The Instigator
candice
Pro (for)
Winning
48 Points
The Contender
rkmcdaniel
Con (against)
Losing
9 Points

Smoking while pregnant is child abuse, and should be illegal.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/9/2007 Category: Health
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 12,826 times Debate No: 194
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (19)

 

candice

Pro

Abortion is legal. Child abuse is not. Cigarette use is proven by the surgeon general to cause SIDS, low birth weight which is a leading cause of infant mortality,still birth and countless other problems. Smoking while pregnant puts over 4,000 chemicals into your system, ending up into your babies. The worst of these being:
*Benzene- a carcinogen obtained from coal and petroleum.
*Formaldehyde- a carcinogen used as embalming fluid that causes respritory and gastrointestinal problems.
*Ammonia- a cleaning agent used as flavoring.
*Acetone- used as nail polish remover.
*Tar- 70% of which stays in smokers body.
*Nicotine- addictive poison.
*Carbon Monoxide- poisonous gas, same as car exhaust.
*Arsenic- rat poison
*Hydrogen Cyanide- gas chamber poison.

A mother would never give her infant these things in his bottle. Being selfish is something you have to give up after you decide to have a baby. Unfortunately, children are abused everyday so there are proper laws in place. Babies that a mother has decided to keep should be protected by the law from child abuse. Thus, parents being held accountable for things they do effecting their offspring's health, before and after birth.
rkmcdaniel

Con

Sure, smoking while pregnant may be bad. However, it is not the government's job to dictate health practices to the individual. This type of law would clearly violate a mother's right to privacy. That is why abortion is legal. If you made a law that said that pregnant women should not be allowed to smoke, you would have to pass a law that would say that second hand smoke around children should be illegal. This will never happen. Thus, I must disagree with you. A mother should practice personal responsibility in this area. It is not the job of the government to dictate these types of things. Plus, child abuse is much different than second hand smoke and smoking while pregnant. Smoking while pregnant does not have an immediate impact, nor to the extent that child abuse does. In order for serious problems to occur, excessive smoking must occur. Child abuse will result in immediate serious damage occurring, thus it is illegal. Also, are you stating that everyone whose mother smoked while pregnant with them is somehow physically deformed or handicapped? I know for a fact that this is not true. Especially in the 60's and 70's many many pregnant women smoked, yet their children turned out just fine.

The government has no right to become even more deeply involved in the personal rights of the citizen. They are already too involved. It is also not the government's job to censor everyone from the evils of the world. A law like this would be irrational and unconstitutional.
Debate Round No. 1
candice

Pro

The job or the government is to protect and insure the well being of it's citizens. In California, there is law in legislation to make it illegal to smoke in your vehicle while there is a child under the age of six present. Resteraunts now must have ventilated smoking area's.In California smoking in all public establishments is prohibited. So, it is very plausible that second hand smoke should, and quiet possibly WILL be made illegal. According to the surgeon generals report made in 2004, smoking does in fact have an immediate impact on the fetus, causing it's heart rate to drop for one to two hours after each cigarette. The Center for Disease Control states cigarettes cause restrictions in the blood vessels of the umbilical cord, thereby reducing the amount of oxygen that gets to the baby;which also reduces the amount of blood in the infants cardiovascular system. Saying that all forms of child abuse are worse than this,is mistaken.America should tolerate NO forms of child abuse whatsoever.What I am stating is that smoking while pregnant not only immediately and negatively impacts the fetus, it effects the child in later years. Not always in deformity or death, but research has shown cigarette smoking during gestation to be linked(but not limited to): limited lung function,lung infection,asthma,upper respritory infection, ear infections,and ADD. The baby will be addicted to a controlled substance as soon as he or she is born. It is not a womans right to harm her child. The first amendment does not protect anyones right to do that.
rkmcdaniel

Con

Being a frequent cigar smoker myslef, I find it reprehensible that the government us continuing to encroach upon the rights of the private to citizen to partake in something of a very personal nature in their own vehicle. Likewise, I will continue to affirm that it is not the job of the government to make the world idiot proof. According to James Madison, author of the COnstitution, the job of the government is: To establish justice, to insure domestic tranquility, to provide for the common defense, to promote the general welfare, and to secure the blessings of liberty.

The only function that this law would fit under is the promoting of the general welfare. This leads us to ask what exactly the term "general" means. I will tell you what it means. The government is not saupposed to legislate to protect everyone from everything. The government is supposed to provide running water, public works, and, if need be, provide housing and food to those who can not afford it. That's it. This law encroaches on the rights of the private citizens, it removes personal choice and responsibility from the mother.

If smoking while pregnant is as epic of a problem as you make it out to be, why aren't many many more people experiencing physical handicaps like you say. I personally know that my grandmother smoked while carrying my mother. Is my mother, 40, suddenly going to develop some terrible physical handicap?
Debate Round No. 2
candice

Pro

candice forfeited this round.
rkmcdaniel

Con

rkmcdaniel forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by candice 9 years ago
candice
Actually, the brain and spinal cord form in those first three months... and I don't particularly think the life of an innocent baby is "fair game". Thank you for your comment though... I appreciate your compliment.
Posted by blond_guy 9 years ago
blond_guy
This is one of the best topic sentences I've ever seen. I never thought of it, but you're right. The only problem is the woman could say she had no idea she was pregnant, so I'd suppose that smoking and abortion after 3 months should be illegal. Since it's not much of a baby before 3 months, I'd call it fair game.
Posted by candice 9 years ago
candice
I'm against abortion as well. Having two children myself I believe it is the most selfish decision one could make. I hate smoking for many reason, so this was a topic hard on my heart. Thank you for reading it and giving your two cents!
Posted by Rillion 9 years ago
Rillion
Abortion kills a non-thinking, non-conscious being. We kill and eat animals every day who are more aware than a human fetus. Smoking, if you do enough of it and don't intend to abort, will permanently damage a being who will become thinking and conscious. I see no inconsistency whatsoever in being pro-choice and yet against people smoking while pregnant. Oh, and countrylover, you should probably improve your writing skills. Use capitals at the beginning of sentences, end sentences with periods, and use spell check. Being able to write intelligibly is a precursor to being able to debate in written form.
Posted by countrylover 9 years ago
countrylover
this aint hard at all for me to decide....with all the harm that smoking can do to a baby...abortion would hurt it worse!!....so as long as abortion is legal..then smoking while pregnant should be illigel.......dont try to step up to the plate on one issue and not want to do the same with the other...so smoking...and all it negatives while smoking mide as well be legel intill they outlaw abortion
Posted by Rillion 9 years ago
Rillion
This is a hard one. From what I understand, smoking while pregnant can harm a fetus significantly more than smoking around a child can harm him/her-- plus, of course, the child can leave the room whereas the fetus cannot. It seems odd that pregnant women are allowed to harm their fetuses in any way they choose, including giving them fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), with impunity. On the other hand, the reality of trying to enforce such laws is very hard to imagine. Having a few cigarettes or a few drinks during pregnancy is not going to cause the child any harm, and we certainly can't have police invading the houses of pregnant women to determine whether they're doing anything that might be unsafe for the unborn child. We just can't regulate everything a prospective mother does while pregnant, and there isn't a clearly definable line between what we should and what we shouldn't. So I have to vote "Con," though I'm abstaining from actually voting for either of the arguments above since I don't think either of them are very well structured.
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Vote Placed by blond_guy 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by candice 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by charlie139 9 years ago
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