“The state has criminalized so much of pregnancy and reproduction. … We will likely see women imprisoned in the near future if we do not fight back on this matter. “
—Arizona Attorney Julie Gunnigle
Reproductive rights advocates have stepped up to support Lindsay R., an Arizona woman branded a child molester by the State of Arizona for using medical marijuana while pregnant. National Pregnant Women Lawyers (NAPW) and 45 Have leading health organizations, doctors, ethicists, scientific and medical experts, and advocates briefly asked an Arizona appeals court to set aside the state’s lawsuit.
When Lindsay was pregnant, she suffered from a life-threatening condition called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), which caused constant nausea and vomiting. Her condition was so severe that she was hospitalized twice during her pregnancy.
Your doctor required Medication for her condition, but it didn’t help, so she took medical marijuana for relief. At the time, she was a qualified medical marijuana patient under the Medical Marijuana Act of Arizona. After giving birth on May 4, 2019, the hospital tested her baby’s blood, which was positive for marijuana.
Thereafter, the Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS), where Lindsay worked, fired her and found civil neglect of children. They put her on the Arizona Central Child Abuse Registry for 25 years, excluding her from childcare, childcare and health care jobs.
An administrative judge overturned the decision, but DCS appealed to the Maricopa County Superior Court, which upheld the sentences. The court ruled that Lindsay’s use of medical marijuana during pregnancy was neglect of the child and upheld its entry on the registry. Lindsay Appealed.
On appeal, the state characterized Lindsay’s use of marijuana as “selfish behavior who wrongly “prioritize”[ed] their own needs over those of their child. ‘”
“My client was the only one who presented science. they [submitted evidence] to show that cannabis is a choice for treating HG during pregnancy. ” said Scottsdale attorney Julie Gunnigle. “[C]compared to the risks of drugs prescribed for HV that didn’t work or the risk of having untreated HV, which equates to one in three possible miscarriages [using medical marijuana poses] minimal risk, and it is a decision she was fully entitled to make. “
This case is from Arizona.
Your tax dollars will be used to punish pregnant patients, separate families, and destroy lives, all based on junk science and the war on drugs.
– Julie Gunnigle (@JulieGunnigle) July 6, 2021
Reproductive rights attorneys are calling on the Arizona Court of Appeals to overturn the lower court’s decision and remove Lindsay from the child abuse register. NAPW argues that research shows that the medical use of marijuana is an effective treatment for HG, which can lead to severe dehydration, malnutrition, heart and kidney failure, and even loss of pregnancy or neurological damage to the fetus. They cited peer-reviewed scientific reports research Evidence of marijuana use during pregnancy will not harm the fetuses. According to the letter, “the evidence of potential harm from untreated HV to fetuses is far better supported than any claims of harm from medical marijuana use.” They find that marijuana is also an affordable option that many patients find more effective and less debilitating than other treatments.
“Criminal laws that drive a wedge between patients and their doctor have been shown to have negative effects on the health of the fetus and the newborn,” argues NAPW.
In fact, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has one politics speak out directly against punishing people during pregnancy and express concerns that punitive answers A positive drug test will discourage women from getting prenatal care or getting help for themselves or their children when they need it. Other leading medical associations have similar guidelines, including the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics. A Recent study of a Fetal Hazard Act in Tennessee found harmful effects on the health of fetuses and infants.
And there is more at stake than abortion. A wide variety of pregnancy outcomes, including miscarriages and stillbirths, as well as decisions about a pregnant person’s rights and health care, are criminalized #IfRoeGoes. #SCOTUS https://t.co/bRi1psqjD0
– National advocates for pregnant women (@NAPW) July 29, 2021
NAPW also argues that inclusion in the central register “can have devastating economic effects on families, which can lead to associated negative health outcomes for children”.
“I think we are seeing an increase in people being tried in either a criminal court or a family court for legal medical marijuana use during pregnancy, and this is a case where people are treated differently for being pregnant.” said Samantha Lee, a NAPW attorney. NAPW argues that this differential treatment violates the constitutional right to equality, as well as the constitutional right to “choose or refuse treatment that they consider most appropriate for themselves”.
As frighteningly portrayed in the documentation Birthright: A War Story, criminalizing pregnant women who use marijuana is part of a broader trend, says NAPW, which has more than documented it 1,000 arrests for drug use during pregnancy.
Organizations joining the NAPW briefing in support of Lindsay include Ibis Reproductive Health, If / When / How, NARAL Pro-Choice Arizona, the Women’s Law Project, the Arizona and Inez Casiano Chapters of the National Organization for Women and the National Council of Jewish Women Arizona.
“Nobody should fear child neglect charges and a 25-year sentence for being pregnant and being a qualified medical marijuana user.” said Lee. “And contrary to Arizona’s claims, no child will be better off if the state’s unprecedented and scientifically unfounded interpretation of the law persists. This will only instill fear and distrust in the medical system and lead to poorer outcomes for families in Arizona. “
NAPW offers a free on-demand screening the documentation PERSONNEL: Police Surveillance of Pregnant Women in America from 11.-26. August (use screening code NAPW821).