I agree with you… but for argument’s sake, let’s say this issue is precisely like abortion. At what point does a child gain legal protection as an individual?

    Obviously, it’s illegal to feed your two year old child poisons. And obviously we shouldn’t ban women from smoking just because they “could become pregnant at any time!”

    You have to determine the point, one way or another, when a jumbled collection of cells with no human rights becomes a child with those rights. After that point, forcing poisons on that child becomes illegal — I’d say that most people agree that the point is not “birth.”

    Obviously these individuals you describe disagree with you and me about when that point is, and it is indeed likely they disagree with us about abortion as well. But then, the issue isn’t smoking or abortion at all. It is “when does not-life become life?” Until we define that, all this stuff is pointless.

  5. I think my mother smoked when she was pregnant with me; certainly she smoked throughout my childhood. What harm did that cause? I’m short, but I think that has more to do with my DNA than any environmental factors. (I’m still taller than my mother and grandmother were.) Even if it could be proven that I’d be an inch or two taller if my mother hadn’t smoked, should she be fined or sued for making her daughter’s adult height be only five-three instead of five-five?

    However, my mother also drank lots and lots of milk while she was pregnant, and made ME drink lots of it as a kid, which means I have good teeth and didn’t suffer my first cavity until age seventeen. Perhaps her milk-drinking can earn her enough good-mama bonus points to offset the bad-mama smoking demerits, and keep her out of jail?

    Also, would it be illegal for a pregnant woman to smoke on her way to an abortion clinic? If a woman will face charges her first trimester, can she get out of them by getting an abortion?

  6. Ban it all…

    I said it an earlier thread and I will say it in this one. This is the logical conclusion of life begins at conception and the fetus has the rights of a living breathing person.

    Just as no one should be allowed to force me to smoke a cig, a pregnant mother should not be allowed to force her fetus to smoke a cig, or drink alcohol, or eat KFC with excessive levels of trans fat.

    And I hope that the penalties are jail time and not small fines. Then maybe people will start to realize the insanity of treating a fucking fetus as a person with full rights and hopefully enough people will start to get caught up in the nannyism and finally say enough is enough.

  7. Why is anybody surprised? The Governor’s name is better suited for a wanna-be-upscale fast food restaurant.

    “It is “when does not-life become life?” Until we define that, all this stuff is pointless.”

    Whenever we define it, it must contain an element of metabolic independence, including independent aspiration, etc.

    When’s your birthday? How about then? Seems pretty simple to this citizen. The rest seems like smoke and mirrors because people are uncomfortable with female sexuality.

  8. This is the logical conclusion of life begins at conception and the fetus has the rights of a living breathing person.

    Umm, no. Were that so, the logical conclusion of making smoking in the car with your kids legal would be making it legal to kill your kids.

  9. Maybe this is what it takes for the population to recognize that both the anti-smoking activists and the anti-abortion activists are going well beyond the bounds of basic sanity.

  10. the logical conclusion of making smoking in the car with your kids legal would be making it legal to kill your kids.

    No, because smoking in your car doesn’t kill your kids; at worst, it might conceivably make them develop health problems a couple decades down the road.

  11. So, the only choices are to detain all women of childbearing age, strap them to their beds, and force-feed them nutritious foods, or allow them to kill their offspring. Talk about false dilemma!

    The rest seems like smoke and mirrors because people are uncomfortable with female sexuality.

    That’s an awfully strong claim, VM…do you have awfully strong evidence to back it up?

  12. I’m short

    Good thing, that. They won’t feel so guilty when they treat you like a small child.

  13. It is “when does not-life become life?” Until we define that, all this stuff is pointless.

    The problem isn’t that we can’t define it. It’s that we can’t agree on a definition. At the core of the debate is a fundamental problem of language that arises when we take words/concepts that developed in one context, and try to apply them in another. “Personhood” is a word/concept that developed for legal and moral uses, and does not fit well into an embryological or genetic usage.

    One might as well be discussing the mass of the soul, or the number of angels that could fit in a proton, for all the meaning you’re going to extract.

    The result is confusion. Obviouusly.

  14. The problem isn’t the smoke it’s the womb. Let’s be honest, the state cannot let something as important as reproduction of the next generation of victums and taxpayers be jeopardized by activities that an American women might engage. Let’s go to next level and outlaw natural reproduction. It will be one way California can justify spending 3 billion dollars on cloning.

  15. This is the logical conclusion of life begins at conception and the fetus has the rights of a living breathing person.

    The logical conclusion is that all children should be wards of the state and that all pregnant women should be institutionalized so that they can be monitored and maintained 24/7 to ensure the perfect health of their child.

  16. Jennifer,

    Smoking while pregnant doesn’t cause the immediate death of the fetus, either. In both cases, the damage is of a relatively long-term variety.

  17. “Maybe this is what it takes for the population to recognize that both the anti-smoking activists and the anti-abortion activists are going well beyond the bounds of basic sanity.

    Comment by: Russ R at June 15, 2006 12:05 PM”

    hear hear!

    the funny thing, Russ, is that the anti abortion people can be thrown in the ID crowd’s line of “thought”. They get soooo cute when they froth. *gg*

    But think of those cultural (legal/codified) practices to which men are indifferent but affect only women – how would the men react? You get stuff like “it’s for their protection” “it’s out of respect” or my favorite “it’s for the children”.

    It’s fun when the “grow some” crowd can’t take it.

    But then their type of ignorance is beneath contempt.

  18. Smoking while pregnant doesn’t cause the immediate death of the fetus, either. In both cases, the damage is of a relatively long-term variety.

    So tell me what long-term damage I should expect as the offspring of a smoking Jezebel. I don’t have asthma or any other respiratory problems, and according to an allergy test the only thing I’m allergic to is a type of rye grass that only grows in South America. Assuming I stay the fuck out of the Brazilian rain forest, what’s going to happen to me? What specific types of health insurance should I buy to offset the irreparable-though-so-far-invisible damage I’m suffering from my mother’s smoking habits?

  19. VM,

    Were you abused by a pro-life person as a child?

    It’s OK if you don’t want to talk about it.

