Here is a potential minefield. Police are considering whether to charge a heavily pregnant woman for drinking a good deal of alcohol.
There is no law I am aware of that they can use. But it wouldn't surprise me if government doesn't some time soon try to introduce one because there is a big and probably growing problem here. If a woman cannot look after her baby in the womb what chance she will outside of it?
But how would one draft and enforce such a law. The most dangerous time for ingestion of alcohol is in the first trimester when the foetus is forming. During this period many people are unaware they are pregnant so certainly nobody else would know. In which case could people be prosecuted retrospectively?
Then there would be a great deal of arguing over safe levels of consumption. One glass of wine is a different story to one carton.
Can you imagine the kind of 'narking' , with or without genuine cause, that would go on?
What would the punishment be? Earlier this week Work and Income admitted they cannot force beneficiaries to undergo treatment for alcoholism. I suppose the courts can, but on pain of what? Certainly not losing one's benefit. And yes I am picking that many of these sorts of cases would involve beneficiaries. The threat of losing or not getting back custody of imminent birth child and any other children? Unfortunately the damage is already done. And that's what really worries me.
I forsee a future where adoption will once again become a more popular and acceptable option for unwanted (this one is) children but many will be starting life with significant health and developmental problems due to being carried by mothers who have high and daily intake of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs. In which case these potential mothers should be financially incentivised to use long-term contraceptives, injections or implants or, if they already have children and are happy to, have an immediate tubal ligation. There are youngish mothers who would be happy to be free from pregnancy risk but medical wisdom says rationed operations should go to older women. Wrong.
Prevention can work. More laws and futile attempts to police them will not.
Life in China
1 hour ago