Thursday, July 30, 2009

ACLU: Pregnant probationers can't be singled out

Lawrence Gist has a notable piece on a friend of the court brief submitted to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals by the ACLU regarding whether pregnant probationers whose urinalysis tests positive for drug use can be singled out for harsher punishment because of their medical condition:

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Texas today filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a case involving the unfair incarceration of a pregnant woman who violated her probation. The ACLU asked the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to affirm a lower court ruling that probation officers treated the woman, Amber Lovill, differently from others who violated probation but were not pregnant.

"Our criminal justice system cannot treat pregnant women more harshly than other people convicted of similar crimes simply because they are pregnant," said Diana Kasdan, a staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. "The lower court correctly concluded that the state's extreme treatment of Ms. Lovill constituted sex discrimination and was based on stereotypes of pregnant women."

In 2005, Ms. Lovill pled guilty to the crime of felony forgery and received a sentence of two years in a state jail, which the court suspended pending completion of three years in community supervision. In July 2007, during a routine report to her probation officer, Ms. Lovill took a required drug test and also informed the officer that she was pregnant. After she tested positive for drug use, the state moved to revoke her probation and incarcerated her for the duration of her pregnancy. According to the ACLU brief, at the revocation hearing, officers repeatedly admitted that if Ms. Lovill were not pregnant, less restrictive alternatives would have been the typical response to a positive drug screen.

"Not only was Ms. Lovill discriminated against because she was pregnant, but the state placed her in a facility that the government had already found unsanitary and unsafe, especially for pregnant women," said Lisa Graybill, Legal Director of the ACLU of Texas. "If the state had wanted to address Ms. Lovill's drug use, it could have enrolled her in a program that specializes in treating pregnant women. It deliberately chose a punitive and less effective alternative."

"Under the Texas Equal Rights Amendment, the state cannot justify subjecting pregnant women to more severe punishment and treating them differently from others based on gender stereotypes," said Ariela Migdal, staff attorney with the ACLU Women's Rights Project. "But that is precisely what the state did in this case and that is impermissible."

Here's a corresponding press release from the ACLU and a copy of the brief.


Anonymous said...

As a juvenile probation officer who deal with children everyday that suffer from the effects of their mothers drug use, I say lock her ass up!

If she doesn't give a damn about her child, somebody needs to!

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at 7:18 -- she may not have known she was pregnant and even if she did know if the drug was marijuana it could have been detectable for several months after last use.

So, in my mind -- sanity and good sense prevailed in the face of an overtly discriminatory action by the state.

Anonymous said...

Marijuana is not detectable for several months if a urinalysis is used, which is what most departments used.

I see pregnant girls use drugs on a regular basis without any regard for the unborn child. If the government intervenes on behalf of the child while it is in the womb, maybe it will reduce the likelihood of the government having to take care of the child after birth.

Go google the effects of drug use on an unborn child!

ckikerintulia said...

This is stupid. She was on probation for forgery and revoked for a drug misdemeanor that is totally unrelated to her conviction offense. What good did it do anybody to incarcerate her?

Anonymous said...

Charles captured it precisely -- the response does no good.

A much better response would have been to require participation in drug treatment program and education the effects of drugs use on embryonic development of a child.

By the way -- alcohol and nicotine are more destructive on development of an infant than just about every illegal drug. Check it out if you don't think so.

Would we be so quick to be so punitive if the woman inquestion had smoked a cigarette or had a beer. Yet, these are more problematic and broadly used by pregnant women.

Don said...

Anonymous 07:18 P.M. Pretty clear that you are not able to put emotion aside and deal with reality in a way that is helpful to the public and the people you serve. If you act on your emotional, irrational gut feelings in the course of your job, I am sorry that you are a juvenile probation officer. Those kids need a cooler head to guide them. I have this feeling from your post that you aren't it.

Mike Howard said...

I got a call from an anonymous source yesterday saying that just this exact thing happened the other day in a Dallas County family court. In fact I've seen it with my own eyes dozens of times. The problem is rampant...

Anonymous said...

What good did it do? Are you serious? Well, lets say her drug of choice was meth and she was an addict. Do you still have to ask what good did it do?

The money spent on her incarceration will be far less than the tax dollars spent on the child if it is born with significant health problems as a result of her drug use.

Lynn said...