  20. Jennifer,

    I think we misunderstood each other. I was responding to a poster who was saying that recognizing the fetus to be a person would require that we ban smoking by pregnant women. I was merely saying that the conclusion does not follow. I do not support banning smoking by pregnant women.

  21. I imagine that letting pregnant women drive is dangerous to the fetus, too. As well as to the mother.

  22. I’m a lover, not a smoker.

  23. I’m sure one does more potential damage by even having kids in the car driving, by the odds of getting hurt/killed in a potential accident then by smoking in the car. So why not just ban kids from cars altogether?

  24. But it gets really cute when the pro lifers try to be funny.

    pat pat.

    ooh. an abuse joke. you’re the religious one. you’d have more info on that than would I. didja like father dowlings codpiece?

  25. “Life” clearly doesn’t begin at conception, since both the sperm and the egg are alive before conception.

    That may sound like ridiculous nit-picking, but it’s relevant to the logical progression of laws to protect children before they’re born. Some activities may statistically harm the DNA within the sperm and egg more than the passage of time does.

    I understand how a religion can declare by fiat that a new life begins at conception. It’s their religion, they can make whatever claims they want. However, making laws due to religious definitions is a bad idea. There still may be pragmatic reasons to use certain events (e.g. conception, implantation, brain waves, birth) as beginnings or cutoffs for various protections, but if the state is justified in prohibiting a mother from smoking when pregnant, it’s going to be hard to claim that it’s not justified in prohibiting non-pregnant, women of child-bearing age from doing things that could harm their eggs.

    Personally, I see that as a reason to disfavor conception as a starting point for much of anything. It’s really less special than it appears.

  26. We saw this gobbledygook with the anti-gay bigots and their “not good for the kids” drivel. When you press them on the reductio argument of why we let poor people have children, they instantly implode.

    And heck, let’s just bring back forced sterilization while we’re at it. “Three generations of [fill in the blank] are enough!”

  27. Since pregnancy itself is risky, the logical thing to do is ban child-birth. End of problem.

  28. I was responding to a poster who was saying that recognizing the fetus to be a person would require that we ban smoking by pregnant women

    uhmm no…

    recognizing a fetus as a person with rights is what will allow, not require, that we ban smoking by pregnant women.

    The moment you treat a fetus with the full rights of a person as opposed to an extension of the mother until it is born, then the fetus can be protected by stupid laws like this. No it doesn’t require it, but it opens the door to it and it does seem to follow from it…

    If the fetus has rights, then it follows that its mother can not violate it’s rights with her poor choices / actions. The state will have carte blance to regulate behavior of the mother as long as it justifies it by “protecting the rights of a fetus”.

  29. “I understand how a religion can declare by fiat that a new life begins at conception. It’s their religion, they can make whatever claims they want. However, making laws due to religious definitions is a bad idea.”

    exactly. And just when did this little belief begin? (serious question)

    But since it is a fiat by one’s religion, we can understand and respect that this is one person’s choice, but forcing that belief on others who don’t share that religion is where the problem is.

  30. AML:

    One might as well be discussing the mass of the soul, or the number of angels that could fit in a proton, for all the meaning you’re going to extract.

    The result is confusion. Obviously.

    Definitely. But that’s the crux of the issue, as hard and as disagreeable as it is. Doesn’t it seem like an issue that should be resolved, perhaps if only in a legal context? Legally, there are some definitions in place — obviously, our laws will not accept “I didn’t think he was a person yet” if you kill a 25 year old person.

    Crimethink:

    I was responding to a poster who was saying that recognizing the fetus to be a person would require that we ban smoking by pregnant women. I was merely saying that the conclusion does not follow. I do not support banning smoking by pregnant women.

    Why wouldn’t that follow? I’m not being rhetorical, but simply asking why. Ignoring the specifics of “smoking” or “abortion” or “physical abuse,” at what point does it become wrong to harm your child? And if it’s not related to them being a person or not, what is it, in your opinion?

    As contrast, my definition of what you can and can’t do to something is dependant on their personhood.

  31. ChicagoTom,

    Leaving aside bans on smoking in bars and workplaces — which none of us here support anyway — there are no blanket bans on smoking around already-born persons, who presumably have rights, are there?

  32. I have a serious question: okay, say she isn’t allowed to smoke, can she still buy nicorette patches and/or gum?

    I mean, look, the reason smoking is bad for you isn’t really the nicotine, it’s the damn tar in the cigarettes and the fact that you’re, you know, breathing in smoke. This is why smokeless products tend to cause less cancer than smoking. I’m failing to see how the parasite is really going to be exposed to any excess health risks other than the nicotine. Granted, I’m no biologist, so maybe one can explain it to me, but aside from the freedom aspect (and isn’t there that whole 14th amendment that keeps laws from applying only to some people?), doesn’t it seem stupid to ban smoking when you can get nicotine in other ways?

    Then again, why should I be shocked that a statist is a flippin’ retard.

  33. Crimethink:
    Leaving aside bans on smoking in bars and workplaces — which none of us here support anyway — there are no blanket bans on smoking around already-born persons, who presumably have rights, are there?

    But, to use the abortion analogy again, there are bans against terminating them.

  34. “Life” clearly doesn’t begin at conception, since both the sperm and the egg are alive before conception.

    Ugh, if I had a nickel for every time I’ve debunked this piece of sophistry. First off, were that true, life wouldn’t begin at birth either, since the unborn fetus is also alive. In fact, life could never begin anymore, since all living organisms for the past couple billion years have proceeded from living cells.

    The problem with your statement is that the term “life” has two meanings; it refers to the quality of being alive, and to an individual organism’s period of existence. It is the second meaning of “life” that begins at conception, since the entity resulting from the union of sperm and ovum is a new organism.

  35. Brian Moore,

    My point exactly. The law currently forbids killing persons, but does not forbid exposing them to smoke. Thus, making it illegal to kill a fetus does not require that we make it illegal to expose a fetus to smoke.

