The Champion

May 2010 , Page 30 

Search the Champion Looking for something specific?

Preview of Member Only Content

For full access: login or Become a Member Join Now

Pregnant Women, Junk Science, and Zealous Defense

By Lynn Paltrow

There is no such thing as a “crack” or “meth baby”1 and no state has a statute that makes it a crime for a drug-using pregnant woman to continue her pregnancy to term, to give birth, or to suffer a miscarriage or stillbirth. Nevertheless, some pregnant women and new mothers are still being arrested in the United States when they give birth or suffer a stillbirth and test positive for an illegal drug or alcohol. These prosecutions not only lack legal foundation, they also lack medical and scientific foundation. In other words, they are based on junk law and junk science.

In 1993, The Champion published an article entitled Winning Strategies: Defending the Rights of Pregnant Addicts.2 It outlined the statutory and constitutional arguments that could be used to challenge the prosecution of pregnant women who continued to term in spite of a drug problem. These arguments remain valid today, and with the exception of the Supreme Court of South Carolina, have been used successfully to get char

Want to read more?

The Champion archive is reserved for NACDL members.

NACDL members, please login to read the rest of this article.
login

Not a member? Join now.
Join Now
Or click here to see an overview of NACDL Member benefits.

See what NACDL members say about us.

To read the current issue of The Champion in its entirety, click here.

  • Media inquiries: Contact NACDL's Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan J. Dominguez at 202-465-7662 or idominguez@nacdl.org
  • Academic Requests: Full articles of The Champion Magazine are available for academic and research purposes in the WestLaw and LexisNexis databases.

In This Section

Advertisement Advertise with Us
ad