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Old September 24th, 2015, 02:50 PM   #1
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The State that Turns Pregnant Women Into Felons

The State that Turns Pregnant Women Into Felons | Alternet

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Alabama has turned hundreds of pregnant women into felons for using drugs — even when they’re legal and the kids turn out fine.

CASEY SHEHI’S SON JAMES WAS BORN in August 2014, remarkably robust even though he was four weeks premature. But the maternity nurse at Gadsden Regional Medical Center seemed almost embarrassed, and as she took the baby from his exhausted mother’s arms, Shehi felt a prick of dread.

“She said they were going to have to take him back to the nursery to produce some urine, because I had a positive drug screen for benzodiazepines,” Shehi, 37, recalled one evening a few months ago at a café near her mother’s home. She hadn’t been sleeping well; her brown hair hung lank past her shoulders, and her eyes were rimmed with worry. “I said: ‘That can’t be true. Can you please check it again? Run the screen again.’ ”
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The nurse asked: Did she have a prescription for any form of benzo — Xanax or Klonopin or Ativan? No, Shehi insisted, there must be a mistake. Then she remembered: the Valium. One night a few weeks earlier, Shehi and her ex-husband got into a huge argument on the phone. She was in the late stages of what had been a difficult pregnancy; she was achy and bloated, and her ankles felt like they might explode. After the fight, she called her mother, Ann Sharpe, a retired teacher and guidance counselor who lived nearby. “She was really upset — ‘I’m miserable, I’m sick, I can’t sleep,’ ” Sharpe recalled. “I said, ‘Do you have something you can take?’ ”

As Shehi later told investigators, she had swallowed half of one of her boyfriend’s Valiums to calm herself down. Not long after, Shehi and her boyfriend and their various kids packed up the camper and drove 325 miles from Gadsden, in northeast Alabama, to the beach in Panama City, Florida, for one last vacation before the baby came. The weather was sweltering, the trailer — a grimy relic with an air conditioner that only worked when it wanted to — suffocating. Shehi was too keyed up to sleep, her 4-year-old son curled up beside her on the narrow bed. Finally, she reached for the other half of the tranquilizer.

As Shehi recounted the story, the maternity nurse told her, “Okay, okay.” By that night, everything really did seem all right. Excited nurses woke Shehi and handed her the baby, swaddled in a light blanket. “They told me: ‘He’s good, he’s clean. You can have him now, no worries.’ ”

Exposure to too much benzodiazepine during pregnancy can sometimes cause newborns to be fussy or floppy-limbed. But occasional, small doses of diazepam (the generic name for Valium) are considered safe. According to the lab report, James had nothing in his system. Shehi said the pediatrician reassured her, “Everything’s cool.” The next day, Shehi and the baby went home, and someone from the Department of Human Resources, the state child welfare agency, paid a visit.
Man, I don't think even Sharia LAWS would do this.
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Old September 24th, 2015, 02:57 PM   #2
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Yes, it should be OK for mothers to use drugs during pregnancy.
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Old September 24th, 2015, 03:00 PM   #3
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Yes, it should be OK for mothers to use drugs during pregnancy.
That's not the story and you know it. the drug was not harmful to the child. And if she DOES use drugs, what did the STATE do to make sure she was seeing a doctor and providing a drug clinic if she needed it?
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Old September 24th, 2015, 03:15 PM   #4
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That's not the story and you know it. the drug was not harmful to the child. And if she DOES use drugs, what did the STATE do to make sure she was seeing a doctor and providing a drug clinic if she needed it?
She shouldn't have gotten knocked up in the first place.
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Old September 24th, 2015, 03:17 PM   #5
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She shouldn't have gotten knocked up in the first place.


Keep it in your pants is a better birth control.
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Old September 24th, 2015, 03:17 PM   #6
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That's not the story and you know it. the drug was not harmful to the child. And if she DOES use drugs, what did the STATE do to make sure she was seeing a doctor and providing a drug clinic if she needed it?
Your own OP says this:

As Shehi later told investigators, she had swallowed half of one of her boyfriend’s Valiums to calm herself down
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Old September 24th, 2015, 03:18 PM   #7
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Keep it in your pants is a better birth control.
Not spreading your legs is even better.
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Old September 24th, 2015, 03:19 PM   #8
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Your own OP says this:

As Shehi later told investigators, she had swallowed half of one of her boyfriend’s Valiums to calm herself down
And further down does it say it harmed the baby? Killed the baby? Nah. It says it did not do any harm and it doesn't do harm at that dosage and that time for the delivery. She was 325 miles from a hospital and in labor.
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Old September 24th, 2015, 03:22 PM   #9
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And further down does it say it harmed the baby? Killed the baby? Nah. It says it did not do any harm and it doesn't do harm at that dosage and that time for the delivery. She was 325 miles from a hospital and in labor.
It certainly could have harmed the baby. Thank goodness it didn't in this case. Are you advocating pregnant mothers swallowing half a bottle of Valium in late term pregnancy?
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Old September 24th, 2015, 04:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by LongWinded View Post
And further down does it say it harmed the baby? Killed the baby? Nah. It says it did not do any harm and it doesn't do harm at that dosage and that time for the delivery. She was 325 miles from a hospital and in labor.
I'm positive that Panama City has a hospital which can handle pregnancies.
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