Brief of Amici Curiae in Support of Appellant, A.A.R

On May 4, 2018, the Drug Policy Alliance represented itself, Families for Sensible Drug Policies, and eight nationally recognized experts in health, psychology, medicine, and law in this amicus brief filed before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The brief argues that actions taken by women during pregnancy should not be considered child abuse and women who use drugs during their pregnancy should not be punished by being listed as child abusers in a state registry.

While none of the organizations or individuals who joined the brief advocate for drug use during pregnancy, they all oppose punishing pregnant woman for actions they take that may affect the health of the fetus. This is because punishing pregnant woman stigmatizes them and discourages them from seeking prenatal health care and drug treatment. Instead, we should encourage pregnant women to get prenatal care and to be forthright with their doctors about their drug use, so they can get the medical care and drug use disorder treatment they need to improve their health and the health of their fetuses. 

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