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Substance abuse during pregnancy: State policies in brief

Guttmacher Institute – 2012

A brief overview of state policies that address women’s substance abuse during pregnancy. Notes that while no state criminalizes drug use during pregnancy, some states have used criminal laws to address prenatal substance abuse. South Carolina has ruled that substance abuse during pregnancy constitutes child abuse. Describes how some states have expanded child welfare requirements to include prenatal substance exposure as grounds for termination of parental rights. Some states authorize forced treatment and reporting of positive drug tests. Notes that some states receive prevention funds when they require CPS notification of substance exposure. Some have also made drug treatment more readily available to pregnant women. Contains a table listing each state’s relevant policies on substance abuse during pregnancy, including whether or not it is considered child abuse, requirements for reporting and testing, and what types of treatment programs have been implemented for pregnant women.