Then why not lock up all pregnant women, just to be sure? Why not have mandatory drug testing of all pregnant women and mandatory pre-natal care? Better safe than sorry. Dear god - think of all the dangerous things these incubators, oops I mean pregnant women, might be doing at this very moment - drinking from unsafe plastic containers, eating fish, having a glass of WINE! Screw their "rights" - they could cost taxpayers a lot of money!

Kevin said...

Sad to say, I've seen many pregnant women incarcerated after testing positive. Its nearly an unspoken policy. If they are pregnant and test positive, we put them in jail until delivery to protect the child. We prefer them to go to a treatment place, however where we are, there are no programs (inpatient) that will take a pregnant woman.

Conversely, what would the appropriate response be? Leave her out, and allow her to continue to put the child in potential harm? Then when the child is born addicted to drugs, or worse, dies, and someone finds out we could have done something to protect the child and didn't, we end up on the news. Sorry to say, I would rather be on the side arguing why I locked her up than on the side arguing why I left her out to hurt the child further. Do I agree with the MTR? No. Do I agree with protecting her from herself, even if that means jail? Yes.

How much is too much/little? What drugs are acceptable and what aren't? By many of your statements, it appears that because it was marijuana, its not that bad. That is not a decision for us to make, regardless of your personal beliefs. Beer and cigerettes are bad for the child, agreed, but I have no legal authority over her smoking or drinking. Marijuana is an illegal drug, and should be dealt with accordingly in this situation.

So, with no local resources for a pregnant drug user who tested positive, what would you do?

ckikerintulia said...

Anonymous 9:13, "What if she had been addicted to meth . . .?" But there's no mention of meth. Just positive test for MJ. So I repeat, "What good did it do?"

Anonymous said...

Lynn you are a typical liberal! I am talking about the impact that meth can have on a childs life and somehow you turned it around into a discussion about plastic containers and fish.

There is no reason to get stupid! If it makes you feel better, I dont want to incarcerate pregnant women who eat out of dirty containers, eat fish, or drink a glass of red wine.

Also, as a probation officer, the majority of our addicts are not charged with drug related crimes.

Anonymous said...


Your provide a thoughtful and understandable response. The one area that you don't recognize is that by all measures marijuana is inappropriately classified as a schedule 1 drug and it's status as an illegal drug is an arbitrary policy choice without foundation (the research is in -- it has medical use, limited potential for dependency or acute adverse health impacts). The difference between the legal status of marijuana and alcohol and tobacco is largely that they have a better lobby today.

By the way -- check out the history of how marijuana became criminalized. Like all other drugs that are or were prohibited it has never really been about the drugs. The drugs were used to attain other unrelated objectives - political power, organizational survival, profit, business advantage, etc.

In the case of marijuana prohibition had a lot to do with creation of nylon fibers and the desire by Dupont through Harry Anslinger to get hemp out of the market place (facilitated by Harry Anslinger). It was also lead by William Randolph Hearst's desire to even the score with Mexico for nationalizing his timber interests by cutting remittences of itinerant workers who happened to use marijuana. He also wanted to sell newspapers by publishing a lot of lurid stories and editorials about how marijuana use made people violent (which even then was rejected by medical professionals).

So, we are where we are on these issues because of dishonest policy making unrelated to genuine health or safety issues. At present we are trapped by our rhetoric and short historical memory.

DarthVelma said...

First, someone please explain to me why someone convicted of forgery was required to take drug tests while on parole?

Second, haven't we read enough stuff right here on Grits to know about the issues with drug testing parolees? The bribery scandal. The false positives. The poor testing procedures.

Third, this shit is why I will never get pregnant. Your body becomes public property and everyone thinks they have the right to tell you what to do. Newsflash, drug use can damage sperm, leading to birth defects and the concommitant costs to the government in helping take care of the child. But I don't hear anyone advocating requiring male parolees to pee in a cup before they're allowed to have sex.

And finally, a lot of what you think you know about the effects of drug use on developing fetuses...well, if you got it from the mainstream media it's probably wrong. Google "crack baby myth" - I promise it'll be an enlightening experience.

Anonymous said...

