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What Happens When Pregnant Women Are Criminalized For Drug Use

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posted on Jan, 11 2016 @ 02:11 PM
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What Happens When Pregnant Women Are Criminalized For Drug Use


In 2014, Tennessee became the first state in the nation to pass a law allowing women to be charged with a crime if their babies are born with symptoms of drug withdrawal.

The state was responding to a dramatic rise in the number of babies born with "neonatal abstinence syndrome," a group of symptoms that can occur when babies are in withdrawal from exposure to narcotics. Medical professional stress that while babies with NAS may be irritable, the condition is treatable and has not been associated with long-term negative consequences.

Yet the same cannot be said of Tennessee's law.

Health advocates have reported that women are avoiding critical prenatal care and even leaving the state to give birth because they are afraid of facing arrest and losing custody of their children. While it's not clear exactly how many women have been arrested under the new law, in Shelby County alone, at least 22 women have been prosecuted.

"This policy has resulted in separating mothers from their children and incarcerating people struggling with drug use instead of ensuring access to effective options for recovery," Allison Glass, state director of Healthy and Free Tennessee, a nonprofit women's advocacy group, said in a press release. "This law is hurting far more people than it could ever help."


What the heck? Who would think this would be a good idea? This law reads like something a bunch of politicians dreamed up that sounded good in theory, but in practice just ends up being horrible on all accounts. For one, drug users shouldn't be criminalized AT ALL; addiction is a disease and jailing someone for using drugs is like jailing someone for having diabetes. For two, who would think it would be a good idea to separate a mother from her child because she used drugs during pregnancy? Does anyone honestly think that these babies will receive the care they need in the hands of the state?

This is all very concerning. America really needs to wake the hell up with how we treat drug users. It is getting to be absurd.


Tennessee's law is due to expire under a sunset provision in 2016, unless lawmakers move to extend it.

While Tennessee is currently the only state to explicitly criminalize drug use during pregnancy, a lawmaker has proposed similar legislation in Missouri. Other states, such as Alabama and South Carolina, used interpretations of existing laws to prosecute pregnant women who use drugs.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, 18 states consider substance abuse during pregnancy to be child abuse under civil child-welfare statutes.


I'm really not sure if you can file this under "war on women" or just "war on drugs overreach". Let's go with a little from column A and a little from column B.

If you ask me, if we want to "evolve" as a society, we need to cut out our penchant for jailing everyone who does things we disagree with. Drugs aren't the end of the world, and jailing users is by far the dumbest policy our country has ever undertaken. Imagine how much money our country could save if it wasn't sinking so much into housing people with diseases?



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posted on Jan, 11 2016 @ 02:23 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

i don't agree with you. my ex wife was a addict , but once she knew she was pregnant , she never used! SO, THEY HAVE A CHOICE



posted on Jan, 11 2016 @ 02:25 PM
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what gets me is that what both men and women do even before the time of conception can affect the child's developement.
a husband proned to yelling and anger will make a pregnant women uptight and nervous and it will affect a fetus long term. certain chemicals exposed to in youth can cause a man's offspring to be affected years later.
will this only stop a a mother's drug use?
what about other actions she might take that will affect the child she's carrying. if she doesn't eat enough, the baby might grow up to be obese. if she works in certain occupations, well it might be deformed in some way. if she takes that medication for her migrains, if might affect the fetus, but if she doesn't it might also affect the fetus. but why stop with just the women, what about the man who insists on smoking in the home while his wife is pregnant? or has a tendency of driving too fast or erractically and makes her nervous? will they become targets?
and why just concentrate on just the nine months that a women is pregnant when things that happen in childhood even can affect the fetus? shouldn't to possible future fetus deserving of the same protection as those developing now?



posted on Jan, 11 2016 @ 02:26 PM
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No, drugs aren't the end of the world, but the might be to the child I the womb.



posted on Jan, 11 2016 @ 02:26 PM
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I don't agree with drink or drugs when pregnant, but for whatever reason, that's the situation the woman is in. Instead of wasting money prosecuting the woman, spend it on treating the child without separating them from their mother, and maybe even help the mother.
The govt and their golf buddies seems fine making money from prescription drugs.



posted on Jan, 11 2016 @ 02:30 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

that whole drug use is a disease thing is something dreamed up to make people think taking drugs is not there fault. Its part of the reason these past couple generations are getting softer and weaker. Anyone unless they are strapped down and forcefully administered drugs, they take those drugs on there own. Then there body gets addicted and cant do without without adverse health effects.

