Pregnant Women and Drug Use: Charles Condon and South Carolina’s Policy of Punishment Not Treatment
South Carolina leads the nation in the punishment of pregnant women. A chief advocate and architect of the policy is former South Carolina Solicitor and Attorney General Charels Condon. Mr. Condon has repeatedly claimed that the State's policy of arresting pregnant women who endanger the health of their fetuses is a “last resort” that “was not punitive…not designed to put people in jail,” but designed to promote treatment of pregnant women with drug problem. The record, however, makes clear that punishment was and continues to be the first and only response for many South Carolina women seeking medical help for themselves and their children.