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Prosecution Of Pregnancy Outcomes: Behaviors (Essay Sample)


You are assigned to write an original 3-5 page paper. You are given 3 options and will work with your TF to figure out which one you’ll respond to. You’ll notice that there is not a simple answer for any of these. You are assigned to think through an argument and present it on paper. There is neither a right answer nor a wrong answer; you will be graded on how well you make your argument.

One of the goals of AN/WS 233 is to teach you how to think about cultural phenomena in terms of the biology that may underlie them – how to “think like a biologist”. This paper assignment is your opportunity to demonstrate how well you can make an argument while wearing your “biologist hat”.

A “3-5 page paper” refers to the actual text of your paper. Cover page, figures, and references don’t count. You should write 1,050-1,250 words. Less than 1,050 is not enough detail; more than 1,250 is too much. Please don’t waste paper by printing a separate cover page or unnecessarily printing the references on another page.

You will be graded on how well you write. In order to make a good argument, you have to be able to convey your ideas effectively and efficiently.

You have two weeks to work on this before the first paper workshop in section, so you can easily overcome any writing difficulties you may have. Good writers aren’t born that way – they work at it. We’ve provided tips on how to do this in the “Advice for Writing” handout.


Professor's Name:
Prosecution of Pregnancy Outcomes
Should mothers be pregnant women be prosecuted? Well, this question has led to an endless debate with some saying that if they intentionally and knowingly place their inborn children in harm's way, then they should be prosecuted. On the other hand, others believe that prosecuting them would be wrong and would rob children some precious time with their mothers. However, what happens when the actions of the pregnant women impacts or will forever shape or determine the life of the child? Is this enough to prosecute? Well, this question also elicits varying opinions. The truth is, the actions and behaviors of mothers or pregnant women often determine the outcome or what is often referred to as postnatal phenotype. However, should the outcome of pregnancies be considered or taken as the final piece of evidence to incriminate pregnant women? Well, I believe that the above should not be the case and this article seeks to articulately communicate this point.
Teddy Wilson's Feb 6, 2018 article had the headline Mississippi woman criminally charged for pregnancy outcome after home birth. In the article, Wilson provides details of a woman who delivered her baby at home but unfortunately, the baby never made it and was pronounced dead when they finally made it to the hospital. This story, apparently, is but one of the many examples where mothers are prosecuted because of the outcome of a pregnancy. However, Rosenbloom, the director of legal advocacy for National Advocates for Pregnant Women was quoted as saying that “whatever happened here, women should not be prosecuted for the outcomes of their pregnancy” CITATION Ted18 \l 1033 (Wilson). Stories of this nature have become rampant in the United States and seem to always be in the mainstream media. Another issue that shocked a few people happened in 2014 when legislatures in Tennessee passed a bill which was to “give Tennessee the dubious distinction of being the first state to specifically authorize the filing of assault charges, carrying up to 15 years in prison, when a fetus or newborn is deemed to be harmed by illegal narcotics” CITATION Edi14 \l 1033 (Editorial). The bill was widely criticized but a few people did feel that it fully represented their views. However, one is inclined to ask why expectant women would be prosecuted or a state would find it viable to prosecute expectant mothers while there are still some issues which have not been put to rest and two form the gist of my argument.
First of all, some conditions or outcomes are not proven or cannot be directly tied to the actions of the mothers. A good example involves stillbirths which are often associated or blamed on the mother's drug abuse behavior. Most of the time, when people come across a story where there was a stillbirth, everyone tends to think and objectively conclude that the mother's behavior is to blame. However, research helps to show or reveal that stillbirths are not necessarily caused by the actions of the expectant mother. “The causes of many stillbirths are unknown…Some women blame themselves, but rarely are these deaths caused by something a woman did or did not do” CITATION CDC17 \l 1033 (CDC). This article continues to note that stillbirths could be as a result of three things including “problems with the baby (birth defects or genetic problems), problems with the placenta or umbilical cord, and certain conditions in the mother (for example, uncontrolled diabetes, high blood pressure, or obesity).” However, it is essential to note that there are other factors which are directly associated with the mother and that can cause stillbirths. Conversely, ackno...

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