Indiana Lawmaker Suggests Women Get Drug Testing While Pregnant
A suggestion that pregnant women should pass a drug test in order to receive benefits from Indiana is sparking debate around the United States.
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller told an Indiana TV station that if moms were allowed to be drug tested, their may be less "drug-affected births." This in turn could mean less health care costs for the state caring for these children.
Zoeller said Indiana hospitals spent about $30 million in 2011 to treat neonatal abstinence syndrome, a group of problems that can happen when a newborn is exposed to illegal or prescription drugs while in the mother's womb. . Babies can have hyperactive reflexes, fever, excessive sucking, increased muscle tone, irritability, poor feeding and rapid breathing. They may also experience seizures, sleep problems, slow weight gain, stuffy noses, sneezing, sweating, tremors or vomiting. The syndrome is similar to one experienced by infants whose mothers drank alcohol while pregnant.
However, some people are taking issue with the suggestion and don't want it to become enacted as legislation. An online petition asking Zoeller to stop the proposal has already received more than 3,400 signature across the country.
A 2012 study in JAMA found the number of newborns showing signs of opiate drug withdrawal as tripled over the past decade due to a surge in pregnant women using drugs such as Vicodin, OxyContin and heroin.