NYT Report: Prosecuting Moms for Drug Use Is Personhood in Disguise

Legislators can easily conjure up stories, with accompanying stereotypes, about crack-addicted babies and their mothers, but what's really behind the antagonism toward moms?

By Seth Freed Wessler Apr 26, 2012

New York Times Magazine [published](http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/magazine/the-criminalization-of-bad-mothers.html?pagewanted=1) an important and long narrative on Sunday about "chemical endangerment" prosecutions of new moms who’ve given birth children believed to have been exposed to drugs. The piece tells the stories of several Alabama women who were prosecuted criminally under a state law that makes it a crime to explose children to drugs. But in interpreting the laws, prosecutors and courts have treated fetuses as children. Emma Ketteringham, who directs legal advocacy at the National Advocates for Pregnant Women, told the *[Times](http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/magazine/the-criminalization-of-bad-mothers.html?pagewanted=1)* that chemical endangerment laws are essentially, "personhood measure[s] in disguise."