Stop Alabama's War on Pregnant Women!

In 2006, Alabama passed the "chemical endangerment of a child" statute to protect children from parents who turned their houses into meth labs. Almost immediately, however, the law was used to prosecute women who exposed an embryo or fetus to a controlled substance while in utero.

It doesn't matter if the child is born healthy. It doesn't matter if the "controlled substance" was prescribed to the mother by a doctor. It doesn't even matter if she had no idea she was pregnant at the time. A woman gets 1-10 years in prison even if her baby is born healthy, 10-20 years if the baby is harmed, and 10-99 years in prison if the baby dies. Alabama's war on drugs has become a war on women.

The Alabama Supreme Court has seen the chemical endangerment statute as an opportunity to take another swipe at Roe v. Wade. Its 2013 and 2014 rulings said that the law could be used to prosecute women for using a controlled substance during the earliest stages of pregnancy, not just from the time when the fetus becomes viable.

Since 2006, Alabama courts have prosecuted 479 women under its chemical endangerment statute. That includes Casey Shehi who took one valium during a tough pregnancy to help her sleep. And Hanna Ballenger who was prescribed methadone by her doctor to manage chronic pain due to a head injury. Both of their sons were healthy, happy babies born to mothers who loved and nurtured them.

Alabama's chemical endangerment statute has become less about protecting children from home meth labs, and more about attacking women. Please sign this petition to demand that the Alabama Legislature amend the statute so that it cannot be used to unfairly prosecute pregnant women and new mothers.

Since 2006, Alabama courts have prosecuted 479 women under its chemical endangerment statute. That includes Casey Shehi who took a valium during a tough pregnancy to help her sleep, and whose son was born healthy. And Hanna Ballenger who was prescribed methadone by her doctor to manage chronic pain due to a head injury. Her son was also healthy.

Alabama's chemical endangerment statute has become less about protecting children from meth labs set up in the home, and more about attacking pregnant women. Please amend the statute so that it cannot be used to prosecute pregnant women.

Update #25 years ago
Alabama Governor Bentley's health improvement task force has proposed two amendments to the state's chemical endangerment law: http://bit.ly/1nKuw1j

This is a big win for the campaign, but we can't declare victory yet. Next we need to convince the state legislature to pass the amendments, so make sure your friends sign this petition: http://on.fb.me/20E8bQU
Update #16 years ago
Exciting news, everyone! Members of a health task force subcommittee appointed by Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley plan to propose three possible changes to the chemical endangerment law.
Read all about it here: http://bit.ly/1OThLfS
Then share this petition with your friends on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1Hbr3By
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