  36. there are no blanket bans on smoking around already-born persons, who presumably have rights, are there

    From Mr. Sullum’s post :

    law professor John Banzhaf, who has successfully led a movement which has spread smoking bans outdoors, into private homes (in custody cases and where foster children live), into apartments (when neighbors complain), and into cars (when children are present)

    Furthermore, there is quite a difference between smoking “around” a child — which can be easily avoided and smoking while there is a child INSIDE of you, if you are a pregnant mother.

    A pregnant woman who smokes is making her child smoke as well. She couldn’t go outside or in another room, when she smokes, the kid smokes too — against its will and its rights to not smoke.

    I guess I am having a hard time understanding what your position is? Is it you belief that by declaring the fetus to have the rights of a person, that will not in fact embolden politicians to pass more and more laws restricting the type of behavior that pregnant mothers can engage in that could be deemed violating the rights of a fetus?

  37. But it gets really cute when the pro lifers try to be funny.

    No more cute than when the pro choicers try to argue rationally. Any evidence to back up your blanket condemnations of pro-lifers yet?

  38. The problem with your statement is that the term “life” has two meanings; it refers to the quality of being alive, and to an individual organism’s period of existence. It is the second meaning of “life” that begins at conception, since the entity resulting from the union of sperm and ovum is a new organism.

    I think what matters is whether or not an organism is alive enough to warrant legal protection of its existence. Every blood cell in my body is alive, but if I accidentally prick my finger and hundreds of millions of blood cells fall out and die I don’t have to report that to the police, the way I’d have to report the accidental death of even one of my colleagues.

    Basicaly, Crimethink, if you think the fetus is alive enough to be the legal equivalent of my co-workers rather than my blood cells, then it is indeed natural to assume we’d have to make lots and lots of laws governing how pregnant women behave. If I take an inhalation off a cigarette and deliberately blow it in my colleague’s face I can get in legal trouble for assault; why shouldn’t the fetus–its presumptive legal equivalent–enjoy the same protection? And it would be illegal for me to secretly spike my colelague’s drink with alcohol, so why not make it illegal to drink any alcohol while pregnant?

    Incidentally, I read that pregnant women who are depressed or stressed out can seriously harm their babies, because that messes up the hormonal levels in the womb. So we need to make it illegal for pregnant women to suffer stress or depression.

  39. Crimethink:

    Sounds good — then we move into the territory of whether or not it’s a use of “force.” Obviously, it’s wrong to go lock up an adult and force smoke on them — and we accept that people have the right to say “no smoking on my property.” So, is it “force” to impose smoke on an unborn fetus?

    If you say “no, because the mother owns her womb” (which I agree with) then the natural devil’s advocate response is: “well, the mother owns her house as well — would it be all right to harm the child after birth as well, perhaps with a lead pipe instead of just second-hand smoke?”

    So then the question becomes, what state-enforceable obligations do parents have towards children? Especially since we accept that children do not have the legal rights of adults.

  40. it’s your imaginary friend. it’s your belief. YOU defend.

    My opinion of whence the anti choice opinions derive are not up for proof. I offered a suggestion for components for a definition of life that, unlike your pseudo scientific church fiats, offered some objective milestones in their parts.

    But I know – you’re as smart as Vizzini. And you’re probably a really tough guy.

    When do you celebrate your BIRTH day? oh. but you were alive earlier? Man, would that you could grandfathered in on drinking laws.

    When you understand that your religious fiat is not a “rational” (your word) basis for determining biological control of a woman’s body, I’d say this is over. And your reign ends none too quickly.

    You and Dave W can go slaughter a goat at the shrine of corn syrup.

    Beneath. Contempt.

  41. ChicagoTom,

    No one has the power to give a fetus, or anyone else, the rights of a person. Those rights are possessed by all persons, regardless of whether they are recognized in law. Personhood depends on the nature of an organism itself, not the scribblings of its fellow organisms.

    If you disagree, believing that the rights of a person can be given (or taken away) at the state’s whim, well, I don’t see how I can argue with you, since our principles are so different.

  42. The trick is to figure out which of these

    http://www.purdue.edu/REM/ih/terat.htm

    to ban.

    Information/education is the key, not wacky unenforcible laws.

    PS. Don’t drink or smoke while pregnant. Both increase your chances of a child with low birth weight, learning and other developmental problems.

    fasdpn.org

  43. I actually don’t think the argument here perfectly tracks the person/nonperson debate we get with abortion. What you could perfectly coherently think is that the fetus is not, at any stage, a person (and so could be aborted) but that smoking during pregnancy is wrong in light of the effect on the future quality of life of the person who’ll exist sometime after delivery. To make it clear, you can just take the fetus out of the picture altogether: Imagine there’s some drug that alters a person’s body chemistry so that any child they *later* conceive is going to have serious developmental disabilities or health problems. It’s not hard to imagine someone saying (and keeping the law entirely out of it) that there’s some sort of moral problem with taking the drug (assuming you don’t really need to) if you plan to have children. It doesn’t have to turn on any views about the status of the fetus either way.

  44. No one has the power to give a fetus, or anyone else, the rights of a person. Those rights are possessed by all persons, regardless of whether they are recognized in law.

    Even so, the law can choose whether or not it will defend a person’s rights. Right now, the law will defend the rights of my colleagues to exist, but will not defend the rights of my blood cells or a fetus. So again, if you say a fetus is identical to my colleagues, then why the hell shouldn’t the cops view a drinking pregnant woman the same way they’d view me if I spiked my colleague’s drink without teling them? Why shouldn’t a smoking pregnant woman be treated the same as a person who deliberately blows smoke in people’s faces?

  45. I’m not much interested in joining the abortion argument, rousing though it may be, but there is one point I’d like to make. We’re going to draw the line between not human-human somewhere. Birth used to be a good line, but it really has to be moved back some because of the viability issue. One can argue with that, but what’s the difference between an 8-month old fetus and a newborn child?

    To me, you can take out all of the religious and even the political arguments and reduce this to one question: When is a person a person? Yeah, that’s an obvious point, but I think people can be on either side of this issue and have a principled position (they can also have nutty positions–every sperm is sacred!).

