pregnancy

State Policies Regarding Substance Use by Pregnant Women

"24 states and the District of Columbia consider substance use during pregnancy to be child abuse under civil child-welfare statutes, and 3 consider it grounds for civil commitment.

"23 states and the District of Columbia require health care professionals to report suspected prenatal drug use, and 7 states require them to test for prenatal drug exposure if they suspect drug use.

Opioids Do Not Have Potential To Cause Malformations To An Embryo Or Fetus

"It is important to note that, contrary to alcohol, benzodiazepines and nicotine, opioids do not have teratogenic potential (3). Thus, special attention needs to be paid to dependence and abuse of legal substances and prescription drugs that can have severe consequences for the foetus and newborn, such as foetal developmental disorders or sudden infant death syndrome (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Center for Excellence, 2013; McDonnell-Naughton et al., 2012)."

Prevalence of Current Illegal Drug Use Among Pregnant Women in the US

"• Among pregnant women aged 15 to 44, 5.4 percent were current illicit drug users based on data averaged across 2012 and 2013. This was lower than the rate among women in this age group who were not pregnant (11.4 percent). Among pregnant women aged 15 to 44, the average rate of current illicit drug use in 2012-2013 (5.4 percent) was not significantly different from the rate averaged across 2010-2011 (5.0 percent).

Constitutional View On Prosecuting Pregnant Women

"Another constitutional argument [against prosecuting pregnant women] is based on the right to privacy: the prosecution of a pregnant drug-addicted woman infringes upon a woman’s right to privacy, as established in Roe v. Wade.111 In Roe, the Supreme Court held that the right to privacy, 'whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action ... or ...