So they filed the brief. I don't see the Appellate court ruling yet, but will be interested to see what they make of it. Guess that will tell us what direction we need to go in. Velma - as per CCP, drug testing is part of almost all standard probation conditions, and she was on probation, not parole. Secondly, nearly all the cases you deal with as a probation officer are in some way related to drug use. I would bet dollars to doughnuts that if you looked into her offense, it was tied to drugs in some fashion. I've seen it too many times.

Anonymous said...

This is precisely why we need to change the way we think about drugs in society. It is a health and education issue -- not a criminal justice issue and cannot be dealt with using criminal justice policy.

Anonymous said...

OK, so let's assume we try the treatment alternative and she continues to abuse drugs (pick whatever substance you want) during her counseling/treatment. Drugs that are harmful to the baby--then what?????

Carl said...

They should abort the fetus and then cut out her uterus. Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

The criminal justice system should have no role in this issue. Universal health care would go a long way toward a more effective approach to this problem.

Anonymous said...

Because men cannot get pregnant, this is clearly a case of descrimination based upon sex.

Next thing we know it will be a probation violation to get pregnant.

Does anyone really think that is a good idea????

Anonymous said...

Let me guess, this happened under the WATCHFULL eys of Little Bill Fitzgerald! When are the judges in Bexar County going to wake up? After the next election and they're cleaning out their desk/office in the courthouse to look for a real JOB?
LOSERS in more ways than one!

Anonymous said...

To 07:18:00 p.m.
You need to look for a new job! One positive UA is not a reason to LOCK UP HER ASS! If you rely on a urinalysis test, your not very good at looking for other indications of drug usage. By the way have you seen what happened with Bexar County Adult probation and their WORTHLESS UA lab-"Treatment Associates"? I recommend you make damn sure someone is IN FACT using drugs before you take that "Lock their ass up" mentality.

By the way I've been in adult/juvenile probation for over 25 years. And I was once treated by a PO the way you probably treat those you are supposed to counsel. Don't expect them to modify their behavior if you continue your righteous attitude.

Sign me "Tired of APO's/JPO's that are too LAZY to work and think locking them up FIXES everything!

Anonymous said...

lDon't take drugs if your pregnant. Okay, I can go with that. Drugs, pregnant, not a good mix. But why all the attention to something like weed when so many prescription drugs are far worse? Remember thalidamide? That wonder drug prescribed by doctors to lessen morning sickness? If not give thalidamide baby a Google and get a good look at the results. My sister-in-law had the choice to not take her anti convulsion meds because they “might” affect the baby. Perhaps it should have just been illegal for her to take her prescription meds because of the effect they might have had on the unborn child. Forget the convulsions, not an issue when were protecting the unborn child she carried. Perhaps we should have legislation to remove a woman from any prescription drug if it might affect the unborn baby.

But why stop there? Cigarette smoke is “bad” for unborn babies. Legislation against allowing pregnant women to smoke should be next. Don't even allow them to buy the things. Take it a step further because we all know the dangers of secondhand smoke. So bad you can't smoke in your neighborhood bar any more and inflict it on those who wait on your table. Legislation forbidding pregnant women from patronizing places where they will come in contact with secondhand smoke seems sensible doesn't it?

Let's not forget the booze. Pregnant women shouldn't drink. There's another good one to approach your local legislator to push through. Let's pass one that makes it illegal for pregnant women to drink any alcoholic beverage. Carry that through to illegal to serve or sell alcohol to a pregnant woman. Heaven forbid we should allow them into places that serve it as they might not have the good sense to not take a sip of someone else's drink, so let's make it illegal for them to even enter a bar.

But then, it's important for the health of that unborn child that the mother has proper nutrition, pre natal care and takes her pre natal vitamins. I feel yet another set of laws made specifically to protect those unborn babies looming on the horizon. But how do we enforce all these new laws to protect the unborn babies from the folly of their incubators on legs? After all, we can't trust a pregnant walking incubator to use sound judgment and do everything the new laws command. Pregnancy camps must be the answer. Special nine month stays to ensure the best care is given to the units that carry the babies. We'll keep them safe from drugs, booze, cigarette smoke and most importantly of all, their own bad judgment. Remove over the counter pregnancy tests from the stores and make it part of the program to have every doctor report a new pregnancy to the State so they can step in and protect those babies. After all, it's for the best interest of the child. Where have I heard THAT phrase before?