    On the other hand, the pro-abortion folks talk about women’s rights, but, of course, those rights end somewhere (can’t kill a newborn in our society, for instance). And the anti-abortion people talk about the fetus’ rights, but even they have to acknowledge some limits. Is a miscarriage manslaughter? Is male masturbation murder?

  46. Imagine there’s some drug that alters a person’s body chemistry so that any child they *later* conceive is going to have serious developmental disabilities or health problems. It’s not hard to imagine someone saying (and keeping the law entirely out of it) that there’s some sort of moral problem with taking the drug (assuming you don’t really need to) if you plan to have children.

    But even so, Julian, this rests on the assumption that any woman who wants to or even might want to have children later has to pretty much make the rest of her existence center around that.

    If I get pregnant but have weak pelvic bones, that can result in a difficult birth and increase the chances of my kid having a defect. So is it immoral for a woman who might one day conceive to not do everything in her power to keep her bones as strong and healthy as possible?

    Stress can harm a developing fetus; is it immoral for a high-strung woman who might one day conceive to not undergo meditation or other stress-relief tactics?

    What about a woman who rides horseback and uses a sidesaddle? Twisting your middle around like a corkscrew is not a good thing to do if you want to have babies later.

  47. Well, it’s not like the mother “locks up” the zygote when she becomes pregnant, any more than the embryo trespasses on the mother’s property when it implants. Analogies to already-born persons, who are free to come and go without being destroyed in the process, are not going to apply in this situation; the nature of the embryo/fetus is such that it must attach to the mother to survive.

    But to say that, because the situation is so complicated, we should just simplify it by allowing people to kill people, is absurd.

    To return to my analogy about the downed pilot on your sailboat, even though you would normally have the right to expel people from your property, you can’t throw him overboard; likewise, even though he would normally have the right to tell you to turn your hip-hop music down, he can’t force you to as an uninvited guest.

  48. It is “when does not-life become life?” Until we define that, all this stuff is pointless.

    Reply by AML: The problem isn’t that we can’t define it. It’s that we can’t agree on a definition.
    (bold added by me)

    I think people are missing the bigger point. Who is “we” and why should this “we” be deciding what to do with my body and what is in it?

  49. Imagine there’s some drug that alters a person’s body chemistry so that any child they *later* conceive is going to have serious developmental disabilities or health problems. It’s not hard to imagine someone saying (and keeping the law entirely out of it) that there’s some sort of moral problem with taking the drug (assuming you don’t really need to) if you plan to have children.

    Whoops, forgot to mention–your hypothetical assumes a guarantee, does it not? “If you take this drug, it is GUARANTEED that any kid you have will be deformed.” So this doesn’t apply to smoking. Smoking while pregnant might increase the possibility of problems in children, but it is no guarantee–my mother smoked, and I imagine a lot of people of my generation can say the same thing. And yet I am perfectly fine.

  50. What you could perfectly coherently think is that the fetus is not, at any stage, a person (and so could be aborted) but that smoking during pregnancy is wrong in light of the effect on the future quality of life of the person who’ll exist sometime after delivery.

    This week I threatened to get around to Sanchez, but it is hard to fault a man who says sensible things like this. You can’t set up a springgun in the crib even though the future occupant is in utero. Duh.

    I do think it matters what the size, nature and probability of the expected damage is. This thread is pretty light on those considerations.

  51. Julian,

    that smoking during pregnancy is wrong in light of the effect on the future quality of life of the person who’ll exist sometime after delivery.

    Doesn’t killing the fetus have a bad effect on the future quality of life of the person who would have been born?

    Yes, I know that it’s a bit of a stretch to talk about the quality of life of a non-living person, but otherwise, you could argue that killing someone in their sleep is less harmful to them than exposing them to secondhand smoke.

  52. Analogies to already-born persons, who are free to come and go without being destroyed in the process, are not going to apply in this situation

    Sure they do. I’m alone in the office right now, which means it would be stupendously easy to spike my colleague’s water bottles, or the company water cooler, with booze, thus making my colleagues get drunk against their will. But if I did this, it would of course be illegal, and I agree with the law which says it is.

    If you assume the fetus is a person, then why should drinking while pregnant be any different?

  53. You can’t set up a springgun in the crib even though the future occupant is in utero. Duh.

    But you can destroy the fetus that must continue developing for the future occupant to exist? (Leaving aside the question of whether the fetus itself is a person.)

    The assertion that it is better to kill a being than to risk harming it in the future should be absurd on its face, but a little sophistry goes a long way, I guess.

  54. Jennifer,

    The fetus consented to share chemicals in the mother’s bloodstream the moment it implanted as an embryo.

  55. The fetus consented to share chemicals in the mother’s bloodstream the moment it implanted as an embryo.

    So now you’re saying that a single-cell fetus is not only the legal equivalent of a full-fledged human being, but is also capable of consent? Riiiiight–a one-day fetus can consent to drinking alcohol, but this ability vanishes during the 21-year period between birth and legal drinking age?

  56. Crimethink,

    You can set up a springgun in the crib if you have good reason to believe and do believe that that particular crib has no future occupant.

    Sometimes you don’t know if the crib will have a future occupant or not. You probably shouldn’t be allowed to put the springgun in the crib in those circumstances either, uncertainty notwithstanding.

  57. The fetus consented to share chemicals in the mother’s bloodstream the moment it implanted as an embryo.

    crimethink,

    To call it a “fetus” with “consent” at that point is logically impossible and anachronistic. There is no “fetus” that “decides” to become an embryo. An embryo develops into a fetus eventually.

  58. You know these kind of situations would be made much better if we could just agree one one thing: sex is about fuckin now and not about making babies. It used to be about making babies but we just don’t live in that world anymore. The average person is going to do the wild thing many times and in only a very small percentage of those times is the intent to spawn. Imagine this: every person is fixed at birth. No one can make a baby anymore by putting slot A into tab B. If you want to make babies you have to go down to the clinic and sign a form in quadruplicate that says “I understand the DNA i’m handing over will be used in the making of a child. I understand I will be tested for substances I put into my body during this period. I will be financially responsible for this life form, etc.” Think about it: no or at least significantly less worries over teen pregnancy, abortion, dead beat dads, men who get lied to about the pregnancy and all of the other assorted ills and side effects of pregnancy.

