National Advocates for Pregnant Women, 10/7/14
Contact: Lynn Paltrow, NAPW, (212) 255-9252
Cherisse Scott, SisterReach, (901) 310-5488
Today, a coalition of 48 reproductive justice, drug policy reform, women’s rights, and civil liberties organizations sent a letter
to Attorney General Eric Holder calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to renounce enhanced criminal penalties for women on the basis of pregnancy. The letter was co-signed by organizations in 17 states and the District of Columbia.
In the case at issue, Lacey Weld pled guilty to the crime of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine. According to a statement
issued by U.S. Attorney William C. Killian of the Eastern District of Tennessee, she was given an enhanced sentence-an additional six years in federal prison-because she was pregnant at the time she committed the crime.
The coalition demonstrates in its strongly worded letter that an enhanced sentence based on pregnancy is contrary to the Obama Administration’s commitment to rational and just sentencing policies, women’s reproductive and civil rights, and the health and well-being of children and families. The letter also makes clear that this position is contrary to the Obama Administration’s stated support for science and evidence-based research as the basis for public policy. Continue reading
By Monique Brunson Jones, WeNews commentator
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
A Tennessee law designed to punish women who use drugs while pregnant can only hurt, not help, babies being born with withdrawal. We need more drug treatment programs, not laws like this that will deter women from seeking help.
CHICAGO (WOMENSENEWS) Tennessee prosecutors recently announced that they would temporarily delay pursuing assault charges against Mallory Loyola, the first woman arrested
under a new Tennessee law designed to prosecute women for “assault . . . while pregnant” if a newborn tests positive for drugs.Under a deal, she will remain in custody until a bed opens up for her in a Knoxville treatment facility, with her hearing postponed until February, when prosecutors will decide whether to proceed after assessing her progress in rehab, Reuters reported
.This is a step in the right direction, but it also underscores the problem. What we need are more drug treatment facility beds, not more beds in prisons. That’s not only humane, it saves money. Continue reading
November 13, 2013, CONTACT: Anais Duran, ADURAN@RABENGROUP.COM
COALITION OF SCIENTISTS AND ADVOCATES CALL ON FDA TO PROTECT WOMEN AND FETAL HEALTH
National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW) along with a coalition of researchers and advocates filed a Citizen Petition as well as a Petition for Stay of Action to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) calling on the agency to refrain from implementing new labeling changes that are medically inaccurate and dangerous to maternal and fetal health.
On September 10, 2013, the FDA announced labeling changes for extended-release/long-acting (ER/LA) opioid analgesics. Opioid analgesics are a class of drugs used to alleviate moderate to severe pain-from the management of cancer-related pain to labor pain. One of the label changes would require a boxed warning-the strongest warning required by the FDA and one that indicates significant risks associated with a drug-stating: “For patients who require opioid therapy while pregnant, be aware that infants may require treatment for neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome [NOWS]. Prolonged use during pregnancy can result in life-threatening neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome.” Continue reading
New Jersey Civil Child Abuse Laws Do Not Authorize State Jurisdiction Over Pregnant Women; Drug Tests Are Not Predictors of Parenting Ability
For Immediate Release
Contact: Lynn Paltrow 212-255-9252; firstname.lastname@example.org
February 6, 2013
Today, in a major victory for New Jersey’s pregnant women and families, the New Jersey Supreme Court announced a unanimous opinion in New Jersey Division of Youth & Family Services v. A.L. recognizing that the state’s child protection laws do not give the Division of Child Protection and Permanency jurisdiction or control over pregnant women and that positive drug tests on pregnant women and newborns do not alone establish neglect. The court also acknowledgd the concerns of leading medical and public health organizations that application of child protection laws to the context of pregnancy can undermine maternal, fetal, and child health.