Am I sounding a bit ridiculous yet? I mean, we really can't legislate the behavior of all pregnant women to the point where it's illegal to even stand next to a smoker or enter a bar. (By the way, has anyone checked on the effects of all that loud music on the unborn child yet? Rattles my bones, what must it be doing to the baby?) But somewhere out there, there's the kind of lunatic legislator who would think it all a good idea and make the attempt. Wait! They're already trying.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 8-1-09 (9:39 am) -- what a wonderful post. You clearly point out the logical fallacy in the idea of additional criminalization of drug use by pregnant women. The worst possible approach to these problems is prohibition of anything desired by large numbers of the population -- it is a prescription for policy disaster with tremendous adverse impacts on society.

Anonymous said...

I really like the blogger that references the fact that the war on drugs is nothing more than corrupt politicians, acting upon the puppet strings of our corrupt elite, and that a history lesson would be more in order here.

The ACLU seeks justice because words such as (so that justice may be served), have a scope far greater than that of an individual court, or the views of politicians. The appeal stands for equal treatment under the law, and has little if anything to do with drug use. It seems the PO officer felt that since the woman was pregnant she was emotionally unstable and unable to be counseled or properly meet the conditions of her probation. The court ruled on the motion and stated incorrectly more or less the same, sending the mother to be to jail. The ACLU filed their brief stating among other things that archaic beliefs about a pregnant woman’s ability to think properly are discriminatory, citing cases upheld to the affirmative by State and Federal Courts and The United States Supreme Court, and a laundry list of Federal and State acts that forbid such action by a court. Other probationers would have been and are customarily treated differently and their argument, (that aint right).

Grandpa would have taken the judge and the probation officer to the wood shed, and simplified the whole process stating in brief “if you have to ask yourself if something is right or wrong, it’s probably wrong, now bend over boys” end of brief.

I submit that equal treatment can not be attained because our citizens and their rights are divided by economic status. I submit that our politicians have displayed gross negligence and squandered enough taxpayer money on the war on drugs to supply free health care and education to every American, with enough surplus of money left over to buy China. I submit that in their wisdom they have been the enablers of a black market enterprise and the theft, violence and drugs that any idiot can see thrives in the environment they have provided, to grow large enough to make the combined revenue of every fortune 500 company look like a penny waiting for change. I submit that by doing so they have with malice spent taxpayer money and helped to create the greatest welfare state and economical disaster the United States has ever known. I submit that instead of providing free clinics and drug education for drug abusers at less than one percent of the cost to the taxpayer, so that we can readily identify them and offer help, accepted or not; they have built and stock piled jails beyond capacity, created vast government agencies and courts to monitor and drug test its citizens, with intent to alienate and deprive them of the basic principal of freedom and the pursuit of happiness. I submit that they have with calculated thought ruined the lives of the underprivileged, the lives of their children, and of their children’s children with the objective to suppress and control in a negative manner their economic status, and their health, education and welfare. I submit that they have placed our borders at risk and created drug cartels that move freely through our streets, well armed and financed by our own policies. I submit that they have created a false reality to serve there own ends.

I wish the ACLU with its 500,000 members of smarty pants lawyers would file a brief in someone’s behalf about that.

I am a privileged middle aged Caucasian. I have worked within the criminal justice system my whole life, and have dealt directly with men, women, and kids who experience the injustice of our legal system and have daily for 30 years. My livelihood would be negatively affected drastically by the legalization of drugs. I would prefer to make an honest and just living and know that my children might grow up in a safer more responsible America than I have.

Anonymous said...

Ridiculous. Every one of you. (Except maybe Kevin, who managed to post w/o climbing on the weed isn't bad soap box)

Bottom line? Pregnant women using drugs should be reported to CPS right off. If she continues to use, and CPS hasn't intervened, lock her up. Who gives a crap about her? I'm locking her up to protect the unborn child. Someone has to look out for her.

Which would you rather explain to the news, that you locked up a pregnant woman who continues to use drugs, or that you let a child be put at risk because you were afraid of stepping on some toes?

Sheesh people, this isn't the arena for your public health care, legalization, weed aint bad posts.

Anonymous said...