    Or at least that’s what my tinfoil hat tells me is teh best solution. *puts foil hat on* Hey, that’s where i put my weed….

  59. There is no such thing as a single-cell fetus.

  60. There is no such thing as a single-cell fetus.

  61. In addition to fetuses consenting to get drunk inside mommy’s belly, I wonder if there are any suicidal fetuses who consent to abortions? Maybe when they kick inside the womb it’s not a sign of muscular development, but a cry for help–“Abort me, you ass! Do you think I want to be raised by your Oprah-quoting self and your white-trash husband?”

  62. I have a serious question: okay, say she isn’t allowed to smoke, can she still buy nicorette patches and/or gum?

    NO! Then the fetus becomes addicted to nicotine! You evil man! Suggesting this is punishable by removal of your children.

  63. Jennifer,

    “If you assume the fetus is a person, then why should drinking while pregnant be any different?”

    Just for the sake of getting around another, rather contentious, issue, let’s assume that the fetus has developed to a point where most of us can agree that it’s no longer just a lump of cells, and is now a “little person”. Otherwise, we’ll never get out of the muddy swamp of “is it a person?”, which really is ancillary to the real issue of children being protected by the government from their parents’ bad habits.

    What is our baseline here?

  64. Isn’t there that “due process” wild card in the 14th Amendment which is pretty much a Rorschach ink blot you can interpret as meaning anything you want?

    So it probably allows it.

  65. There is no such thing as a single-cell fetus.

    That’s what I used to think, but since life begins at conception and starts with a single cell that means there are single-cell human beings, which are capable of consenting to drink alcohol despite a complete lack of a brain or nervous system.

  66. smacky,

    Okay, amend my post to say “the embryo consents…”. The fetus is bound by its “decision” in an earlier stage of development.

    And yes, I know it sounds strange to talk about embryos consenting to anything, but it is the same way an unconscious person consents to CPR: when the only alternative is death, consent is assumed.

  67. My mother drank like a fish and smoked like a chimney all the way through all three of her pregnancies. All three of us kids turned out perfectly normal. Although laws like the proposed ban do make me think that perhaps *someone* suffered some prenatal damage….

  68. Smacky,

    The ‘we’ you were asking about are the lawmakers/enforcers. You know, the same ones that don’t allow you to rob or murder. Of course, it’ll be argued that it’s not a person, yadda yadda. And we’re back at the beginning. Who ‘we’ is, doesn’t matter in this debate.

    VM,

    Regarding ‘beneath contempt’, it seems you and strawman had a baby and called it moral outrage. Your claim that the pro-life argument is nothing more than ‘religious fiat’ is just inaccurate. If you want to plug your ears and play self-righteous, fine, but it’s uninteresting and doesn’t pass for rational argument.

  69. if you say a fetus is identical to my colleagues, then why the hell shouldn’t the cops view a drinking pregnant woman the same way they’d view me if I spiked my colleague’s drink without teling them?

    Actually, the question is why the cops shouldn’t regard my wife’s drinking while she was pregnant the same way they regard her allowing our child to sip from my wine glass or beer bottle. They probably should regard them in exactly the same way. And in both cases, it should be none of their fucking business.

    (Note: This example is provided purely in order to suggest a hypothetical situation. Please do not jump to the conclusion that I would in any way condone or be an accessory to a violation of Virginia’s laws about consumption of alcohol by minors, which were passed by all-wise and public-spirited legislators who mean nothing but the best for me and my family.)

  70. You can set up a springgun in the crib if you have good reason to believe and do believe that that particular crib has no future occupant.

    That is because cribs don’t spontaneously generate occupants. Fetuses, if left alone, will develop into born human beings.

    In other words, the existence of the crib does not imply the existence of an occupant; the existence of a fetus does imply the existence of a future born human being.

  71. crimethink,

    You have debunked nothing. Life doesn’t begin at birth. The unborn fetus is alive. Life can begin again, because scientists are clever and creating life from non-life is something I expect to see in my lifetime. I’m a “parts is parts” kind of guy, and I have “parts is parts” kids; one from my wife’s material and mine, and two from a donor eggs and my material. All three were put together in a petri dish.

    If you reread my post, you’ll see that I already made the distinction between life and “a new life”. It makes some sense to consider conception the beginning of a new life, although it also makes sense, in the case of in-vitro, to consider the actual selection of the sperm and the egg to be the beginning of a new life, or the implantation to be the beginning of the new life.

    Selection of sperm and egg: the DNA are chosen

    Conception: the DNA are combined

    Implantation: the DNA is given a home where it can grow

    Currently you can’t have a kid without each of those three (and many other) steps. Traditionally, selection of sperm and egg is done via a competition involving millions of participants, but that’s no longer necessary.

    None of the above changes my original point, which was you can damage the child that will be born by damaging the DNA before it’s mixed just as you can damage the child that will be born by changing the environment of the fetus.

    I don’t begrudge you your religion. It may make you a better person than I, perhaps in this life because you’re kinder and gentler, perhaps in the next life, where you’ll spend eternity in comfort and I will spend eternity regretting not believing in the big guy and his desire to torment non-believers. Perhaps not. We disagree. That’s fine. However, using religious certainty to decide matters of legislation is bad policy. Certain things happen at conception, but certain other things happen before conception.

    Julian Sanchez’s comment at 1:16 says it better than I did. Or maybe not, since Jennifer’s response suggests she’s read it a different way than I did.

    Pro Libertate,

    I disagree. There is absolutely no need to draw the line between non-human and human. In fact, I believe looking for such a line is doomed to failure, because there is no single defining moment. Determining when to afford which set of cells what sorts of protection is a similar task, but it doesn’t have the definitional baggage that your phrasing has.

  72. Who ‘we’ is, doesn’t matter in this debate.

    Yes it does. Because it’s in my body and therefore it’s my cluster of cells. If you want to get more technical, that cluster of cells is even moreso part of my body after it attaches to my womb.

    crimethink,

    You’re still equating a cluster of cells to a person, which is unknowable and undefinable and therefore a false assertion.

