Should it be a criminal offence for a pregnant woman (assume she knows she is pregnant or should reasonably know she is pregnant and isn't insane) to smoke, take narcotics or alcohol?
FOR: Pregnancy is preventable. Once it occurs, termination on demand is legal up to a certain gestation period. Beyond that it is a fair assumption that the choice has been made to be a parent or to carry the foetus to term to give up for adoption. In such circumstances, reasonable care would be expected of the mother (and both parents after birth) to provide the necessary care and material needs for the child. Emphasis being reasonable. A mother ingesting any toxic substance effectively supplies that substance to the foetus. The dangers of foetal alcohol syndrome are well established and known, as are the dangers of substantial damage to the foetus from smoking or ingestion of hallucinogenics. The foetus is unable to consent to such consumption, and is at its most vulnerable state of growth during gestation. It is, in effect, little different from injecting the child directly. The rights of the child are held in trust by the parents, who are expected to take reasonable steps to protect those rights. Ingesting toxic substances deliberately during gestation does not do this, and is deliberately damaging and harmful to the child. It is an initiation of force.
AGAINST: The mother's body comes ahead of the foetus. With abortion rights, the foetus always comes second to the mother, this includes the mother having the right to ingest whatever she chooses. Risk such a law could be extended to diet, to anorexia, to prohibiting giving children alcohol to taste as they grow up. Many survive unaffected by maternal ingestion of alcohol, drugs or tobacco.
Feminists: Women first, foetus has no rights.
Conservatives: Yes, prosecute the mother, foetus has more rights than mother.
Marxists: Don't prosecute the mother, she's probably poor, had bad education and doesn't know better.
Criminalising it means the foetus has rights (protected by the state) that can override the mother, the question is when do these rights appear? Not criminalising it means the foetus has no rights at all, and abortion on demand up to birth can surely be legal?
I lean towards criminalisation, admitting there are difficulties, but quite simply deliberate ingestion of drugs during pregnancy is a reckless disregard for the health of a baby that a mother intends to give birth to.