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

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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.