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Alabama is prosecuting a mom for taking prescribed medication while pregnant

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  • Alabama is prosecuting a mom for taking prescribed medication while pregnant


    https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...ation-pregnant

    Is Alabama in danger of becoming a totalitarians state? Or does its police department and district attorney wish they were in The Handmaid's Tale?

    A 36-year-old Alabama woman is facing felony charges for filling a doctor’s prescription. Kim Blalock, a mother of six, suffers from severe back pain caused by degeneration of her spinal discs. “There are days that I can’t get up,” Blalock has said. Her condition worsened over the years following surgeries and car accidents. An orthopedist prescribed hydrocodone, an opiate pain killer, and she started using it occasionally when the pain became too much to handle. She stopped taking her prescription during her most recent pregnancy, but as her bump grew, the weight added pressure on her back, and the pain worsened. Midway through her third trimester, she couldn’t take it any more, and refilled her prescription. She gave birth to a healthy baby boy soon after, this past September. Out of caution, she told her doctor about medications she had taken during pregnancy – including the hydrocodone. That’s where the trouble started. After her son tested positive for hydrocodone, an investigation was launched. The state child services agency found no wrongdoing, but the local police and district attorney pressed on. Two months after she gave birth, seven armed officers raided her house, terrifying her children.


    Blalock is charged with prescription fraud; prosecutors allege that she committed a crime when she failed to inform her prescribing doctor that she was pregnant before refilling her hydrocodone. It’s a novel charge for such a case, but Alabama has a long history of prosecuting pregnant women under a strict reading of a statute against “chemical endangerment of a child”, which classifies substance use during pregnancy as a form of child abuse. Since 2006, when meth labs were appearing across rural communities, Alabama has made it a felony to expose a child to a chemically toxic environment. The law was meant to enforce heavier penalties on people who make drugs around children, exposing them to the vapors that are emitted in the creation of crack and meth. But prosecutors quickly began deploying the law against pregnant women, interpreting a “chemically toxic environment” to mean the pregnant body itself.


    How ridiculous is all that? A woman who has a severe and chronic condition sensibly stops taking the prescribed opiate once she knows she was pregnant but she resorts to it during her third trimester when the weight of the foetus puts additional pressure on her spine. She is honest with her doctor and as result that doctor is obliged to report her and Ms Blalock gets a visit from a group of armed police?

    Enforcement is not merely a matter of increasing charges and punishments against defendants who happen to be pregnant: at least 18 states legally require that doctors who know about substance use during pregnancy – like Blalock’s obstetrician – turn their patients in. A woman carrying a healthy pregnancy could be turned into the police just for being honest with her own doctor.

    Nationwide, the results of such laws have been chilling: California prosecutors charged a woman with murder – via chemical endangerment – after she gave birth to a stillborn infant, claiming that her use of methamphetamine while pregnant was tantamount to homicide. A judge dismissed the charges in May, but did not rule that California’s homicide statutes can’t be used against pregnant women who consume drugs.

    But illegal drugs are not the only ones women are being arrested for taking. A shocking number of cases have been brought, both in Alabama and around the country, against women who merely took their medication as prescribed while they happened to be pregnant. After a 2016 investigation found that more than 500 Alabama women had been prosecuted under the state’s chemical endangerment law for filling their prescriptions while pregnant, the state legislature clarified that the law was meant to apply only to recreational drugs, not prescription drugs. Yet Blalock, who merely filled her own prescription, is still being charged for taking her meds. Her prosecution suggests that Alabama authorities are looking for creative ways to limit the rights of pregnant women, regardless of the clearly expressed intent of their own legislature.


    Under such ridiculous measures any pregnant woman now risks prosecution for taking prescribed medication for a pre-existing condition and as the article points out this will lead some women to lie about taking medication to their obstetrician; or potentially worse cease taking their required medication while pregnant and risk their own health [and possibly that of the unborn child]. Neither scenario does a great deal to ensure healthy mothers and children.

    Furthermore and as the article notes an ethical aspect to such actions implies that once pregnant a woman loses her right to receive treatment for any existing medical conditions.

    Since prosecutors claim that it was illegal for Blalock to take her meds while pregnant, but was not illegal for her to take them when she wasn’t pregnant, does that suggest that pregnancy negates a patient’s right to medical treatment? Are some conditions worth treating in patients who aren’t pregnant, but somehow not worth treating in patients who are?


    Ms Blalock's situation is quite harrowing. “It really has taken its toll,” she said of her felony charge. “I didn’t get to bond with my baby. I’ve had severe postpartum depression with this baby.”
    "It ain't necessarily so
    The things that you're liable
    To read in the Bible
    It ain't necessarily so
    ."

    Sportin' Life
    Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

  • #2
    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
    https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...ation-pregnant

    Is Alabama in danger of becoming a totalitarians state? Or does its police department and district attorney wish they were in The Handmaid's Tale?
    Maybe later I'll be able to get past this ridiculous hysterical tripe and read the actual story. Jaws the Revenge is more likely to take place than this bizarre obsession the left has with a Handmaid's Tale.


    In fact given the truism that if you want to know what the left is up to just listen to what they accuse others of doing, makes me wonder just what they have in store.

    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
    "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
      Maybe later I'll be able to get past this ridiculous hysterical tripe and read the actual story. Jaws the Revenge is more likely to take place than this bizarre obsession the left has with a Handmaid's Tale.