  73. Of course, we could solve the whole problem by requiring pregnant women to try to post on Hit and Run as soon as they find out. By the time the post goes through, they’ll have already given birth! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  74. anon2,

    What does my religion have to do with this? Is there a shred of religious reference anywhere in my arguments here? If not, dismissing my argument as religiously-based is an ad hominem attack.

  75. Ugh, if I had a nickel for every time I’ve debunked this piece of sophistry. First off, were that true, life wouldn’t begin at birth either, since the unborn fetus is also alive. In fact, life could never begin anymore, since all living organisms for the past couple billion years have proceeded from living cells.

    The problem with your statement is that the term “life” has two meanings; it refers to the quality of being alive, and to an individual organism’s period of existence. It is the second meaning of “life” that begins at conception, since the entity resulting from the union of sperm and ovum is a new organism.

    WOW! You sure told him! What a debunking!

  76. I remain on the human brainwave bandwagon RE: alive. However, as this “alive” thing cannot function without it’s mother’s bloodstream, I’m okay with that whole “viability” thing.

    But, you know, arguing about this with pro-lifers is about as fruitful as arguing with PETA over whether or not we should stab bunnies to cure cancer. We don’t need to convince them, we just need to stop them from having their way in government.

  77. Moreover, if the pro-lifers are going to be so vehement over a few internal cells, they should be arguing to outlaw killing of any living thing, including insects. Have you ever swatted a fly or stepped on an ant? Murderer!

  78. And I hope that the penalties are jail time and not small fines. Then maybe people will start to realize the insanity of treating a fucking fetus as a person with full rights and hopefully enough people will start to get caught up in the nannyism and finally say enough is enough.

    Sorry, ChicagoTom, won’t happen. It’s done, stick a fork in it. A judge recently ruled that a woman’s unborn child (fetus) was a U.S. Citizen. I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. When progressives found it advantageous to invade our privacy due to the vague notion of ‘social justice’, the game was up.

  79. Anon2:

    you’re taking MY claim, not Crimethink’s about religion. Yell at me for that, not him for that. He has not brought it up at all. As far as i can see, I was the only one who brought it up.

    And since the squirrels have eaten my other responses to Well.:

    don’t get what you’re saying. basically. The crux of my argument is trying to go about a def of beginning of life. And I maintain it should contain some components allowing for the metabolic independence (breathing, ADME, etc). And yes, i find it outrageous that the woman’s determination over her body to be restricted on such unclear grounds (“life begins at conception” – or, apart from your and Crimethink’s assertation – other religious grounds).

    But Anon2, I was equating being anti choice (as opposed to anti abortion, for i know people who are “pro choice” but wouldn’t get one themselves) with religion. Crimethink was not. This is a claim that Wellfellow and Crimethink reject. And, again, neither brought up religion. Only i did.

    I also understand that you do not share this approach W.R.T. “beginning of life”.

  80. crimethink,

    Reread my original comment. It was not directed at you. It did mention that I believe using the religious significance of conception as a basis for the laws is a bad idea.

    Science attempts to describe the process of having children at every level, although different branches of science deal with different aspects. Some scientists are interested in abiogenesis, some in evolution, some in genetics, etc. Conception has a special place in some religions. It shouldn’t have a special place in the law. It’s just one step of many.

    I actually read H&R through a filter that hides the commentator’s name. If I click on the “Comment by:” text, I can see who wrote what comment, but usually I don’t bother unless I’m replying to a specific post, or I’m curious for whatever reason. I try hard to form my opinion of each comment before I know who wrote it.

    BTW, if your arguments aren’t religious based, and they’re science based, feel free to address the content of my comments, rather than hinging everything on a minor point in what I’ve written. My thesis remains the same, it’s possible to damage the DNA before conception, and such damage can result in just as profound damage to the child who is eventually born as changes made to the fetus’s environment. Focusing on conception, therefore, excludes a significant portion of the eventually born child’s development.

  81. anon2,

    But, before conception, it has not been determined which gametes, if any, will combine to form a zygote. There is not a one-to-one correspondence between reproductive cells and future zygotes, as there is between fetuses and future born persons.

  82. If we can stop women from doing what they want with their bodies due to the extremely unlikely event that a mother’s smoking will hurt the child in the future, what should we do about conditions such as poverty and stupidity?

    There’s a good chance of a child having difficulites in life if there mother is stupid and poor, much more so than if their mother smokes. Heck, I hear some children of smokers even get to guest blog at websites

  83. VM,

    If you use the search function of your browser, you can see that I mentioned religion in a post that has the same time stamp as your post. That means that I posted it within a minute of yours being posted. I’m a quick typist, but sometimes a plodding thinker. I actually composed my letter before seeing anyone mention religion.

    I did, however, see people mentioning the idea that life begins at conception. It doesn’t. One can argue that “a new life” begins at conception, but both sperm and egg are alive prior to uniting. That may sound like ridiculous nit-picking, but ?

    So I wasn’t addressing crimethink at all in my first comment. It was only after he claimed to debunk my factual statement that I addressed him directly. And although I can be strong in my beliefs, I try not to yell at anyone, EXCEPT WHEN MY CAPS-LOCK KEY STICKS ACCIDENTALLY, or when I’m trying to sing like John Duffy.

  84. It’s a lot easier if we stop using the terms fetus, embryo, baby, child, and use the proper government term: potential taxpayer.

  85. So there has never been a spontaneous abortion, ever? There’s never been a miscarriage or a stillbirth? That’s news to me!

  86. “XCEPT WHEN MY CAPS-LOCK KEY STICKS ACCIDENTALLY, or when I’m trying to sing like John Duffy.

    Comment by: anon2 at June 15, 2006 03:32 PM”

    oh. blush. gotcha. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Or when you’re doing your m1ek ImPREssION!!!!!!!

    we just need to figure out how to prevent pregnant (or potentially pregnant) women from listening to euro dance mixes to prevent the potential taxpayer from catching teh gay!

