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Court of appeal to decide whether heavy drinking while pregnant is a crime

Local authority's case against woman who had child with foetal alcohol syndrome could have far-reaching legal implications.

Whilst the arguments surrounding abortion are well rehearsed, the moral status of the fetus and that of the future child are possibly about to become strengthened by legislation to protect their welfare over the autonomous rights of a pregnant women! Would this then extend to smoking whilst pregnant, not taking folic acid supplements to reduce the risk of spina bifida and even to complying with diet and attending antenatal classes?

Perhaps a legal duty might, as a result, fall on paediatricians, midwives and obstetricians to notify to the authorities any infant 'harmed' by maternal behaviours during pregnancy.
We do live in interesting times….

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