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How Dumb Can You Be ? Lock Up Pregnant Women....
Suggestion from Qld Police.

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125 replies to this topic

#1 mollybot

Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:57 AM


Honestly, words fail me. Can you say "underground births" ? The first thing that would happen is that at-risk women wouldn't go anywhere near medical help.....

What about actually providing real support services for these women ? As I mentioned in another thread, I had two friends who were very heavy drug users all the way through their pregnancies. They were supported by a specialist midwife Unit at KEMH and so were their babies when they were born. Two nicer, more well-adjusted teenagers  you could not hope to meet now. Both women came off the drugs as a result of this support. These days you couldn't tell them apart from any of the other school Mums.

How does criminalising pregnant women help them or their children in any way ?? Oh, that's right, it doesn't ! All it would do is create an entire class of women who MOST need help, who would be too scared to ask for it.

#2 Redonk

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:03 AM

OP are you kidding? Have you ever cared for a baby born so hooked on drugs they scream in agony for most of their first 4-5 month of life? I have. I agree with the proposal but I know nothing will ever happen. Mothers like that should have their baby removed at birth and adopted out and have the woman steralised. No second chances.

#3 mollybot

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:07 AM

Oh wow. That's not a very compassionate response. And it completely ignores the point of my post - which is that these women will avoid all medical help if it means they'll be locked up.

My freind's babies went through withdrawal - it was managed by the Unit at KEHM and lasted @ 3 days. If you were caring for babies screaming in agony for months, you were doing it wrong.

"And have the women sterilised ?" Nice.

#4 fraidycat

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:11 AM

I often wonder when as a society we will stop focusing on the rights ofvthe individual over others.  This story makes me think about what happens to these children after they are born...Why should they be behind the eight ball in life before they really get a chance.  Op your friends are the exception nor the rule.  Sadly...

#5 samagard

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:18 AM

It does seem like a very extreme way of dealing with the issue
However the stats I did hear on the news suggested that on the Gold Coast alone a baby is born every week with drug dependency.
It is highly likely to not be a once off. Midwives and Doctors having to deal with mothers who repeatedly put themselves before their children is a horrible reality.

#6 Fossy

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:18 AM

I think there has to be a middle ground, I don't see how you can 'lock women up' but, well I don't even know what the solution is. People wont attend appointments if they don't want to.

Just after New Years my partner and I resused a women who had overdosed on heroin in a 7/11 toilet. She was about 7 months pregnant she thought, she had not sought any medical assistance for her pregnancy, no GP appointment, no hospital appointment, no ultrasounds, nothing. She refused transport to hospital but it was heartbreaking, that poor baby will be born highly addicted to heroin, with any other unknown issues. It's very hard, but at the moment, her body, her choice.  A huge amount of money will be spent on that baby for a NICU or SCN bed, maybe that money needs to be channeled elsewhere to prevent the bed ever being needed. I'm really not sure.

What do you think the solution is OP?

#7 Cranky Kitten

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:19 AM

*scowls* It'd be nice to be able to read the article without it saying there's an error...

But drug addiction is more a social problem than a criminal one. People don't just wake up one morning and go "oh, I think I'll become a drug addict" - there a reasons they go down that path. They need support to kick the habit and address the issues that led to it in the first place. Locking them up will only mean they won't seek that help out of fear.

Stupidest idea I've ever heard.

#8 ~sydblue~

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:21 AM

There are so many kids that have been born to mothers with problems, be that drug, alcohol or whatever. Should those (and their children) who can and do change for the better, be punished because of those who don't.
Should a child not get to know their birth parent and live with them, simply because of the actions of some. That would also be an injustice.
Just adopting out these children at birth and sterilising the mother or parents, is sickening to think about.
No baby should have to be born addicted to anything, but before you make rules you have to look at all sides of things. Not just one and rule according to that.

#9 FeRaL n ScReWeD

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:21 AM

I totally agree with it!
Having a family member who is on drugs, not being able to get up and take kids to school. The kids have to feed themselfs.
The kids stay awake to all hours.
And yes child protection are aware, they just won't do crap!
It's not normal for a prep student to get suspended, not is it normal for her 10 year old to know how much her marijuana costs.
Unborn children should have rights too!

