Pregnant on Drugs
2011; Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 218A.1441-1443, 2011; La. Rev. Stat. Ann.
§ 14:93, 2011; Minn. Stat. Ann § 609.378, 2011; Murphy, 2014; N.D.
Cent. Code § 19-03.1-22.2, 2011; Nev. Rev. Stat. § 453.3325, 2011;
Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2919.22, 2011; Or. Rev. Stat. § 163.575, 2011;
Utah Code Ann. § 76-5-112.5, 2011; Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-4-405, 2011).
Laws vary about whether women may be prosecuted for using alcohol or
drugs during pregnancy; or whether use must be extreme or result in harm
to fetuses. Some laws mandate women cannot knowingly consume sub-
stances or excessive quantities of some substances that result in harm to
fetuses; but other laws require women to avoid any recreational substance
use during certain months (Gonzalez, 2014; Mohney, 2014). e legality
of substance use or substance abuse during pregnancy may turn on a few
issues (Collins v. State, 1994; Commonwealth v. Welch, 1993; Herron v.
State, 2000; Hillman v. State, 1998; Johnson v. State, 1992; Kilmon v. State,
2006; People v. Bedenkop, 1993; People v. Hardy, 1991; Reyes v. Superior
Court, 1977; State v. Aiwohi, 2005; State v. Ashley, 1997; State v. Deborah
J.Z., 1999; State v. Dunn, 1996; State v. Eagle Hawk, 1987; State v. Geth-
ers, 1991; State v. Gray, 1992; State v. Luster, 1992; State v. Reinesto, 1995;
Ward v. State, 2006; Washoe County v. Encoe, 1994).
Drug-using mothers in various jurisdictions may experience signi-
cantly dierent outcomes. First, states’ treatment of fetuses as legal per-
sons may aect whether mothers’ substance use can be held by statute
to harm fetuses (Neil, 2014). If fetuses are not persons, then they may
not be protected under specic statutes protecting people from harm.
Even when personhood is not granted to viable fetuses, though, legisla-
tures may or may not specically protect them from particular forms of
abuse (e.g., murder or criminal recklessness) (Miss. Code Ann. § 97-3-19,
2006; State v. McKnight, 2003). Second, drug use may be distinguish-
able from addiction. Addiction may not be criminalized, but possession
may be prosecuted; and addiction may be treated. ird, jurisdictions
may distinguish between substances (e.g., alcohol, Schedule 1 drugs, and
Schedule 2 drugs). Schedule 1 drugs include illegal drugs (e.g., cocaine,
and methamphetamines). Schedule 2 drugs include highly addictive pre-
scription drugs (e.g., OxyContin) and other prescription medication.
Fourth, cases may turn on degree or intent of exposure. Mothers have
been prosecuted for exposing fetuses to controlled substances (Ala. Code
§ 26-15-3.2, 2011; Murphy, 2014). Chemical endangerment laws mainly
relate to exposure of children to fumes or byproducts of drug production,
but statutes can be applied to a variety of scenarios. If children die after