“Crack-babies” a media induced phenomena brought about by the climax of public outcry from the results of the 1980’s war on drugs. This term laid the foundation for biased prosecutions which sparked a political crusade during climate of the time. Thus exploiting the public’s fear of children born to substance addicted mother and creating a firestorm of litigation to prosecute pregnant drug addicts. According to Flavin, Paltrow (2010), current evidence points to public stigmas and prejudice as posing a greater danger to both maternal and fetal health than use of the drug itself. Leaving the question as to why addicted women are still publicly reviled for the outcomes of their circumstances. From this abhorrence stems the likelihood that
In the 80s Boston, as well as other cities, experienced a drug epidemic. The drug was called crack and it affect the city of Boston badly. A nurse named Fulani Haynes at Boston Medical Center was working during the crack epidemic. She explains how to care for babies who were born addicted to drugs that passed from a mother’s bloodstream through the placenta and into a tiny body. “The babies couldn’t tolerate being held or rocked, she recalled. They wailed at the sound of soft lullabies. Only complete darkness, silence, tight swaddling, and medication could soothe them.” This drug has nothing to do with heroin but it shows the people of Boston that if the heroin addiction continues to spread, more and more children will be born addicts and
In a country where there are more jails than colleges and a total incarceration population of 2.3 million and eighteen percent being female, it is no surprise that there are roughly 2,000 babies born to female inmates annually. At any given time, between eight and ten percent of the females incarcerated in the United States are pregnant. Currently, only ten states allow a mother to remain with her child after giving birth. For the other mothers, they are to give the baby to a reliable family member within 48 hours otherwise it will be placed in foster care. The current number of women in prison is at an all time high, and while the number for pregnant incarcerated females continues to grow, there is still limited medical treatment for mothers
According to DrugAbuse.gov, long-term studies of drug use patterns show that most high school students who use other illegal drugs have tried marijuana first. Teens are often peer pressured into doing drugs; they get to comfortable with them they inevitably reframe to harder and more potent drugs. In Cole Meyer’s short story, “Addiction” the narrator is a struggling teen addict and his addiction continues to worsen as he ages. Meyer uses setting, character and conflict to illustrate the devastating effects of addiction on the individual.
Many women, including teens, abuse drugs while they are pregnant. This rate is especially high to those who are homeless, underprivileged, or live in a broken home. In order for drug abusers to even have a chance at beating their addiction they have to have support whether it’s family, friends, or boyfriend/spouse. They must also let the abuser now all the consequences to themselves and the unborn child. There are many consequences when using drugs during pregnancy such as miscarriage, health risks to baby, and health risks to the mother. And learning disabilities and brain damage to the fetus.
Drug-addicted women are the stakeholders in this dilemma. Drug-addicted or former drug-addicted women are being pressured into thinking that controlling their fertility is the only way in which to not be considered a horrible person or bad mothers. No one should be allowed to try to persuade women to give up their reproductive rights. Just because some women choose to use drugs or alcohol does not mean that they are not responsible enough to make proper health or parenting decisions on their own, they especially do not need monetary incentives to make sound decisions. “Evidence suggests that women who use drugs do not need to be paid to limit or end their fertility” (Olsen, 2014). Preferably, programs should try to minimize the barriers that these women have to face in order to obtain information. Organizations should be non-discriminating and non judgmental towards women’s reproductive health.
In 2014, after seeing a significant increase in babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), Tennessee began criminally charging pregnant women who use drugs (Sakuma, 2014). Supporters of the new legislation refer to it as a “velvet hammer” used to convince the pregnant drug users into going into treatment, or doing jail time. However, critics are concerned that this legislation will be just another barrier for a group of women who are already at risk, (Sakuma, 2014).
