First Fed Challenge To Pregnant Woman’s Arrest Under ‘Personhood’-Like Measure

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October 2, 2013
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FIRST FEDERAL CHALLENGE TO ARREST OF PREGNANT WOMAN UNDER"PERSONHOOD"-LIKE MEASURE FILED IN WISCONSIN
Suit filed to free woman arrested and detained in treatment facility in violation ofconstitutional rights and accepted medical standards

WISCONSIN - Attorneys for Alicia Beltran announced today that they filed a petition in federal court seeking her immediate release from state custody, challenging the constitutionality of a 1997 Wisconsin law that deprives pregnant women of their constitutional rights and permits state action that is dangerous to maternal, fetal, and child health.

Alicia Beltran (Applicant) vs. Jamie Loehnis, Jim Strachota, Mark D. Bensen, Washington County Circuit Court, John Doe (Respondents)

Alicia Beltran (Applicant) vs. Jamie Loehnis, Jim Strachota, Mark D. Bensen, Washington County Circuit Court, John Doe (Respondents)
October 01, 2013

Alicia Beltran (Applicant) v. Jamie Loehnis, in his official capacity as Executive Director of the Casa Clare Treatment Center; Jim Strachota, in his official capacity as Director of Human Services for Washington County, WI; Mark D. Bensen, in his official capacity as District Attorney for Washington County, WI; the Washington County Circuit Court, John Doe, in his official capacity as immediate custodian of Applicant Alicia Beltran (Respondents)
APPLICATION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 2241 BY A PERSON IN CUSTODY
Frank Declaration, Frank Exhibit A, Frank Exhibit B
Hartke Declaration, Hartke Exhibit A, Hartke Exhibit B
Imseis Declaration, Imseis Exhibit A
Schauberger Declaration, Schauberger Exhibit A
Stancliff Declaration, Stancliff Exhibit A, Stancliff Exhibit B, Stancliff Exhibit C
Kenneth A. De Ville & Loretta M. Kopelman, 1999. "Fetal Protection in Wisconsin's Revised Child Abuse Law: Right Goal, Wrong Remedy," Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 27: 332-42.
US District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin Decision and Order Dismissing Case

Executive Summary: Paltrow & Flavin, “Arrests of and forced interventions on pregnant women in the United States (1973-2005): The implications for women’s legal status and public health,” Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law

January 25, 2013
Executive Summary: Download file.
Published Full Article: Download file.

National Advocates for Pregnant Women’s one-of-a-kind study identifies hundreds of criminal and civil cases involving the arrests, detentions and equivalent deprivations of pregnant women’s physical liberty that occurred between 1973 and 2005, after the decision in Roe v. Wade was issued.

Arrests of and Forced Interventions on Pregnant Women in the United States, 1973–2005: Implications for Women’s Legal Status and Public Health

January 25, 2013
Lynn Paltrow and Jeanne Flavin

Abstract: In November 2011, the citizens of Mississippi voted down Proposition 26, a “personhood” measure that sought to establish separate constitutional rights for fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses.

New Study Reveals the Impact of Post-Roe v Wade and ‘Pro-Life’ Measures

On January 15, 2013, the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law published a study, "Arrests of and Forced Interventions on Pregnant Women in the United States, 1973-2005: Implications for Women's Legal Status and Public Health," written by Lynn M. Paltrow, NAPW Executive Director, and Jeanne Flavin, Professor of Sociology at Fordham University and NAPW Board President.

Rachel Lowe Case Narrative

Rachael Lowe, a twenty-year-old pregnant woman, voluntarily went to Waukesha Memorial Hospital in Wisconsin to seek help for her addiction to the opiate Oxycontin. Some hospital staff responded by reporting Lowe to state authorities under Wisconsin’s “cocaine mom” law, a statute in the Children’s Code that allows the state to take a pregnant woman into custody if it believes that the “expectant mother habitually lacks self-control in the use of alcohol beverages, controlled substances or controlled substance analogs.

Criminal Prosecutions Against Pregnant Women: National Update and Overview

January 31, 1992

Download PDF file

This documents the cases of an estimated 167 women who have been arrested on criminal charges because of their behavior during pregnancy or because they became pregnant while addicted to drugs. The cases are from twenty-four states.