  87. crimethink,

    Oops. I said “in-vitro”, when I meant “in-vitro with Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)”. That’s a technique where a single sperm is injected into the egg. It’s used in in-vitro where there is not a lot of high quality male material available. When having kids “naturally”, selection and conception are essentially the same point in time. With ICSI they’re distinct points in time.

    I apologize for any confusion I may have created by not mentioning ICSI. We used that procedure in each of our five in-vitro attempts, so it’s what I associate with in-vitro.

    Eventually it’s likely that custom DNA will be created from bits. I.e. a gamete could be sequenced, then the sequence could be manipulated digitally, with the end result an artificial gamete created. Although by the time they can do that, it might be possible to just go directly to creating the zygote DNA rather than making artificial gametes and combining them.

    This is what I mean when I say I’m a “parts is parts” person. Not only do I believe that what I’m describing is possible, I think it’s likely. I don’t think there will be any significant delay while scientists stumble around blindly looking for the extra parts that create a soul. As to what you believe in, I don’t know, nor do I represent that I do.

  88. Just for the sake of getting around another, rather contentious, issue, let’s assume that the fetus has developed to a point where most of us can agree that it’s no longer just a lump of cells, and is now a “little person”. Otherwise, we’ll never get out of the muddy swamp of “is it a person?”, which really is ancillary to the real issue of children being protected by the government from their parents’ bad habits. What is our baseline here?

    I tried responding earlier, Evan, but the server had other ideas. Assuming we’re at the point where we all agree the fetus has the rights of a full-born human, I think a distinction needs to be made between guaranteed harn and possible harm. Same goes for post-birth kids, too.

    Shooting your kid with a gun or shoving him off a cliff causes guaranteed harm. I agree those should be illegal. Putting cyanide or arsenic in your kid’s food causes guaranteed harm. Those too should remain illegal.

    But in terms of smoking around your kid, or when pregnant, we’re talking about something that might, possibly, increase the chance of harm, though on the other hand it might do nothing at all, and even if it DOES cause harm how can you prove it? As I said before, even if it can be proven beyond a doubt that I’d be a couple of inches taller if only my mother never smoked, is “being five-three instead of five-four” an actual harm that the law must prevent?

    And where then do you draw the line for potential harmful behavior? Sometimes when I was a kid, like say on birthdays or vacations, my parents would let me eat a super-unhealthy meal, pizza or ice cream or cake. Maybe–just maybe–if you went back in time and replaced those fifty unhealthy meals with fresh fruits and broiled skinless chicken, I’d be slightly better off healthwise than I am now.

    Maybe my IQ would be a couple of points higher if my mother had breast-fed me. Maybe I’d have more stamina today if she’d forced me to continue taking gymnastics lessons, rather than let me drop out after I told her I hated it.

    Furthermore, if my mother hadn’t drunk so much milk while she was carrying me, and forced me to drink so much of it as a kid, maybe I wouldn’t be cursed with kidneys that have made enough calcium kidney stones to string a goddamned rosary. Trust me, guys: strong teeth are nice, but getting a cavity drilled and filled is FAR more enjoyable than having a kidney stone. So maybe I should sue my mother? I can’t say for certain it’s her fault, but since almost every adult health problem is traceable to mom’s behavior I figure it’s worth a shot.

  89. Has anyone even stopped to ask how risky the mother smoking is? I knew I had read that the FATHER smoking was just as dangerous, if not more so (direct damage to sperm).

    “Risks for selected congenital anomalies from parental smoking were investigated in a case-control study in California. Mothers of 207 infants with conotruncal heart defects, 264 infants with neural tube defects, 178 infants with limb deficiencies, and 481 live born control infants delivered in 1987-1988 were interviewed by telephone. Modestly elevated risks were observed for conotruncal heart defects and limb deficiencies, associated primarily with both parents smoking. An odds ratio of 1.9 (95 percent confidence interval 1.2-3.1) was observed for conotruncal heart defects and an odds ratio of 1.7 (95% confidence interval 0.96-2.9) for limb deficiencies when both parents smoked compared to neither parent smoking. We did not observe increased risks associated with maternal smoking in the absence of paternal smoking, although an increased risk associated with paternal smoking in the absence of maternal smoking was observed for limb deficiencies in offspring. For conotruncal defects, the risks associated with parental smoking differed among race/ethnic groups. Parental smoking was not associated with increased risks for neural tube defects. Observed risks did not change substantially when adjusted for maternal vitamin use, alcohol use, and gravidity. Some heterogeneity in risk was observed for phenotypic case subgroups, but data were too sparse to draw firm inferences.” (Teratology 53:4, 1998)

  90. More of same, with bibliography of peer-reviewed medical studies.
    http://www.forces.org/evidence/hamilton/mat-smok/file2.htm

  91. So they called people whose kids had birth defects, but did they call the same number of people whose children came out OK and get the rate opf smoking there?

    Correlation does not imply causation (unless you live off governemnt grants).

  92. Being raised by a mother who smoked while she was pregnant sounds a whole lot better than being raised by a state agency because my mother was doin’ time for smoking while pregnant.

  93. Jennifer – your point further illustrates some issues with “harm” – quantities of milk certainly don’t have that effect on everybody, ๐Ÿ™‚

    thanks for the links, Linguist!

    Ny’er – huh? what correlation where?

    confused in Chicago…

  94. Well, they looked at rates of smoking for parnets of children with brith defects, and correlated the smoking wiht the brith defect.

    Seems like there could be other uncontrolled-for variables which may cause the birth defect besides the smoking.

    Calculating the odds ratio only uses a logistic regression, which is based on crrelation, as I understand it.

  95. huh?

    you don’t use R to calculate OLS nor logit.

    ln(p/(1-p)) is expressed in the model as a linear function of the dependent variables.

    it’s done in terms of probabilities, not correlations.

    it uses ML estimation, and, in fact, you get a “Quasi R^2” returned, as you can’t get an R^2. But the % correct predictions is used.

    And they looked at the likelihood of incidents given the dependent variables, not the linear association.

