Pregnant Woman Detained. In 1995, a woman who was pregnant and refused to discontinue her use of…

Pregnant Woman Detained. In 1995, a woman who was pregnant
and refused to discontinue her use of cocaine was reported by her obstetrician
to child-abuse authorities.1 They obtained an order from the juvenile court to
take custody of the unborn child, which in this case involved detaining the
mother against her will. The court maintained that in order to protect the
fetus, it had to detain the mother. The mother gave birth while in a drug
treatment center. She sued the state for detaining her illegally. The case was
settled after the child was born, with the court finding that the state
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Pregnant Woman Detained. In 1995, a woman who was pregnant
and refused to discontinue her use of cocaine was reported by her obstetrician
to child-abuse authorities.1 They obtained an order from the juvenile court to
take custody of the unborn child, which in this case involved detaining the
mother against her will. The court maintained that in order to protect the
fetus, it had to detain the mother. The mother gave birth while in a drug
treatment center. She sued the state for detaining her illegally. The case was
settled after the child was born, with the court finding that the state acted
wrongly in taking protective custody of the fetus while it was still in the
womb. As a result of these sorts of cases, state legislatures have passed laws
such as the Wisconsin law mentioned above, which define fetuses more clearly as
children deserving protection.2

If the fetus is regarded as a child who is being abused,
then is it reasonable, in your view, to detain the mother? If the fetus is thus
viewed as a person, should it have access to other rights and privileges? Would
it also be reasonable for a pregnant woman to be able to use a car-pool lane by
counting her fetus as a second person in the car? If a pregnant woman is
killed, resulting in the death of the fetus, does that count as one murder or
two?

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