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

By Patricia Boling | Go to book overview

criminatory way against the poor and women of color. Advocates of fetal abuse prosecution argue that substance-abusing mothers are unfit parents who must be forced into treatment if they wish to keep their children, whereas opponents of fetal abuse prosecution argue that such prosecutions weaken the family structure and force children into foster care, causing displacement and possibly exacerbating problems associated with prenatal substance abuse.

In our view, at this point the dangers of abuse outweigh the efficacy of using criminal prosecutions to force pregnant women to stop engaging in practices that endanger their fetuses. Allowing prosecutors wide latitude in charging women suspected of fetal abuse may drive pregnant addicts underground due to fear of losing their parental rights, ultimately making the cure worse than the disease.


Notes
1.
These interest groups and agencies included the Alcohol and Drug Problems Association of North America, the American Medical Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Reproductive Policy and Law, the Center for Women Policy Studies, the Children's Defense Fund, Children's Healthcare Is A Legal Duty, the Child Welfare League of America, the Eagle Forum, Families USA Foundation, the National Abortion Rights Action League, the National Center for the Prosecution of Child Abuse, the National Clearinghouse on Child Neglect and Abuse, the National Organization of Women, the National Right to Life Committee, Inc., the Planned Parenthood Federation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Women's Legal Defense Fund.

We owe special thanks to Lynn Paltrow and her Administrative Assistant, Kathryn McGowan, of the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy for the information they so generously shared. We would also like to thank the American Prosecutors Research Institute and Eva J. Klain, Staff Attorney for the National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse, for the data they so graciously supplied. We additionally thank Regina Weiss, a paralegal for Planned Parenthood, for the articles and information she supplied.

2.
Josephine Gittler and Merle McPherson, "Prenatal Substance Abuse", Children Today, 19:3-7 ( July-August 1990).
3.
Jo Ann Moslock, "Prosecutors Beginning to Hear Drug Babies' Cries", Asbury Park (N.J.) Press, 22 October 1989.
4.
See Chapter 5 in this volume by Jean Schroedel and Paul Peretz, dealing with fetal abuse, for a discussion of the reasons why battering is not treated as a factor in fetal abuse.
5.
Richard E Kusserow, "Prenatal Substance Exposure: State Child Welfare Laws and Procedures", U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Office of the Inspector General, May 1992; Gittler and McPherson, "Prenatal Substance Abuse".
6.
Bruce Henderson, "Mothers of Infant Addicts: Does Prosecution Help?" Charlotte Observer, 26 August 1989; Paul Marcotte, "Crime and Pregnancy: Prosecutors, New Drugs, Torts Pit Mom Against Baby", American Bar Association Journal 75:14-16 ( August 1989); Andrew C. Revkin, "Crack in the Cradle", Discover 10:63-69 ( September 1989).
7.
Barbara Kantrowitz, Vicki Quade, Bennie Fisher, James Hill, and Lucille Beachy, "The Pregnancy Police", Newsweek, April 29, 1991, 52-53; Katha Pollitt, "Fetal Rights: A New Assault on Feminism", The Nation, March 26, 1990, 409ff.

-75-

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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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