Helping Women Helping Children: Drug Policy and Future Generations

Our primary social response to substance abuse during pregnancy has been legal, punitive, and coercive. Rooted in the belief that the maternal-fetal relationship is primarily adversarial in nature, this response is unlikely to deter women from abusing drugs during pregnancy. An alternative perspective in which the maternal-fetal relationship is viewed as an interactive unit where the needs of one define the needs of both would be more appropriate. Only by assisting rather than punishing women are we likely to help them, their fetuses, and their children.

Author(s): Patricia A. King

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Volume 69, Issue 4 (pages 595–621)
Published in 1991