“The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Friday that a mother who uses drugs during pregnancy cannot be considered to have abused her newborn infant.
The ruling, which came after Superior Court urged the higher court to review the case of a Clinton County woman and her child, touches on a debate surrounding a particularly vulnerable population at the heart of the opioid crisis — the hundreds of Pennsylvania children born dependent on opioids because of their mother’s drug use during pregnancy.
Children and Youth Services in Clinton County argued that the mother abused her child by using drugs while pregnant. The woman’s attorneys, citing the opinion of numerous medical societies, countered that the state should not punish mothers, regardless of their drug use, for seeking prenatal care.
The court ruled that a mother who uses drugs during pregnancy cannot be deemed a perpetrator of child abuse because the law does not consider a fetus a child.”
Source: Philly.com – December 28, 2018