      In fact given the truism that if you want to know what the left is up to just listen to what they accuse others of doing, makes me wonder just what they have in store.
      I realise it is probably still quite early in the morning where you are but your bleary-eyed reply is erroneous. No one is alleging the state of Alabama IS behaving like The Republic of Gilead in The Handmaid's Tale. However, pregnant women are being abused by this authoritarian approach from the DA and the police in Alabama and of course pregnancy and the issues surrounding it form one of the themes of Attwood's work.
      "It ain't necessarily so
      The things that you're liable
      To read in the Bible
      It ain't necessarily so
      ."

      Sportin' Life
      Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

        I realise it is probably still quite early in the morning where you are but your bleary-eyed reply is erroneous. No one is alleging the state of Alabama IS behaving like The Republic of Gilead in The Handmaid's Tale. However, pregnant women are being abused by this authoritarian approach from the DA and the police in Alabama and of course pregnancy and the issues surrounding it form one of the themes of Attwood's work.
        I'm an early riser. I'm usually up by 6AM.

        As for your claim...

        Or does its police department and district attorney wish they were in The Handmaid's Tale?


        The second sentence.

        Now what did you mean when you said

        No one is alleging the state of Alabama IS behaving like The Republic of Gilead in The Handmaid's Tale.


        since it obviously doesn't mean what it says or is wholly false.

        I'm always still in trouble again

        "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
        "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
        "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
          I'm an early riser. I'm usually up by 6AM.

          As for your claim...

          Or does its police department and district attorney wish they were in The Handmaid's Tale?


          The second sentence.

          Now what did you mean when you said

          No one is alleging the state of Alabama IS behaving like The Republic of Gilead in The Handmaid's Tale.


          since it obviously doesn't mean what it says or is wholly false.
          My comment was a question - note the question mark at the end of the sentence? And neither the op-ed author nor I are stating that the state of Alabama IS behaving like the Republic of Gilead.

          You appear to be another individual who has issues with basic comprehension.

          However, your powers of comprehension aside, the tactic of prosecuting pregnant women for taking prescribed medication is hardly defensible.
          "It ain't necessarily so
          The things that you're liable
          To read in the Bible
          It ain't necessarily so
          ."

          Sportin' Life
          Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

            I realise it is probably still quite early in the morning where you are but your bleary-eyed reply is erroneous. .....
            You really need to stop --- you post this kind of derision, somebody pokes back, then you complain they're posting derision, or say something stupid like "hit a nerve"?

            If you want to be treated with respect, stop this nonsense, or just shut up and stop your kvetching.

            The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

            Comment


            • #7
              Did she really not inform her doctor or pharmacist that she was pregnant?
              Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
              But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
              Than a fool in the eyes of God


              From "Fools Gold" by Petra

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                My comment was a question - note the question mark at the end of the sentence? And neither the op-ed author nor I are stating that the state of Alabama IS behaving like the Republic of Gilead.
                A distinction without a difference. You brought up a comparison with The Handmaid's Tale. And you did so for a reason

                Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                However, your powers of comprehension aside, the tactic of prosecuting pregnant women for taking prescribed medication is hardly defensible.
                When I can finally get past your ridiculous opening I'll read the rest

                I'm always still in trouble again

                "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                  Did she really not inform her doctor or pharmacist that she was pregnant?
                  It sounds like the doctor prescribed the meds pre-pregnancy, and she stopped taking them when she got pregnant.
                  Then she refilled the prescription and started taking them again while pregnant - doctor wouldn't have to be involved in that.
                  The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                    You really need to stop --- you post this kind of derision, somebody pokes back, then you complain they're posting derision, or say something stupid like "hit a nerve"?

                    If you want to be treated with respect, stop this nonsense, or just shut up and stop your kvetching.
                    Is it not quite early in the morning in parts of the USA right now?

                    Here it is 14.15 and if you currently live in Texas then it is either 06.15 or 07.15 which is still quite early.
                    "It ain't necessarily so
                    The things that you're liable
                    To read in the Bible
                    It ain't necessarily so
                    ."

                    Sportin' Life
                    Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                      Did she really not inform her doctor or pharmacist that she was pregnant?
                      Did you really not read the article?
                      "It ain't necessarily so
                      The things that you're liable
                      To read in the Bible
                      It ain't necessarily so
                      ."

                      Sportin' Life
                      Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                        Is it not quite early in the morning in parts of the USA right now?
                        I'm an early riser.

                        Here it is 14.15 and if you currently live in Texas then it is either 06.15 or 07.15 which is still quite early.
                        Yes.

                        The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                          A distinction without a difference. You brought up a comparison with The Handmaid's Tale. And you did so for a reason


                          When I can finally get past your ridiculous opening I'll read the rest
                          As previously noted the op-ed is about pregnant women. Pregnancy is one of the main themes of The Handmaid's Tale which is set in a repressive and authoritarian regime that subjugates women, which is something the state of Alabama also appears to be trying to do with respect to pregnant women.
                          Last edited by Hypatia_Alexandria; 08-02-2021, 07:21 AM.
                          "It ain't necessarily so
                          The things that you're liable
                          To read in the Bible
                          It ain't necessarily so
                          ."

                          Sportin' Life
                          Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                            I'm an early riser.
                            So am I [usually]. What of it?




                            "It ain't necessarily so
                            The things that you're liable
                            To read in the Bible
                            It ain't necessarily so
                            ."

                            Sportin' Life
                            Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                              I'm an early riser.
                              Same here. I guess it's due to being used to being up and heading to work by 3:30AM. These days I'm a slugabed sleeping into nearly 6!



                              And I used to be one who didn't go to bed until 3AM or later if I didn't have to get up.

                              I'm always still in trouble again

                              "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                              "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                              "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                              Comment

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