For instance, if an individual lives in the ghetto, they are mostly connected in some way to the use of illicit drugs and alcohol use. Indeed, this can be due to the numerous amount of bars located in a low-income neighborhood or sale of illicit drugs within the community. In the article Five Stereotypes about Poor Families and Education, Valerie Strauss asserted, “We also should realize that when these problems do exist in low-income families, they have the potential to be particularly devastating because people in poverty who are struggling with substance abuse generally do not have at their disposal the sorts of recovery opportunities available to wealthier families. Nor do they have access to preventative medical attention that might catch and treat growing dependencies before they become full-fledged additions.” (Strauss, 2013) Therefore, instead of labeling poor individuals as the responsibility of the drug and alcohol abuse epidemic, a solution can be given to assist these individuals with these problems before the addiction grows and becomes out of hand to
Hulsey, T. (2008). Prenatal Drug Use: The Ethics of Testing and Incarcerating Pregnant Women. Newborn and Infant Nursing Reviews, 5(2), 93-96. http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.lib.usf.edu/10.1053/j.nainr
Drug and alcohol addictions are illnesses that require some type of effective treatment to overcome them. I believe that women don’t intentionally expose their fetuses to drug or alcohol abuse, but if it happens, I believe the problem needs to be identified and addressed immediately because obviously there is a problem. In my opinion, I believe that women should be punished for exposing their fetuses to drug and alcohol abuse. The fetuses are innocent and shouldn’t have to suffer on the ignorance of their mother. I think that treatment should be offered and monitored frequently. If the program is not followed by the pregnant woman, then she should not be allowed the opportunity to raise the child until she has proven that she will provide a
Seeks Pity for Teenage Mothers and Abstinent Couples,” is that the woman’s inability to be decisive in whether or not she will assume the role of motherhood is symbolic of slavery. Furthermore, Sanger maintains that denying women the freedom of choice essentially impedes their constitutional rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These assertions are substantiated through a series of letters that are written to Sanger by mothers who are overwhelmed with anguish and dismay due to their prominent rate of unplanned pregnancies and the complications that ensue as a result. The common thread indicated in all of the letters is the pursuit of relief in the form of prevention. The series of correspondences also addresses the invariable plight of poverty, illness, fear, physiological defects, sexual servitude, and the lack of social enterprise, which all seem to be exacerbated by the immense number of unplanned pregnancies. Sanger subscribes to the belief that the woman’s right to control her body is the foundation of her human rights; and the freedom of choice is the stimulus to safer, healthier and happier lives. One writer discloses her struggle to efficiently care for her eight children on her husband’s minimal income of $1.oo per day. Her failure to adequately nurture her eight children and ensure their normal development is created by her inability to work outside of the home to
Rosa Lee Cunningham is a 52 year old African American women with an addiction of heroin. Rosa Lee grew up in poverty. Her mother and father were sharecroppers who had migrated to the city. Rosa Lee had eight children, six boys and two girls. She was 14 years old when she had her first born. While pregnant with her first child, Rosa Lee dropped out of school without having the ability to learn how to read. At the age of 16, Rosa got married. Because Rosa Lee didn’t have a productive role model in life, she
Addiction can be a very troubling experience for the addict and those involved in their life. However, each individual’s journey with drug addiction is a personal one. Angela Garcia studied a clinic in New Mexico to better understand drug addiction and the detoxification process. Her task in this study is evident when she states ” I understood my task as an anthropologist to conjure up the social life that produced these signs, to give it flesh and depth, that is why I went to New Mexico to study heroin- to try to give purpose and meaning to an aspect of American Life that had become dangerously ordinary, even cliché.”(5, Garcia) She is clearly there to learn and then interpret that which she finds. In observing she is doing what Roberta Edwards
In Claire’s Sterk’s book, “Fast Lives: women who used crack cocaine”, she uses information from observation, conversations, interviews and group discussions to explain how using crack affects active users. She also shows how they started using, how they survived, how they developed and maintained relationships with friends and family, and how they were mothers and drug users at the same time. In addition, Sterk started Project FAST, the Female Atlanta Study to identify the impact of drug use patterns on lives of active female users. In this study, most of the women’s stories are similar but yet different in many ways to each other. While curiosity and peer pressure caused these women to experiment with drugs, others were
Roberts’s response fails to satisfy the individuals that cocaine affects the most. Fetal endangerment requires further study and Roberts fails to identify the “amalgam of racial and class biases” (Kennedy, 1997, p.361) in illicit drug use to determine who is in