It would appear that the one concerned about stepping on toes would be you. When decisions by judiciary are based upon the adverse opinion of the mainstream media and not on justice then I would say it is a political decision, one made for personal gain. I for one do not care whether a politician gets kudos for being politically correct at the expense of justice. This forum gives a voice to opinion, so that thoughtful expression can open discussion about subjects that deserve it. In my opinion, since you obviously are a firm believer in the lock’em up mentality, then you should by all means be allowed to expression it, so that others can readily see how a narrow minded individual can be so easily sheared and taken to market, along with the rest of the flock.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:58 am -- your comment in this post are reactionary, unthoughtful, uninformed and truly rediculous. You have been "drinking the cool-aid" of ideological belief too long. You obviously don't have a sense of what you do not know.

Give it a rest -- and go read some of the voluminous literature (history and research) on these questions.

Anonymous said...

Most of you haven't a clue .... some of the statements just show how little many of you know about the criminal justice system ...... Your placed on probation and given conditions. You're expected to abide by those conditions (they don't just relate to the offense you committed).

If you use drugs .... which is a violation of probation but if you had been caught at the time you used would have been a new offense ..... then there are consequences.

However, I promise you there is no way this person had only one positive drug test and then was dragged back into court.

Sounds to me that most people here would best use their energy to advocate for the legalization of marijuana.

Anonymous said...

“Bottom line? Pregnant women using drugs should be reported to CPS right off. If she continues to use, and CPS hasn't intervened, lock her up. Who gives a crap about her? I'm locking her up to protect the unborn child. Someone has to look out for her.”

Oh my! Hey Toto, hasn't anyone told you yet, we're not in Kansas anymore. Newsflash. CPS is responsible for the unnecessary drugging of large numbers of children in their care with psychiatric drugs that are not even supposed to be taken by children. Statistics are also available that say a child in CPS or State custody is far more likely to be abused in State care than with even not the greatest of parents.

Would you also advocate the regular testing of all pregnant women for drugs based on their pregnant state? Why stop short of those just on parole or probation?

Pregnancy is not cause for the suspension of a womans rights. It is not a nine month loss of sanity and any laws that are designed to make it such will eventually create an atmosphere in which women will look at the coming of a child as less of a blessing and more of an intrusion on their liberty by a nine month parasite. Once you start passing legislation promoting the protection of a fetus over the rights and liberty of the woman carrying it, you open a nasty can of worms.

It's obvious from your post that you value the maybe child over the existing woman despite that there is the chance that any pregnancy may result in miscarriage or an infant with issues for a host of reasons. Before you advocate locking that woman you don't give a crap about in jail to “protect” her unborn child, take a look at the effects of stress on a pregnancy. Let's talk about the great nutrition provided by our jails for inmates. The possibility of her coming to physical harm once incarcerated, the sanitary conditions of the jail and the quality of the medical care she will receive once there. But then Toto, I guess that doesn't matter much in your mind since once you've protected the “baby” from the possibility that it's mother might have actually smoked that joint without even considering that it could have been a false positive or the lab might have screwed up, your job is done. It's not your problem anymore and your conscious is clear because whatever might happen after that, would all be her fault and not yours.

Well done sir. You're a credit to your profession and a fine example of exactly how ignorant and low a human being can sink.

Anonymous said...

Just one more bit of food for thought that directly pertains to the rights and liberties of a pregnant woman that should concern us all. There is a not so slowly creeping movement to push through something called the Personhood Amendment. While my original comments were designed to illustrate the possible far reaching conclusions of legislation designed to “protect” a fetus, I was unaware of this particular movement and as the result of a bit, more than a bit, of reading on how current and proposed laws would affect the rights of a pregnant woman, I fell upon the Personhood Amendment.

To say that I am shocked and horrified at the possible implications of such legislation would be the most gross understatement of the millennium. Reading news articles and commentary on the amendment chilled me to the bone and made me more than ever glad that my own childbearing years are long past.

While the thought that life begins at conception and that a fetus should be protected is a pretty one, if one looks closely at the goals of those who are pushing this legislation, the goal includes outlawing most methods of contraception. The future implications of such legislation make my earlier post look like a walk in the park for pregnant women under such legislation. The possible legal consequences of passing such legislation for women in this country are a nightmare that would seem to include not only the loss of birth control, but total government control over pregnancies, possible arrest and incarceration for the use of birth control, miscarriages and not complying with each and every medical recommendation in regards to a pregnancy.

The world is a very frightening place and it just got a whole lot more frightening knowing that such proposed legislation is even up for debate.

