Right to Choose

All this talk of drugs makes me wonder - are pregnant women allowed to smoke/drink according to the law? In that regard, does womens’ “right of choice” apply, or does the law consider “life to begin at conception”?

Currently, US law does not say life begins at conception, although some people are trying to get it to say that.

I don’t think it’s illegal for pregnant women to drink/smoke at any point in pregnancy. So, it probably doesn’t matter when life “begins” before birth.

Someone told me there was a court case where a woman was driving in the carpool lane without a second passenger. She argued that there was a second passenger because she was pregnant. The judge threw the case out of court because there was no way he was going to try a case that could be used as a precedent to show that personhood begins at conception (or any time before birth).

I get the sense that most judges react similarly, because it’s just too much of a mess and controversy to figure out when personhood starts. I suppose this does mean that the woman didn’t have to pay the fine, so it worked for her.

Hmm. This is useful to me. I think I will start to drive around with a jar full of human embryos…

They have to be living, though.

wasn’t there a guy who drove around with a dummy trying to pass it off for a 2nd person in the carpool lane and got busted??

Anyone ever see the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode where Larry David picks up the hooker so he can take the carpool lane? Classic.


This happens pretty frequently.

The law is actually mixed on this. There have been cases where a person has been convicted of 2 counts of homicide for killing a pregnant woman, with Scott Peterson being one of the better known.

Yeah, I’ve heard of this. My understanding is that there are laws that allow the deah of a fetus in an assault to be a separate charge, akin to murder, but not technically recognizing the fetus as a person. However, these laws do not mean that a mother who gets an abortion (or her doctor) can be charged with homicide.

I agree that it is mixed on this, and of course homicide laws vary by state.