Some critical of Big Horn County policy on alcohol drug use in pregnancy
Friday, January 12, 2018
The Big Horn County Attorney has announced a "crackdown policy" on expectant mothers who continue to use drugs and alcohol during their pregnancies. He vows to increase prosecutions of what he termed a "long-standing issue that hasn't been adequately addressed."
Jay Harris on Thursday told the Billings Gazette his office will begin issuing restraining orders against pregnant women found to be using alcohol or drugs, aside from prescriptions.
If they violate the restraining order, he said his office will "prosecute on a contempt basis and seek incarceration in order to incapacitate the drug or alcohol-addicted expecting mother."
Critics say the move could backfire by discouraging women to seek treatment for fear of being prosecuted, saying that better access to health care is needed rather than jail time.