Anonymous said...

In response to 9:46 AM

Many of us have much more insight than you would care to acknowledge. The judge in this instance did in fact have discretionary choice, and did in fact treat her differently than other probationers are customarily treated by that same judge for the exact same violation. The judge also ruled on the premise that the woman was unable to think properly because she was (pregnant), violating her civil rights.

The thoughtful insight of one so well acquainted with criminal justice should know that because the courts do have authority over liberty, latitude when available should be a consideration when overwhelming evidence exists that incarceration provides the least likelihood of reform, probation being the alternative.

In this instance the argument is, for blogger’s, not the ACLU whose argument is based solely on the civil rights violation, which is the better of two evils?

Scott provides this forum so that people can express opinion, even though the scope he provides here is plainly focused on the civil rights violation, we blogger’s tend to take the ball and run in every direction with it. This is somewhat expected, even though Scott would prefer everyone to keep some focus on the actual subject, jail, drugs, and justice surround this issue and all three are a hotbed of controversy and have been for what seems like forever.

It has been opinionated by some that jail was the worse choice for very valid reasons, the least of which being the fact that her civil rights were violated and she was incarcerated based on that violation by court record, rather than for the drug violation in and of itself.

The argument for the opposition is who cares about the woman, save the child, and the reasoning is based solely on the woman’s drug use and leaves little consideration for what might truly have negative results for the fetus as well.

Given this narrow mentality, who is it that really cares for the unborn child, since they are both being locked up. Were there other alternatives available that might care for both?

So I ask you, do we have a Criminal Justice System, or should we shorten it to Criminal System?

Your statement overall revels that to some extent you feel law and order should be the rule of the day. The expressions you see here wish for the same, only they would truly like to safeguard that the word justice remains in tact, and in question. Our state legislature somehow finds ways to create new laws each legislative session.

I promise you sir that the witches in Salem were in fact conjuring up spells, and the rule of law says burn em.

Excellent forums such this find it’s way to politicians, we can only hope they do see the folly of their actions and look to reform, and not to witch burning. I believe that the problematic issue should have been clearly, what right they had to drug test her in the first place, and why was she on probation. Forgery is a crime I will concede, prohibition of drugs should stay on the table for discussion, and this woman would not have been having her civil rights violated if not for the drug test.

I know you don’t think we have a clue, oh but look I found one for you, what is the root cause of theft, violence, and drug proliferation in the United States.

What’s really sad is that you can ask virtually anybody and get the same answer.

Anonymous said...

Great post at 1:56 pm - thanks for a very thoughtful discussion.

Anonymous said...

Darth Velma,

Don't worry about having children, you feminists tend to not have many children anyway. There are plenty of low income hispanics in this country who will pop out lots of healthy Catholic children, and for better or worse they are the future of America.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to disappoint you Darth, but it's not an issue of being a feminist, nor one of how many children one has.

The main crux of the issues are the numbers of false positives for drug testing, the idea that a pregnant woman is somehow not psychologically fit due to her condition, the possible effects of being incarcerated when an alternative is available and most importantly laws that propose and already treat a pregnant woman more like an incubator than an individual with rights of her own.

It has, with the proposed personhood amendments become more than just an issue of probationers and parolees testing positive for drugs. An issue in itself that should, with the number of scandals involving the testing process, be under great scrutiny. With the proposed amendment, it becomes an issue of denying any woman regardless of her beliefs in feminism, the right to make choices regarding her own body. Those pushing for the amendment have made it clear that not only do they see this as a challenge to the right to choice, but a step to outlaw a number of methods of birth control.

At the very core of such legislation is the possibility that a woman who suffers a miscarriage due to whatever reason could find herself having to prove she did not commit manslaughter by not following her doctors orders. Depending on how rabid a prosecutor, a woman could find herself in jail for anything from engaging in sex if the doctor has suggested she not at a certain point in her pregnancy to that slice of chocolate cake if she developed diabetes during her pregnancy. If she continues to exercise or heaven forbid, tests positive for alcohol if she shows up at a doctors after a miscarriage. A doctor can easily get a court order in the interest of the fetus to force a woman to have any procedure during pregnancy and birth that doctor feels necessary. Imagine a court order to ensure complete bedrest enforced by the police. Court orders requiring ultra sound or amniocentesis, cesarean sections, proscribed medications, diets and the list is endless because once the law sees a fetus as having more rights than the woman carrying it and deems her psychologically unfit due to her pregnant condition, we have created a monster open to abuse by any nutjob who decides they know better how to run her pregnancy.