But ]the disease you speak of would never have been existent in that persons life unless that person continuley took drugs for extended period of time. Im sorry man anybody that would hurt a baby deserves what they get, and anyone that does drugs to the point of physical addiction must deal with the consequences.

and btw diabetes and child endangerment is no where close to being the same thing.



posted on Jan, 11 2016 @ 02:31 PM
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originally posted by: DEANORULES24
a reply to: Krazysh0t

i don't agree with you. my ex wife was a addict , but once she knew she was pregnant , she never used! SO, THEY HAVE A CHOICE


So because you have one anecdote about someone overcoming addiction that means that EVERY person suffering from addiction is exactly the same as your ex-wife and can kick the addiction?



posted on Jan, 11 2016 @ 02:32 PM
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originally posted by: uktorah
I don't agree with drink or drugs when pregnant, but for whatever reason, that's the situation the woman is in. Instead of wasting money prosecuting the woman, spend it on treating the child without separating them from their mother, and maybe even help the mother.
The govt and their golf buddies seems fine making money from prescription drugs.


This! Prosecuting the mother is only going to harm the child in the long run. It won't receive the medical care it should be getting, plus it will be forcibly separated from its mother.



posted on Jan, 11 2016 @ 02:32 PM
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a reply to: DEANORULES24

would you change you mind if you knew that at least one state does not differentiate between illegal drugs and prescription drugs? or that there's been women who have been thrown into prision on only questionable proof that they using any drug the nine months they were pregnant?
all this doesn't even cover the fact that the whole thing kind of might make some women just avoid any prenatal care which is probably causing more harm than drug usage.



posted on Jan, 11 2016 @ 02:34 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

Why aren't you more concerned about the unborn babies?



posted on Jan, 11 2016 @ 02:34 PM
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a reply to: DOCHOLIDAZE1

You clearly don't understand the process of addiction if you have the gall to say something like. Now I know where the baseless mentality to jail drug users comes from. "It's their fault for using drugs so # em! Into jail they go!"



posted on Jan, 11 2016 @ 02:34 PM
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a reply to: Deaf Alien

I'm concerned about both the babies and the mothers actually.



posted on Jan, 11 2016 @ 02:37 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

Oh ok. I've known several women who stopped drinking and using cold as soon as they found out they were pregnant. I'm talking about hardcore addicts.



posted on Jan, 11 2016 @ 02:37 PM
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a reply to: dawnstar

HELL NO, they did not even have prenatal care 60 yrs ago , and if my x could do it , its a CHOICE !! TRUST ME



posted on Jan, 11 2016 @ 02:38 PM
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a reply to: Deaf Alien

It's a complicated mess. Addiction is a problem in itself, then you introduce the newborn to the equation. It's not the newborn's fault that the mother is an addict, but when you punish the mother for the addiction, you ARE punishing the child for the sins of the parent.



posted on Jan, 11 2016 @ 02:39 PM
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Typically when a person forces another person to do drugs to the point where they go through withdrawal, the person forcing the use gets in trouble.

Would we be crying if this was about some heroin addict handcuffing a woman to a toilet and forcing drugs into her? Still no big deal, they just need some help?



posted on Jan, 11 2016 @ 02:39 PM
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And this is one of those issues with the libertarian argument for legalization. Female addicts who get pregnant and then go on to use.

I know the counter for legalizing is that what I do to myself affects no one else, but in this instance, that is clearly not the case and the baby deserves some protection from the rest of us or else we will be supporting that child in more than just basic food/clothing/shelter. Babies who are exposed to drugs in utero can be damaged in numerous ways and have all kinds of challenges in life.



posted on Jan, 11 2016 @ 02:41 PM
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originally posted by: Shamrock6
Would we be crying if this was about some heroin addict handcuffing a woman to a toilet and forcing drugs into her? Still no big deal, they just need some help?


I would be. I don't like any drug users either forced or voluntary sitting in jail for what they did.



posted on Jan, 11 2016 @ 02:41 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

This is why you decriminalize use while keeping the sale of the drug illegal.



posted on Jan, 11 2016 @ 02:43 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

Yeah it's complicated. Look at it this way... who is responsible for harming the newborn? Maybe mandatory rehab for sure. If she does it again then who knows.
edit on 1/11/2016 by Deaf Alien because: (no reason given)

edit on 1/11/2016 by Deaf Alien because: (no reason given)







 
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