Every leading medical and public health organization to address the issue of pregnant women and drug use has taken a position opposing punitive approaches as dangerous to maternal, fetal and child health. Please read the information below or download this fact sheet providing summaries of and citations to these statements.
On April 4, 2018, a mid-level New York appeals court ruled against Rinat Dray, reminding us of the enormous challenges women face when they seek redress for obstetric violence through the court system.
In this case Ms. Dray had gone to Staten Island University Hospital to deliver her third child.
NAPW and NYU Law School's Reproductive Justice Clinic, along with more than twenty leading international human rights and public health experts, submitted an amicus (friend of the court) brief to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (the "Commission") in support of Manuela, a woman who died in prison after being convicted under El Salvador's total abortion ban.
NAPW Calls on Senators to Oppose S. 2311, Federal Legislation Banning Abortions After 20 Weeks Senate Bill 2311 Demeans and Denies the Personhood of Pregnant Women
The Senate is scheduled to vote today on S. 2311, a law making it a crime to perform or attempt to perform an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
During the January 2018 State of the Union address, we heard President Trump declare that his "administration is committed to fighting the drug epidemic and helping get treatment for those in need." But rather than describing how the government will expand access to drug treatment (and no plans have been put forward for an increase in funding this year) he launched into a story about a police officer in New Mexico who saw "a pregnant, homeless woman preparing to inject heroin.
National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW) Rejects Montana County Prosecutor's Call to Implement "The Handmaid's Tale"
NAPW Advises Pregnant Women Not to "Self-Report" and the Public to Reject Incoherent and Inaccurate Claims Regarding Pregnant Women
On January 11, 2018, the Big Horn County Attorney's Office issued an announcement calling for the "immediate crackdown" on pregnant women that is outrageous, irresponsible, and dangerous to women, children, and families.
On Monday, December 4th four justices of the Appellate Division of New York Supreme Court heard arguments in the Dray case. Rinat Dray is a mother who is suing Staten Island University Hospital and doctors there because, pursuant to a secret (not disclosed to patients) hospital policy, they forced her to have cesarean surgery even though she clearly refused.
In Nevada, NAPW helped to get a charge of "felony drug use" against a pregnant woman dismissed. The charge was based upon an unconfirmed clinical drug screen result that was performed for the purpose of medical treatment being provided to a pregnant woman in the hospital.
NAPW recently helped get serious felony criminal charges dismissed for two women targeted in relationship to pregnancy.
A case against an Idaho woman who faced a felony injury to a child charge after alleged drug use while pregnant was dismissed in April 2017. NAPW worked together with the Idaho woman's defense lawyer who argued that the child injury statue could not be used to criminalize pregnancy or actions while pregnant, and that if the court judicially expanded the law for such a prosecution, that would violate the woman's constitutional rights.
New York, May 18, 2017—Three weeks ago, the federal court struck down a Wisconsin law authorizing the detention, forced treatment, and incarceration of pregnant women as unconstitutional. The law allowed the state to seize control of women, detain them in jail or other locked facilities, and force them to submit to unconsented to and inappropriate treatment if they are pregnant and use – or even disclose past use of – any amount of alcohol or a controlled substance.