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.

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 ...

Total Arrests in the US by Gender

"In 2015, 73.1 percent of all arrestees were males. Males accounted for 79.7 percent of persons arrested for violent crimes and for 61.7 percent of persons arrested for property crimes.
• Males comprised 88.5 percent of persons arrested for murder and nonnegligent manslaughter in 2015.
• Of the total number of persons arrested for drug abuse violations, 77.4 percent were males.
• Females accounted for 43.2 percent of all persons arrested for larceny-theft offenses in 2015.
• Of persons arrested for aggravated assault in 2015, 23.1 percent were females.