Elizabeth Nolan Brown on Prosecuting Pregnant Drug Users

The “crack baby” panic may have gone the way of the cassette
tape, but America’s womb-based war on drugs is alive and kicking.
Fueled by a potent mix of drug war propaganda and fetal rights
advocacy, states have been charging pregnant women who use
drugs—however casually or legally—with everything from child
neglect and “chemical endangerment” to contributing to the
delinquency of a minor and felony assault. 

The National Association for Pregnant Women warns of “an
increasing trend toward viewing pregnancy as a proper subject of
the criminal law.” Elizabeth Nolan Brown looks at how this trend is
hurting women, babies, and families in states across America.
 

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