NAPW's Work

Read About All of Our Legal Advocacy, Public Education, and Organizing Work

Confronting Pregnancy Criminalization: A Practical Guide for Healthcare Providers, Lawyers, Medical Examiners, Child Welfare Workers, and Policymakers

For decades, pregnant people across America have been subjected to criminalization and deprivations of liberty on the basis of pregnancy or pregnancy outcomes. Women have been targeted by police and prosecutors, healthcare providers, child welfare workers, and judges who have sought to deprive them of their constitutional rights in the name of "fetal personhood.

With Roe in the Balance, NAPW Launches Multidisciplinary Confronting Pregnancy Criminalization Guide for Medical, Legal, Child Welfare, and Policy Professionals

June 23, 2022

As we await the anticipated fall of Roe and the subsequent loss of the constitutionally protected right to abortion, National Advocates for Pregnant Women today launched a first-of-its-kind, multidisciplinary guide to arm professionals with the tools and resources to reject the criminalization of pregnant people and their pregnancy outcomes — Confronting Pregnancy Criminalization: A Practical Guide for Healthcare Providers, Lawyers, Medical Examiners, Child Welfare Workers, and Policymakers.

NAPW Releases Groundbreaking Report — “Harming Fathers: How the Family Court System Forces Men to Regulate Pregnancy” ; Reproductive Justice Is For Men, Too

National Advocates for Pregnant Women today released the groundbreaking report Harming Fathers: How the Family Court System Forces Men to Regulate Pregnancy , which analyzes and documents dozens of cases from around the country in which men have been labeled as abusive or neglectful — even losing access to their children — for failing to control the behavior of the women during their pregnancies.

Harming Fathers: How the Family Court System Forces Men to Regulate Pregnancy

NAPW's groundbreaking report Harming Fathers: How the Family Court System Forces Men to Regulate Pregnancy analyzes and documents dozens of cases across the country in which men have been labeled as abusive or neglectful — even losing access to their children — for failing to control the behavior of women during their pregnancies.

Issue Brief: Parenting and Drug Use

People parent. People use drugs. People parent and use drugs. Despite how common this is, parenting and drug use is highly stigmatized, rarely talked about, and punishable by the state within both the criminal and family legal systems. But, we know that not all parents are faced with family separation and criminalization.

Medical Experts’ Amicus Brief in Support of Emily Akers, Arrested and Charged With Manslaughter for Pregnancy Loss in Oklahoma

Emily Akers of Oklahoma experienced a pregnancy loss at 20 weeks and was charged with manslaughter based on the theory that methamphetamine use caused the stillbirth. This brief, filed by attorney John Coyle on behalf of local and national medical experts, underscores that there is no evidence-based research to support the prosecution’s theory that methamphetamine causes stillbirths.

Testimony in Support of Louisiana HB 1027: Preventing Criminal Liability Based on Pregnancy Outcomes

Note: this bill failed in committee. A Louisiana abortion ban containing language that would have allowed pregnant women to be charged with homicide in relation to their own pregnancy outcomes, including abortion, is expected to be amended to remove such language after opposition from House Republicans and the state's governor.

Fact Sheet: Wisconsin’s “Unborn Child Protection Act” (Act 292)

This fact sheet provides background information about Wisconsin’s Act 292, colloquially known as the “Unborn Child Protection Act” or the “Cocaine Mom Law.” We call it Act 292 because the Act harms both children and fetuses—it does not protect them—and the previously-used term “cocaine mom” elicits a false, slanderous, and racist trope about people who consumed cocaine during pregnancy, which we reject.

After Four Long Years in Prison, Adora Perez’s Murder Charge for Stillbirth Is Dropped

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 9, 2022.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Mary McNamara of Swanson & McNamara LLP, Mary@smllp.law; National Advocates for Pregnant Women, media@advocatesforpregnantwomen.org; and ACLU of Northern California, press@aclunc.

NAPW Client Supports California Bill to Stop Pregnancy Loss Criminalization

NAPW Staff Attorney Samantha Lee testified in support of a California bill that will ensure that no one in the State of California will be prosecuted for ending a pregnancy or experiencing pregnancy loss. In her testimony, Ms. Lee shared a statement from NAPW's client, Chelsea Becker, who was charged with murder for experiencing a stillbirth in Kings County, California.