[ View the story "Indiana attorney general calls for drug testing of pregnant women" on Storify] Indiana attorney general calls for drug testing of pregnant women Greg Zoeller suggests measure will help save Indiana millions of dollars.
AJAMStream· Thu, Sep 19 2013 17:17:48
In an interview with a local public affairs
, PI-Live out of Richmond, Indiana, Zoeller was asked a question sent in from a viewer about his reported support for mandatory drug testing. The transcript of that exchange is below:
Q: “There’s been a lot of press recently expressing yoursupport for mandatory drug testing of all pregnant women, similar question, I’m a believer in the 4thamendment and observing pregnancyin itself is not a reasonable suspicion of criminal behavior Can you explainwhy you consider this measure, which appears to brazenly violate theConstitution to be legal?”
Zoeller: “Well, it is legal. Everybody’s jumping to the conclusionthat when you do a drug screen, you would turn somebody in to the police.That’s not what we’re looking for. You’re already given a drug screen. Sothey’re drawing the blood anyway. I’m asking that they do another screen to seeif you’re addicted to opiates or other things that would harm you as well asthe baby. The doctor really ought to know that. And most, let’s say a lot ofwhat we hear is that the women who are pregnant will lie about having a drugproblem and they don’t know about it until the baby is born addicted. So thisneonatal abstinence syndrome, we’re not trying to send somebody to court or tobe prosecuted, we’re not trying to take away their benefits from Medicaid,because a lot of these women are Medicaid recipients. This is all about thehealth of the mother, the health of the baby and it’s not a new draw, it’ssomething we’re already taking the blood from the pregnant woman, we just wantit screened for opiates.”
When contacted to appear on "The Stream," the attorney general's office had this to say to clarify Zoeller's statements:
"The attorneygeneral's comments should not be interpreted to imply that he supportsmandatory opioid testing of any kind for pregnant women – he does not."
Senator Pat Miller (R-Indianapolis) says the state legislature is exploring other options that do not include mandatory testing.
Zoeller's proposal has met strong opposition online.
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller calls for mandatory drug testing of every pregnant woman. *sigh* http://twitter.com/ircrc/status/378280108080893953/photo/1S.E.B. MD
In 2001, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the practice of testing pregnant women for drugs without their consent was
Indiana AG wants to drug test pregnant women. | AG Zoeller: the Constitution still applies during pregnancy! http://petitions.moveon.org/s/pTmFQW @moveonImani ABL
Indiana legislator wants to mandatory drug test pregnant women! Pregnancy shouldn't cost women rights! #RIPpatriarchy http://bit.ly/18XInlHTara Tuttle
The Indiana AG wants to drug test all pregnant ppl. Tell him ppl dont give up their rights when pregnant: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/ag-zoeller-the-constitution.fb31 via @ircrcSocWorkReproJustice
Others noted that the plan was an attempt to control the bodies of women.
@taratuttle @ircrc One step closer to turning our society into a real-life "Handmaid's Tale".... Sexism must be crushedDouglas Pensack
http://indianapublicmedia.org/news/attorney-general-action-prenatal-drug-exposure-55309/ Indiana AG Zoeller calls 4 mandatory drug tests on all pregnant women as part of his campaign against #RxDrugAbuseS.E.B. MD
At least one Hoosier was sympathetic to the circumstances which have forced Zoeller to offer a potential solution.
@snapdragon830 He has good intentions with the proposed tests but it isn't the correct solution at all.KG.Shanks
Some Twitter users discussed a world where mandatory testing was enforced on pregnant women.
@snapdragon830 @ircrc Scary to think of the pregnant women who won't seek prenatal care (won't admit they're pregnant) bc of that policy.Miss Anthrope
@MissAnthrope500 @snapdragon830 Yes, when doctors morph into policemen . . . Already hard to get all into prenatal care. @INATTYGENERALS.E.B. MD
the attorney general's office responded to one constituent who posed a question inquiring about the status of women who are on doctor-issued prescription drugs.
Our office realizes that the majority of patients do not abuse prescription pain medications and the majority of physicians prescribe controlled substance within the appropriate boundaries. The office is working on a number of fronts to 'crackdown' on illegal over prescribing, and prescription drug abuse and misuse. To read about all of the efforts please visit www.BitterPill.IN.gov. Again, we understand your concerns and that millions of people receive prescription drugs for much-needed relief and for legitimate reasons. These efforts by the office do not intend to prevent any patients from receiving the appropriate care they need. *Please know that this page is monitored and updated by office staff. -ERGreg Zoeller
is calling on the attorney general to apologize for his remarks.