#10 mollybot

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:22 AM


When will we as a society realise that criminalising drug addicts makes the situation worse, not better ?!

How will throwing their mothers into prison help ? If they are heroin addicts, they can be prescribed methadone; but if they are speed addicts, Doctors cannot legally prescribe them speed because they are addicted to it (at least not in WA). Both my friends were told NOT to stop taking the drugs (although both wanted to when they found out they were pregnant) because maternal withdrawal will kill the unborn baby. So putting a speed addict in prison "to protect her unborn child" will result in the death of that baby.

Similarly with alcohol addicts - how will going through alcohol withdrawal help that baby ? Oh, that's right, it won't, it will kill it.

This is a complex situation. Simplistic knee-jerk responses are unhelpful.

Women with drug and alcohol problems need help before they even become pregnant, but of course, there's NO money for that: whereas locking them up at a cost of tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars and looking "tough on crime" seems completely reasonable....

Edited by mollybot, 08 February 2013 - 10:23 AM.

#11 shelly1

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:31 AM

Maybe they should lock up pregnant women who are subjected to domestic violence and pregnant mothers who smoke???? I mean kids shouldnt be born and raised in that environment either and what about the health of those babies!!!

I agree the threat of locking up women will drive them underground and not seek out help - this will disadvantage the poor children even more.

What a stupid proposal

#12 ComradeBob

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:38 AM

Maybe we need to start looking at why these women have such ****ed up lives that they end up haevily dependent on drugs and then compound it by getting pregnant, rather than shutting the stable door well and truly after the horse has bolted?

#13 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:38 AM

I think it's a ridiculous proposal.

Of course it would be better if drug addicts didn't have children, but it would be better if a lot of types of people didn't have children, but I don't see how this would benefit anyone.

#14 WinterIsComing

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:40 AM

Given a very specific set of circumstances a child need to come into this world healthy, happy and with good prospects of growing up psychologically and phsysically healthy, women with drug/alcohol dependencies who fall pregnant should just save the poor children the lifetime of misery and terminate the pregnancy.

It's not just the effect of drugs in utero, it is the chaotic, unhealthy and neglectful environment that is bound to irrevocably damage their brain development.

Seriously, if you are addicted to heroin or a heavy alcoholic, what could be the motivation to carry the child to birth?! Why?! Get help, clean up, and then try again.

Edit: I think QLD government is on the money. Children also have rights to a healthy environment, like everyone else. Why is it ok for a person to, for example, sue a chemical company for health costs if they happen to be affected by their chemical dump, but women carrying children bear no responsibility for doing the same to the yet to be born person? I think once the decision is made to give birth to the child, you should assume a legal responsibility for providing the healthiest environment possible

Edited by WinterIsComing, 08 February 2013 - 10:44 AM.

#15 Hayleymumof3

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:44 AM

How will throwing their mothers into prison help ? If they are heroin addicts, they can be prescribed methadone;

You know mothers that take methadone still give birth to addict babies right?  methadone it's self is an addictive substance.


So babies aren't born with a Heroin addiction YAY they are just born with a methadone addiction instead.


They aren't talking about putting pregnant women who are seeking help for their addictions they are talking about woman who are pregnant and are NOT seeking help for their addictions.

You can't however legislate what a woman can or can not do with her body while pregnant because it leads to a slippery slope.

My freind's babies went through withdrawal - it was managed by the Unit at KEHM and lasted @ 3 days. If you were caring for babies screaming in agony for months, you were doing it wrong.

You can't tell someone that they were treating an addict baby wrong if they didn't "cure" the addiction in 3 days like your friends baby was, every baby is different if they knew that your friends baby was going to be born addicted they could start treatments as soon as they were born however some addict babies don't show signs for days before it's noticed.

#16 Georgie83

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:46 AM

Firstly, this will probably never happen.

Somehow I don't think that they will just lock these people up and throw away the key. I would imagine there would be a lot of medically supervised support and councelling provided to the mothers-to-be. If that was the case I'd fully support it, it would be in the best interests of both the mother and child.

