Smoking is a hard addiction to quit. Throughout my life, I have heard people compare it to heroin in its difficulty to kick as a habit. So, on occasion, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to see a pregnant woman smoking.
Pregnant women who dare to smoke tend to be on the receiving end of all sorts of public shaming, but a man in Washington stands accused of pulling a handgun and pointing it at the unnamed 28-year-old mother to be after she rebuffed his opinion about her smoking while pregnant in public.
The sad thing, of course, is that once you become pregnant, much of society feels your body has become a piece of public property. Perfect strangers will ask you how and what you eat, whether you plan to or already have stopped working, advise you about safer footwear, attempt to prevent you from ordering a glass of wine whether or not your doctor has approved the drinking of alcohol, and chide you for smoking even if your doctor has not advised you to quit.
It appears, aside from legally smoking a legally purchased cigarette in a legally permitted area, the woman’s crime rested solely in not graciously accepting the nosy do-gooder’s advice and stubbing out her smoke immediately, having suddenly realized those things are harmful.
Local paper the Bellingham Herald describes the exchange between the two before the man, identified as 24-year-old Justin Dain Palmer, pulled out the gun and aimed it at the woman and her unborn child:
“According to police, the man shouted something to the effect of, ‘Who the heck smokes when they’re pregnant?’
“The woman answered, ‘I do.’ “
If you are a mom, you yourself probably recognize that poor woman’s apex of give-a-damns reached, that moment during pregnancy where you could not possibly care any less that the woman you met 30 seconds ago as you attempted to eat a hot fudge sundae, the only thing you could bear to choke down at 7:15 am, achieved a high score in Awesome Momming for never once allowing a gram of refined sugar to pass her lips the entire nine months of any of her own pregnancies, allegedly.
Palmer was arrested, and hopefully someone bought that poor woman a drink. At least a Shirley Temple.