In November of this year Hartford Courant Commentator, Helen Ubiñas contacted NAPW about Barbara Harris and her latest efforts in Connecticut. NAPW was able to provide this thinking journalist with extensive background information about the program and the letter on the "crack baby" myth from the leading researchers in the field.
This week, NAPW's commentary, coauthored by NAPW summer law intern Julie Ehrlich, Jailing Pregnant Women Raises Health Risks, is featured in Women's E-news. In recent months, pregnant women have been arrested and jailed in South Carolina, New Mexico, Arizona, Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, North Dakota and New Hampshire, among other states, based on the claim that pregnant women can be considered child abusers even before they have given birth.
Through a variety of mechanisms, women who want to have a vaginal birth after a previous cesarean section ("VBAC") are finding that this option is foreclosed, and their ability to exercise their right to informed medical decision-making limited or denied altogether.
Yesterday, President Bush, exercising his first veto, rejected the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act that many in Congress and the medical community believe will lead to many potentially life-saving medical breakthroughs.
just summarizing a few of the new and very disturbing assaults on pregnant women and families turned into a commentary published by TomPaine.com and picked up by Alternet, entitled Blaming Pregnant Women.
NAPW is tracking every case involving the arrests of pregnant women nationwide, and according to news reports, two new arrests have been made in Alabama of women who gave birth to infants who allegedly tested positive for drugs. Telisha Patterson and Haley Mays were recently arrested and charged with torture or willful abuse of a child and child endangerment for giving birth in spite of a drug problem.
While some national groups are fundraising and announcing plans to go into South Dakota, local grass roots and state based activists are already hard at work, organizing, collecting signatures, building new alliances, and defining the core issues for themselves.
The World Health Organization considers acceptable levels for cesarean rates as not less than 5% and not more than 15% of all deliveries. Yet approximately 28% of all US births are by cesarean delivery, accounting for approximately one million cesareans a year.
Although it is still a work in progress, we are proud to launch a new more beautiful and user-friendly NAPW site. Thanks to John Emerson, Wen-Hua Yang, Wyndi Anderson, and Deb Harper for all of their help.
As is often the situation in precedent setting new cases, prosecutors chose as their test case one in which there would be little sympathy or support for the woman they targeted. In this case they picked Regina McKnight, an indigent African-American woman with numerous health problems, a limited education, and a drug problem that began after her mother was killed in a hit and run accident.