  96. Curb your baby-abetting instincts for a moment, and you’ll realize that infants can hardly be considered people even after they’re born. Their consciousness barely compares to that of a kitten at this stage. They won’t experience sentience for what? months? years? Rationality, that which separates man from animal–it might never even develop. Contrary to the instinctually driven mass delusion that children have some innate value beyond their potential, they are only the hideous, screaming agglomerations of organic matter from which a human being may spring with time. Fetal rights? Declaring the abominations “human” even after they clear the vagina is lending them far more credit than they deserve.

  97. Fetal rights? Declaring the abominations “human” even after they clear the vagina is lending them far more credit than they deserve.

    Comment by: J. Bruno at June 15, 2006 11:22 PM

    Especially so in your case, J. Bruno. How do you feel about Jews and People of Color?

  98. Apart from the liberties point of view, this idea that if you dont drink coffee, not smoke, eat health food every day, etc. etc. that you will automatically have a healthy child is just not true.

    A look into the future shows the mother of a handicapped child being grilled by the police…she MUST have done something wrong.

  99. VM,

    You’re right, I dug out my stat books and a logistic regression is not based on correlation.

  100. “Curb your baby-abetting instincts for a moment, and you’ll realize that infants can hardly be considered people even after they’re born. Their consciousness barely compares to that of a kitten at this stage. They won’t experience sentience for what? months? years? Rationality, that which separates man from animal–it might never even develop. Contrary to the instinctually driven mass delusion that children have some innate value beyond their potential, they are only the hideous, screaming agglomerations of organic matter from which a human being may spring with time. Fetal rights? Declaring the abominations “human” even after they clear the vagina is lending them far more credit than they deserve.”

    Just when I think my “slippery slope” concerns about abortion are probably overblown … J. Bruno uses one of the arguments against fetal humanity to contend that infants and maybe toddlers aren’t really human, either. Uh, thank you.

  101. @Julian

    Imagine there’s some drug that alters a person’s body chemistry so that any child they *later* conceive is going to have serious developmental disabilities or health problems. It’s not hard to imagine someone saying (and keeping the law entirely out of it) that there’s some sort of moral problem with taking the drug (assuming you don’t really need to) if you plan to have children.

    Somebody already did. Allegations that LSD caused chromosome damage (never substantiated) such that it could cause birth defects in future children were among the justifications given for Congress outlawing it in the 1960’s.

    @crimethink

    But to say that, because the situation is so complicated, we should just simplify it by allowing people to kill people, is absurd.

    We do allow people to kill people. We allow people to kill people in wars, for punishing crimes, and in self-defense among other circumstances.

    Even conceding that a fetus is alive and human (which I think could be easily demonstrated to the satisfaction of a biologist, anyway), that doesn’t necessarily preclude a right on the part of the mother to kill it.

  102. “Michael Siegel, one anti-smoking activist who is not joining Banzhaf’s march into the uterus, has started a list of “other things”: “drinking during pregnancy, unprotected sex during pregnancy, failure to take multi-vitamins with folate during pregnancy, changing cat litter during pregnancy, and eating too much salt while pregnant.”

    He forgot eating certain types of cheeses/fish as well as taking up a new vigorous exercise program.

    I’m pregnant and I take very good care of myself and my future child. I think the stress of harassment and incarceration is worse than a lot of things I could do all by myself. I would like to reiterate what I believe Michael Siegel is trying to say by asking who decides where it stops? My doctor said because I eat a healthy diet, vitamins aren’t mandatory. My doctor and his staff are up on all the latest medical information and I’ve had every test commonly available and some that aren’t so common. Causing pregnant women to be afraid to be honest with their health care professionals is not in the interest of public health. I believe women who are afraid of the added penalty will lie.

    I have chosen to take vitamins, I have chosen to not smoke or drink and I’ve made several other choices concerning my health and my child’s welfare that are the best choices for both of us. My husband supports my choices and has even made some changes and choices of his own. I don’t need some cookie cutter health directive from the government that comes with the threat of incarceration and a criminal record if I don’t follow it. If I see another pregnant women smoking or working in a smoky atmosphere, like a bar, I feel concern for her choices but I can’t say I believe a law would make her situation any better. I may be pregnant too, but I haven’t really walked in that other woman’s shoes. Quitting smoking can be hard. Being pregnant can be stressful all on it’s own. Why would anyone want to poke sticks at a women in this position? Maybe we should just stone her?

    I think back to my own poor, divorced, pregnant, unemployed mother, WHO SMOKED and DRANK and was in denial that she was pregnant again by the man she was divorcing. Adding a criminal record to her lot wouldn’t have helped my health and welfare as a baby one bit. And who the hell would take care of her other children while she was in jail? I’m in a much better situation than she was. I’m married, I’m having a first child in my 30’s, I’m college educated, and I’m financially stable. The thought of becoming a parent is exciting. It’s also stressful enough without the government intruding. The changes I made were rewarding and give a sense of self empowerment and responsibility. Passing laws that I must follow or risk going to jail, would take that away. People need to think for themselves and do for themselves. Passing laws that govern every thing we do takes that away.

    How do you know who to prosecute? I can just see some over zealous official rounding up all the fat bellied woman he sees smoking and hauling them down to the station to be given pregnancy tests. When do you prosecute? Do you round up all the women who smoked a cigarette in a moment of weakness or before they knew they were pregnant? And don’t tell me that they can be told that it starts from the moment she finds out she’s pregnant. I can see women putting off prenatal care until they are sure they have quit. We already have teenagers hiding pregnancies from their parents because they are afraid of the punishment. Do we need to add women who smoke to the list of women out there hiding and in denial of their pregnancy?

  103. into apartments (when neighbors complain),

    I don’t see how this is a problem for a libertarian. Why should I have to allow someone else to pollute my living space with their tobacco smoke?

    you don’t. i smoke in my living space, not your living space.

  104. Hmm, wonder when the Pro-abortion perople are going to start in on this. Giving rights to the unborn about being free from the harm of smoking. What next, that fetuses have constional right to live and bring out an abortion ban ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Talk about a bunch of people on the left gonna start after this guy on this issue….

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