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Medical News & Perspectives
September 23/30, 1998

Challenging Report on Pregnancy and Drug Abuse

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JAMA. 1998;280(12):1039-1040. doi:10.1001/jama.280.12.1039-JMN0923-5-1

IMPRISONING pregnant drug abusers is ineffective and unethical and could be challenged on constitutional grounds, say the authors of a new report entitled Ethical and Legal Analyses of Coercive Policies Aimed at Substance Abuse by Pregnant Women. The report, written as part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Substance Abuse Policy Research Program, documents what is currently known about the effect on fetuses of substance abuse by pregnant women and examines the ethical and legal issues associated with criminalizing these women for illicit drug abuse.

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