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Pregnancy and Drug Use - The Facts


Are you interested in reading about this very sensitive issue from people who prefer truth instead of scare tactics?

In this section you will find statements from leading scientists, medical researchers, medical, public health, and child welfare organizations addressing the issues of pregnancy and drug use. You will also find articles discussing why some women use drugs during pregnancy and how stigma and misinformation not only hurt pregnant women but also their children, families, and communities.

Here are some excerpts from that page and items linked to from that page:

Based on the extraordinary misinformation that appeared frequently in the popular press, many people believe that a pregnant woman who uses any amount of an illegal drug or alcohol will inevitably harm or even kill her fetus. But media hype is not the same as science. As explained by Dr. Deborah Frank in this on-line video, Prenatal Drug Exposure: Award-Winning Pediatrician Discusses What The Science Tells Us, popular news reports have misrepresented the scientific facts about prenatal exposure to drugs.


“[T]here is no convincing evidence that prenatal cocaine exposure is associated with any developmental toxicity difference in severity, scope, or kind from the sequelae of many other risk factors.” Deborah A. Frank et al., Growth, Development, and Behavior in Early Childhood Following Prenatal Cocaine Exposure: A Systematic Review, 285 JAMA 1613, 1621 (2001).


In 2004, thirty leading doctors and researchers signed an open letter explaining “Throughout almost 20 years of research, none of us has identified a recognizable condition, syndrome or disorder that should be termed ‘crack baby.’”


Prenatal exposure to opiates, most commonly heroin and oxycodone, is not associated with birth defects.11 Moreover, there is no scientific evidence that growth and development are compromised by exposure to opiates.12

(I'll let you look up the footnotes yourself. :-)

Be sure to check out their excellent web page and its resources!

The article below, from 1997, is very much related to the above …

Coercive and Punitive Governmental Responses to Women's Conduct During Pregnancy