PREGNANT WOMEN’S RIGHTS IN OUR COURTS

I have practiced in many family and criminal courts over the past 25 years in New York State. An issue of significant importance which we must guard against happening in the courts of our state, is the prosecution of women in criminal or family court under the state’s penal and child abuse laws, respectively, for using drugs or alcohol during pregnancy. Eighteen states prosecute pregnant women for child abuse for using drugs during pregnancy and 18 states require health care professionals to report suspected drug abuse.

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