Not to mention that even a woman who does not indulge in drugs during a pregnancy is bound by these laws should they ever come to pass. What such beliefs and legislation do is strip a woman of her rights as a human being for nine month stretches of time based on a natural process. It negates a woman's humanity and is nothing more than another attempt to control sexuality.

The last thing we need is more legislation to create yet another criminal class in this country. Should a woman under the control of the criminal justice system test positive for drugs, a true positive, the ill effects of jailing her for the duration of a pregnancy far outweigh the benefits of a drug program that monitors both her and the fetuses health. Education on prenatal care, assistance in getting off drugs and a blameless opportunity to adopt the child out is much preferable to incarceration. The bottom line is that no matter what the woman has done, she is just as important as the unborn child and should be treated as such, not as an unfit unit with no rights of her own.

Anonymous said...

I have researched this case to great lengths. First of all, she violated her probation by doing meth. She was tested and found positive at 3/12 times the cutoff levels for methanphetamines. Which means at five and one half months, he was swimming in the stuff. This information comes from the first appeal ruling from the opinion of one of the judges.

This is not a maybe baby. This is a child now approaching the age of 2 years old. Because someone thought of this child, he/she is still alive.

To take this action back at this time says that this child should have been left in the custody of a woman who knew she was pregnant and had no care or concern for this child. Doesn't matter what your reasons are, this is what you are saying.

Our rights are precious and should be protected, but they should also be extended to our progeny. This is expressed in the preamble to the constitution and it is the backbone of our belief system as Americans.

She should not only be locked up but she should be serving time for attempted murder as this was a baby with a heart and mind that she affected by her choices. There are children born everyday at 51/2 months pregnant that live outside the woman, therefore this child has rights as a citizen of the United States of America.

Yet we don't defend this young child. Instead, we are considering giving the mother a pass, because we think she may have been treated differently.

To live in a world were the innocent are not protected is a scary thought indeed.

Ms. Lovill is not innocent by the way. She has an extensive rap sheet. One of her charges states that she was selling enough narcotics to be a dealer. It's all there to read and research.

She was aware. She made a choice. She should now be made to take the consequences for that choice.

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

"Our Posterity" Just as important as we are, if not more, because they are our future.

Anonymous said...

Sorry that should have been 3 and 1/2 times the cutoff level

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On the day of the tubal reversal surgery, you'll be admitted to our Los Angeles-area surgical center and, in our specially outfitted operating room, you'll be administered general anesthesia by our fully licensed anesthesiologist who is specially trained in the treatment of fertility patients.

Along the 'bikini line' (to minimize its visibility), a small, two-to-three-inch incision will be made. Our surgeon will work through this incision with the aid of high-powered surgical magnification, reaching through the uterus and into the fallopian tubes.

An inspection of the fallopian tubes is conducted to ensure that there is enough tube available to perform a successful tubal reversal. Any scarred section that has been cut, tied, clipped, or burned in prior procedures will be removed in order to expose an untouched, fresh, and open section of tube. Then, through the vagina, a dilute blue-colored solution is injected into the cervix to ensure that there is an open pathway from the vagina to the tube. Once the front end of the fallopian tube is opened and functioning properly, the same procedure is performed on the rear section of the tube. With both ends of the tube re-opened, your surgeon will proceed to reattach them.
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Tubal Reversal said...

Hy u women and men...
This is this the one of step in tubal reversal procedure...

The open sections of tube are brought together and several very tiny sutures are used to connect the muscular portion of the tubes. The sutures are placed around each end of the open tube at 12 o'clock, 3 o'clock, 6 o'clock, and 9 o'clock on an imaginary clock face. The sutures all are placed before any of them are tied.

This delicate portion of the procedure is done under magnification using a suture thinner than a human hair. In order to place these sutures, the physician and an assistant look through high-power lenses that magnify the ends of the tubes so that the sutures are placed accurately and perfectly align the ends together. Once all the sutures are perfectly placed they are tied one by one until the inner layers of the tubal ends are brought together.
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