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Pregnant Women's Temporary Satisfaction And Long Term Consequences

2097 words - 9 pages

A growing issue that continues to go on today is the drug and alcohol abuse by pregnant women. This has become a growing issue due to the fact that pregnancy is starting at a much younger age. Women tend to become pregnant around the age of 15 to 44 (“Birth Data”). In young women among the ages of 18 to 24, the alcohol and tobacco rates were 25.5 percent and 15.5 percent, respectively (Chen). As of 2001, about 12 percent of all pregnant women admitted to consuming alcohol during their pregnancy (Burd). Out of the 4 million or so births in the United States, 64,000 have had high levels of exposure to alcohol while pregnant (Burd). Similarly, teenagers and those in their early adulthood are getting exposed to all different types of drugs. Both of these facts are the leading causes to the increase of drug and alcohol abuse by pregnant women. Another rising issue that is still going on up to this day is whether or not abortion should be legal. Due to the fact that in some states, having an abortion is considered murder; drug and alcohol abuse during pregnancy should be dealt with in a similar way. Drug and alcohol use not only makes an impact on the life of the mother but also puts the unborn baby in risk of danger. Drug and alcohol abuse during pregnancy has many adverse long term effects on a child and should be punished as a crime.
Illicit drugs such as cocaine and tobacco for example have a negative impact on the development of a fetus. One risk a mother-to-be takes when using cocaine while pregnant is putting their baby at risk of developing cocaine metabolites, meaning cocaine has become necessary for the child’s metabolic process. A woman by the name of Cornelia Whitner, whose child was diagnosed with cocaine metabolites, was charged guilty to criminal child neglect in 1992 due to her excessive doses of cocaine during her pregnancy (Toal). Cocaine metabolites can greatly affect one’s central nervous system causing seizures and possibly death (“Topics in”). Studies show that prenatal cocaine exposure can also decrease cardiac output, meaning the amount of blood being pumped out is reduced, which increases the chance of heart failure (Meyer). Pregnant women who excessively use cocaine could also experience numerous natural fetal deaths (Callejon). Tobacco, on the other hand, is a very powerful recreational drug known to result in miscarriages (“Tobacco Use”). Smoking tobacco also increases the chances of placental defects leading to excessive bleeding from the separation of the placenta from the womb in the early stages of pregnancy (“Tobacco Use”).
Some may say that light drinking during pregnancy has little to no effect on a fetus but in reality, no one can say for sure how much one must consume to harm a developing child (Chai). Mild, occasional drinking is safe but no one knows exactly what that limit is to label it as mild and safe (Chai). Anything in moderation is considered to be healthy but who is to say what is considered moderation?...

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