Expecting Trouble: Surrogacy, Fetal Abuse, and New Reproductive Technologies

By Patricia Boling | Go to book overview

6
Punishment, Treatment,
Empowerment: Three Approaches
to Policy for Pregnant Addicts

IRIS MARION YOUNG

IN THIS ESSAY I use some issues and concepts of feminist ethics, postmodernism, and critical theory to reflect on one very important women's issue: policy approaches to pregnant women who are habitual drug users. 1 Many people, including law enforcement officials, child protection agents, and legislators, think that women who use drugs during pregnancy should be punished for the harm or risks of harm they bring to their babies. I analyze this punishment approach and argue that the situation of pregnant addicts does not satisfy the conditions usually articulated by philosophers to justify punishment. A punishment approach, moreover, may have sexist and racist implications and ultimately operate more to maintain a social distinction between insiders and deviants than to protect children.

Most of those who criticize a punishment approach to policy for pregnant addicts call for meaningful treatment programs as an alternative; I interpret this treatment approach as a version of a feminist ethic of care. For the most part theorizing about the ethic of care has remained at the level of ontology and epistemology, with little discussion of how the ethic of care interprets concrete moral issues differently from more traditional approaches to ethics. By arguing that a treatment approach to pregnant addicts can be justified by an ethic of care, I propose to understand this ethic of care as a moral framework for social policy.

Although I agree with a treatment approach to policy for pregnant addicts, from a feminist point of view there are reasons to be suspicious of many aspects of typical drug treatment. Relying on Michel Foucault's notions of disciplinary

-109-

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Expecting Trouble: Surrogacy, Fetal Abuse, and New Reproductive Technologies
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • Notes 7
  • 2 - The Tailor-Made Child: Implications for Women and the State 9
  • Notes 19
  • References 21
  • 3 - Fetal Personhood: Political Identity Under Construction 25
  • Notes 44
  • References 51
  • 4 - Fetal Endangerment Versus Fetal Welfare: Discretion of Prosecutors in Determining Criminal Liability 55
  • Notes 75
  • References 79
  • 5 - A Gender Analysis of Policy Formation: the Case of Fetal Abuse 85
  • Notes 103
  • References 104
  • 6 - Punishment, Treatment, Empowerment: Three Approaches to Policy for Pregnant Addicts 109
  • Notes 126
  • References 131
  • 7 - The Aclu Philosophy and the Right to Abuse the Unborn 135
  • Notes 140
  • 8 - The Trope of the Dark Continent in the Fetal Harm Debates: "Africanism" and the Right to Choice' 142
  • Notes 152
  • 9 - "Surrogate Mothering" and Women's Freedom: a Critique of Contracts for Human Reproduction 156
  • Notes 171
  • References 174
  • 10 - The "Gift" of a Child: Commercial Surrogacy, Gift Surrogacy, and Motherhood 177
  • Notes 196
  • References 200
  • About the Contributors 203
  • About the Book 205
  • Index 207
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