Medical and Public Health Group Statements Opposing Prosecution and Punishment of Pregnant Women - Revised March 2017
Every leading medical and public health organization to address the issue of pregnant women and drug use has taken a position opposing punitive approaches as dangerous to maternal, fetal and child health. Please download this fact sheet providing summaries of and citations to these statements.
This fact sheet from NAPW explains how Trumpcare targets Planned Parenthood and is likely to impact pregnant women in particular. Click here for a pdf of the fact sheet.
Read full response here.
NAPW encourages the Department of Health and Human Services to not include a specific exemption for health providers, health plans, and other covered entities on the basis of religious beliefs in its rule making on Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.
Read letter here.
NAPW urges Governor Cuomo to sign the 2015 Anti-Shackling Bill to expand protections for pregnant women in New York State prisons and jails.
NAPW commends the good intentions behind the Protecting our Infants Act of 2015, but believes that the Act will in fact reinforce gender stereotypes, stigmatize drug use, and lead to punitive civil and criminal sanctions against pregnant women and girls.
Fact sheets available for download about North Carolina's 2015 SB 297, a bill proposed "to create the criminal offense of prenatal narcotic drug use."
North Carolina SB 297: http://bit.ly/NCSB297
NAPW Fact Sheet about SB 297: http://bit.ly/NAPWNCSB297
Fact Sheet developed by local North Carolina advocates about SB 297: http://bit.ly/NCPtsSB297
Open Letters From Medical Doctors, Scientists, & Specialists Urging Media To End Inaccurate Reporting on Pregnancy & Drug Use
2004 - Top Medical Doctors and Scientists Urge Major Media Outlets to Stop Perpetuating “Crack Baby” Myth - Download file.
2005 - Open Letter From Doctors, Scientists, & Specialists Urging Major Media Outlets Not to Create “Meth Baby” Myth - Download file.
2013 - Open Letter to the Media and Policy Makers Regarding Alarmist and Inaccurate Reporting on Prescription Opioid Use by Pregnant Women - Download file.
Download pdf here.
Learn more about the facts behind Colorado's Amendment 67. Download the Fact Sheet below:
Download in English.
Download in Spanish.
Prenatal Exposure to Illegal Drugs and Alcohol: Media Hype and Enduring Myths Are Not Supported By Science
Based on the extraordinary misinformation that appeared frequently in the popular press, many people believe that a pregnant woman who uses any amount of an illegal drug or alcohol will inevitably harm or even kill her fetus. But media hype is not the same as science. As explained by Dr. Deborah Frank in this on-line video, Prenatal Drug Exposure: Award-Winning Pediatrician Discusses What The Science Tells Us,[i] popular news reports have misrepresented the scientific facts about prenatal exposure to drugs.
Utah Representative Carl Wimmer has proposed a bill, H.B. 12, which purports to make it a crime for a woman to solicit a non-physician abortion or to perform an abortion on herself, at all stages of pregnancy. It permits certain abortions if performed by physicians. What the sponsor claims to want to accomplish with this legislation is to ensure that self-abortions may be punished as murder or attempted murder. The bill, however, is written in such a way as to affect all pregnant women including those who have no intention of ending a pregnancy. This bill, if enacted, would apply to any and all pregnancy losses even at the earliest stages of pregnancy and to all actions, inactions, conditions and circumstances that may be characterized or perceived as a threat to the life of an unborn child—regardless of the woman’s intent.
The significant and well-documented public misunderstanding, stigma, and cultural myth
surrounding drug use and addiction, particularly in the context of pregnancy and
parenting, strongly suggests the need for expert testimony to clarify these issues to the
court and to ensure diligent representation and zealous advocacy on behalf of the parties
This legal memo establishes the rules of evidence which should be used in court and provides resources and arguments to insist that real science is presented in court.
The following is the policy and consent form developed and approved by the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation to be used at all HHC facilities. The policy briefly outlines the risks, benefits and alternatives for testing prenatal and intrapartal patients and it addresses questions and concerns that have arisen regarding this issue.
Despite the many issues affecting women's health and lives, bills to further restrict abortion are likely to be the primary focus of your legislature's session this year. As a result of this extensive attention to this one aspect of pregnant women's lives, chances are that your state legislature will not address many other health issues of concern to pregnant women and mothers — not breast cancer nor heart disease, not the lack of health insurance for millions of women and children nor the lack of access to mother-friendly childbirth. Here are some suggestions for action you and your state can take to ensure that policies to advance a culture of life, values the women who give that life:
Laws that make it a crime to be pregnant and addicted undermine women's and children's health and seriously threaten women's reproductive rights. Moreover, they are based on a number of unsubstantiated and costly myths.
Download Microsoft Word file
Compiled by Drug Policy Alliance. Sept 27, 2000.