State of the Union: Who will defend and advocate for the pregnant woman?

January 21, 2017

During the January 2018 State of the Union address, we heard President Trump declare that his "administration is committed to fighting the drug epidemic and helping get treatment for those in need." But rather than describing how the government will expand access to drug treatment (and no plans have been put forward for an increase in funding this year) he launched into a story about a police officer in New Mexico who saw "a pregnant, homeless woman preparing to inject heroin." According to the President, the police officer, who "felt God speak to him," embodied the "goodness of our nation" by adopting the woman's baby.

Left out of what a Slate.com commentary correctly describes as a "bizarre" story is anything more about the pregnant woman. Who was she? Why was she homeless? What in her past and present life lead her to use heroin? Was her pregnancy consensual? Where could she have gone for help? Could she have gotten an abortion if she had wanted one? Could she have gotten support for going to term? If she had gone for help would she have been shamed by health care providers, charged with a crime, and/or reported as a child abuser?

All of these things have happened to pregnant women in New Mexico and across the country.

NAPW is the organization defending pregnant women from police, prosecutors, and yes, from our current President. His story dehumanizes pregnant women and creates the illusion that fundamental problems -- such as lack of health care -- including drug treatment, maternal and reproductive health care -- can be solved by divinely directed individual acts of charity (adoption).

Help NAPW tell a different, truthful story. We are grateful for all the individuals including family, friends, and neighbors who try to help one another. But NAPW needs your support to fight for justice; for a government that ensures dignity and equality for everyone including pregnant women.

Please help support NAPW by donating through this link.