#17 Mumsyto2

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:49 AM

QUOTE (mollybot @ 08/02/2013, 10:07 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My freind's babies went through withdrawal - it was managed by the Unit at KEHM and lasted @ 3 days. If you were caring for babies screaming in agony for months, you were doing it wrong.

Okay, double dare you to go into a roomful of Special Care specialists and mouth off to this effect.

Lot's of situations are different.  I'm really glad your friends babies managed withdrawal so quickly but it is extremely ignorant to expect that will be the case for all babies due to a number of confounders. It's great and ever so helpful that you are such an expert on all cases though .....

#18 Onemorefor2016

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:49 AM

The article refers to a 'safe house' not prison... to protect the unborn child... my perception of the article indicates that help would be available to these mothers in addition to monitoring... not saying this is the answer, but at least the QLD police union is looking for a solution.

#19 Bluestocking

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:51 AM

Maybe not jail but why not a kind of women's refuge? A place designed to help them.

#20 PrincessPeach

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:56 AM

I read the article as to be saying they wont lock them up in prison but force them to go through a similar to what PP have described KEMH as having.

The only difference being it isn't voluntary, it's forced.

I do accept it is becoming a bigger problem today & I agree there needs to be a lot more support out there for women with addictions not medically recommended whilst carrying a child.

#21 Guest_Spunkrat_*

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:59 AM


Edited by Spunkrat, 29 April 2013 - 12:32 AM.

#22 mysonsmum

Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:59 AM

QUOTE (mollybot @ 08/02/2013, 10:57 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Honestly, words fail me. Can you say "underground births" ? The first thing that would happen is that at-risk women wouldn't go anywhere near medical help.....

I get what you mean but I also understand that they can't sit back & do nothing, the effects on these kids can be absolutely minding numbingly awful & I don't think it's a bad idea at all. It's all very well to say oh just help them but helping them doesn't stop them from going home & shooting up heroin & comprising the quality of life of their unborn child. I think it will help the women who don't want to hurt these unborn children by doing drugs but they are soooo addicted that they truly cannot stop themselves. My Dads cousin was a drug addict & got pregnant 3 times, she did her best to give up, even volunteered to stay in hospital or go to prison for the entirety of her 3rd pregnancy she would be physically unable to hurt this baby aswell but it was not an option, she was told to go to rehab (not affordable for ur average drug addict) & her 3 severely disabled children are still in foster care, the oldest is 15. If a facilty like this was available to her she would have been grateful. Also my best friend is a social worker & unfortunately a lot of these women already have children not in their care because of their drug habit, she has told me about a woman pregnant with her 11th child & still on drugs, seriously you just have to draw a line somewhere, if nothing else is working it's worth a try!

#23 Cranky Kitten

Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:04 AM

Hmmm, if we're not talking prison environment but an involuntary in-patient system where support and medical assistance is provided it's maybe not such a terrible idea. However I do still think that it is likely to result in women being wary of seeking assistance in the same way that mental patients are stigmatised and often deny their problems until such time as they wind up being incarcerated as an involuntary patient. I also have to wonder where you draw the line? Narcotics, amphetamines, so called "soft drugs"?

It's a slippery slope on a very complex issue that needs a multi-faceted approach.

#24 CallMeFeral

Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:04 AM

What I can't figure out is, how can they fund the locking up of these women, but yet the woman in the other thread in financial difficulty could not procure an abortion for free?
I'd have thought the FIRST thing to do was make it so that women in this situation don't aren't forced by finances to keep an unwanted child - and then NEXT thing on the radar could be helping/protecting/supporting that child...

#25 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:08 AM

QUOTE (CallMeProtart @ 08/02/2013, 12:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What I can't figure out is, how can they fund the locking up of these women, but yet the woman in the other thread in financial difficulty could not procure an abortion for free?
I'd have thought the FIRST thing to do was make it so that women in this situation don't aren't forced by finances to keep an unwanted child - and then NEXT thing on the radar could be helping/protecting/supporting that child...

Agree with this ^^^^ 1000%

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