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Pregnant Drug Users: Scapegoats of the Reagan/Bush and Clinton Era Economics

By: Sheigla Murphy and Paloma Sales

INTRODUCTION

In this paper we present analyses of two National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded studies entitled, "An Ethnographic Study of Pregnancy and Drug Use" (Rosenbaum and Murphy 1991-94) and "An Ethnography of Victimization, Pregnancy and Drug Use," (Murphy 1995-98). Our goal is to explicate the ways in which pregnant drug users in the San Francisco Bay Area experienced, coped with and protected themselves from increasing stigmatization, abuse and punishment while enduring a period of fiscal retrenchment of government assistance programs.

SLIPPERY SLOPE?

SLIPPERY SLOPE?
November 01, 2000

By: Wyndi Marie Anderson, Point (SC), Winter 2000

In your last issue you ran an excellent story about the policy in South Carolina of using the criminal justice system to punish women who are pregnant and using drugs ["Body Politics," Fall 1999]. The story ends pointing to the possibility that the case will be used to undermine the right to choose to have an abortion and to punish women for a range of behaviors beyond drug use.

TREATMENT PROGRAMS BEST WAY TO FIGHT DRUGS

June 26, 2000

By: Wyndi Anderson, The State (SC), June 26, 2000

I read with concern your editorial, "Limits during pregnancy should be defined in law" ( May 23 ). While much of what is stated is true, the conclusion, "The idea of declaring certain activities during pregnancy to be illegal is a sound one," flies in the face of every leading medical group to address the issues of pregnancy and addiction.

Treatment, not sterilization, is the way to help addicted moms

Treatment, not sterilization, is the way to help addicted moms
January 30, 2000

By: Lynn M. Paltrow, J.D. and Robert Newman, M.D., (first published in the Houston Chronicle, Sunday January 30, 2000 at 4C).

Just as government data give us welcome news that crack use is on the decline, C.R.A.C.K., a private program that offers addicts $200 to use long-acting birth control or to get sterilized is attracting national support.

Punishment and Prejudice: Judging Drug-Using Pregnant Women

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Throughout the late 1980's and still today, "crack moms" and "crack babies" are the subject of vigorous public debate. Much of this public discussion has been governed by speculation and medical misinformation reported as fact in both medical journals and in the popular press and has been extremely judgmental and punitive in many instances.

Criminal Prosecutions Against Pregnant Women: National Update and Overview

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 Rights of Pregnant Patients: Carder Case Brings Bold Policy Initiatives

Carder Case Brings Bold Policy Initiatives

HealthSpan, Volume 8, Number 5, 1991

By Terry E. Thornton and Lynn Paltrow

When George Washington University Medical Center ("GWUMC") recently developed and adopted groundbreaking policies concerning the rights of pregnant patients to make health care decisions without court intervention, it not only reversed its position on the appropriateness of court-ordered medical care,' but resolved three years of daunting litigation against it for having subjected 27-year-old Angela Carder to a life threatening court-ordered Caesarean section in June 1987.1

Along the way, the Angela Carder case resulted in the only appellate decision in the country to address, on a fully developed legal record, a hospital's duty to its pregnant patients and the development of model hospital policies which protect the interests of both patient and institution alike.