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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 155818 Find in a Library
Title: Doped Up, Knocked Up, and...Locked Up? The Criminal Prosecution of Women Who Use Drugs During Pregnancy
Author(s): V Green
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 124
Sponsoring Agency: Garland Publishing, Inc.
New York, NY 10003-3304
Publication Number: ISBN 0-8153-1125-7
Sale Source: Garland Publishing, Inc.
19 Union Square
West Floor 8
New York, NY 10003-3304
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of the criminal prosecution of women who use drugs during pregnancy concludes that if this approach becomes the dominant method of addressing the increase in the number of infants born exposed to controlled drugs, both women and their babies will suffer.
Abstract: The discussion provides a history of the fetus in the law and the development of the doctrine of privacy by the U.S. Supreme Court; it notes that the fetus has been granted increasing legal protection over the past 200 years. The development of the methods used by prosecuting attorneys to establish standards of socially acceptable behavior during pregnancy is described, noting that in recent years prosecutors have developed increasing meticulous and ingenious methods of prosecuting women who use drugs during pregnancy. The roles of medical professionals and judges in these cases is also analyzed. Further sections examine the underlying causes of the crisis brought on by drug use among pregnant women, with emphasis on the underlying motivations behind the criminal prosecution of these women. The analysis concludes that prosecution subjugates the rights of women to autonomy to the rights of the fetus to be born in good health and overlooks the need to address the societal problems of poverty, inadequate prenatal care, and the need for drug treatment for pregnant women. Notes, index, and 56 references
Main Term(s): Pregnant drug abusers
Index Term(s): Children of drug abusers; Prosecution
Note: A Garland Series, Children of Poverty: Studies and Dissertations on the Effects of Single Parenthood, the Feminization of Poverty, and Homelessness
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