Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Amnesty International (May 23, 2107): Criminalizing Pregnancy: Policing Pregnant Women Who Use Drugs in the United States:
Amnesty International has issued a new report that looks at the impact of pregnancy criminalization laws in the U.S. with a focus on laws that are used to arrest and prosecute women based on the belief that they are harming their fetus. The report focuses on two states Alabama and Tennessee. Alabama is the state with the greatest number of prosecutions of pregnant women. Between 2014 and 2016, Tennessee made it a crime to give birth to child that showed signs of exposure to drugs. Amnesty asserts that these laws are counter-productive because fear of prosecution deters pregnant women from seeking health care and drug treatment.
“Across the USA, the heavy-handed policing of pregnant women’s behavior is shattering patient trust in health services with devastating consequences. These laws put pregnant women in a double bind, forcing them to choose between risking their health and risking punishment,” said Carrie Eisert, Policy Adviser at Amnesty International, who authored the report.