Outrage as hospitals test pregnant moms for drugs near low-income neighborhoods

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Expecting moms in New York are being drug tested in hospitals near low income neighborhoods.  But pregnancy advocates are calling the practice racist and discriminatory.

“You cannot tell from a drug test if someone is fit to parent,” said Lynn Paltrow of the National Advocates for Pregnant Women.

More than a dozen pregnancy wards across the city administer a marijuana test, without the mother’s consent.  According to the Daily News, the number of tests given to pregnant women varies from hospital to hospital.  St. Barnabas Hospital in the South Bronx requires all mothers to agree to testing.  If they refuse, the babies are tested.

But Lenox Hill Hospital on the ritzy Upper East Side only tests if a mother is clearly under the influence.

If a mother fails the pot test, the results are sent to child-protection services.  In one case, a Bronx mother smoked a joint at a party during her pregnancy and failed.  The Administration for Child Services ordered her to ‘Mommy Probation’ until they agency dropped the case earlier this year.

Hospitals that do random drug testing say their first priority is the child’s health.  An argument Paltrow does not support.  She says scientists believe marijuana poses less risk to the fetus than alcohol or cigarettes.  Yet turning over results to the government can destroy a family.

“Low income families expect privacy.  Yet, they have less of a guarantee than job applicants do,” said Paltrow.

We reached out to the ACS to see how many neglect cases stem from failed pregnancy ward drug tests.  The agency did not have an accurate number.

AlertMe

170 comments

  • Lovin

    Yes, pregnant women should be routinely checked for drugs if the doctor suspects substance abuse because the unborn child need someone to advocate for them. Obviously, she isn’t thinking about the child’s welfare. Furthermore, only those who have something to worry about would have a problem with that.

  • ryan

    drug testing should be required before anyone receives any government aid. i must be drug tested for my job, why not those living off my hard earned dollars too??

  • realist

    get a life-its racist and if the government thought more white trash than minorities received aid, the test would not be given

      • mkshouse

        How do you know they even collect aid? Who said anything about collecting aid. This article is about women who live in low-rent areas being given drug tests when wealthier (and whiter) women aren't subjected to that. Did you actually read this article?

      • melindacrouse

        I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that you think only 'whiter' women live in upper class neighborhoods. And since your stating that the article doesn't say anything about collecting aid, then stay on topic and don't assume that it's only minorities that are being drug tested. Last time I lived in the low-income district I wasn't the only white person living there. So yeah, if I was still living in a low-income neighborhood, and stupid enough to birth another child I couldn't afford, I'd also be subjected to drug testing. BTW, when I was married and pregnant, and my husband was in the military, the Army hospital did numerous tests that I wasn't aware of what they were. They took 7 vials of blood, any of which could have been drug testing related.

    • eliza

      white trash? you obviously don't even know where that term derived from, and if you did you would realize it is comparable to any other racist adage. that is a horribly racist statement. please educate yourself and don't use terms like "white trash" loosely.

    • TiredOfBS

      I just want to thank you and your ilk for making accusations of "racism" utterly meaningless with your constant, mindless, idiotic use of it to describe absolutely everything in the universe.

  • HerDoc

    As a physician who cares for pregnant women, I can tell you that the drug testing is absolutely essential to my ability to provide adequate care (and it's recommended by the American College of Ob/Gyn!)…Many moms abuse drugs during pregnancy resulting in many complications such as high blood pressure, premature labor, fetal growth disorders and more, including maternal or fetal death!..So, I'm not thinking about the patient's race when I order a test. I'm not thinknig about the fact that they will be mad if referred to protective services for a positive test…I am thinking about the implications to their unborn and defenseless child! C'mon, let's not put a racial spin on something that is so essential a part of prenatal care, especially in high risk geographical areas! Be reasonable here….

    • Get A Job!

      As well as the costs for these babies with health problems who the parents obviously can't take care of on their own anyway. They can't even take care of themselves. Please!!!!!!

    • hernurse

      If the public observed a crack addicted newborn having seizures, one right after another, they would not think twice about this testing.

      • Aunt Crit

        yet..the article says they aren't testing for crack..it says they are testing for marijuana..a drug that has never been proven to cause any ill effects to an unborn fetus…I wonder what that is about? Seems like they would put the baby first, and test ALL mothers, not just the poor ones & they would punish those that use drugs that have been PROVEN to harm the unborn child. marijuana is great for morning sickness & during child birth as a mild sedative. My dula recommended it.

    • mkshouse

      Bullshit. What is your reasoning for ordering the test in the first place? If the mother was white and from a nice suburban area you would be less inclined to order any such test. Don't even try to say it's not true. What "probably cause" do you have to order such a test on a woman of color from a low-rent area? And if she refuses testing for herself, as legal guardian to her baby, she has the right to refuse testing for the baby, too. What right do you have to disregard that?

      • seriously...

        Its actually "probable cause"…and its not about the parent(s) it is about the innocent child that did not have a choice to whom they were born.

      • abe

        racist. i get it… the baby didn't chose to be born by black people so they're innocent and deserve white protection… until… i guess the age when you start school. then white people don't protect you anymore, instead they are racist towards you. get real you bigot.

      • Slam Dunk

        You are really disgusting. Like all koolaid drinkers you fail to think before you open your mouth and insert foot!

      • alf

        The reasoning is because WE THE PEOPLE (taxpayers) are paying all the freight for this kid
        and we had no fun making it, just the expense of the birthing and raising it. Dumkoff!

      • Swell_swell

        Actually, the government doesn't have the right, nor do "we the people" have the right to order this test. Frankly, if I were one of these women, I would be suing for the breach of my and my baby's medical privacy under HIPPA. The hospital doesn't have the right to test the baby after the mother has refused testing – it still needs her consent for the child.

        Learn the law! (FWIW – I'm a white, upper-middle class woman and I think this is a racist policy!)

      • Rich

        If you're going to prattle on about HIPAA, you should at least be able to spell it.

        Testing the mother after the mother has refused such test has very little to nothing to do with the privacy of her medical records.

      • Aunt Crit

        and even IF the mother does test positive for marijuana..they cant prove it is bad for a fetus..medical science hasn't even proved it. so.. I'm not sure WHAT grounds these people are standing on..why a good defense lawyer hasnt come up to take these cases pro-bono, this looks like a good opportunity to make a name for yourself in the legal field, if one wanted to do so. Seems pretty open & shut to me. they arrest you for neglect..now they have to prove it..so prove it. notgoingtohappen..

      • cpena

        The article doesn't say anything about "women of color" – it only states the tests were given in low-income neighborhoods – how "racist" of you to presume that because a person lives in a low-income neighborhood that they are members of a racial minority….

      • Aunt Crit

        so..are you saying you support the testing of poor women? Why not support the testing of ALL women…it isn't fair we would be willing to take a poor drug users child, and not a rich drug users.

      • Aunt Crit

        why is it ok to only test the poor women? who cares about race? this is class warfare! rich women are just as likely to do drugs as poor women.

      • melindacrouse

        …again mkshouse, you assume that it's only african american woman that are being tested. You surely sound prejudice against white woman. Do you truly believe that it's only minorities that are living in low income areas??? If that's the case then perhaps you should step back and take a look at your own prejudices. Do you really think so little of the african american race as to believe that only they can be in need of financial assistance??

      • Aunt Crit

        look at whose prejudices? this is a social issue to me, not a race issue. I don't care what olor your skin is, we shouldnt be testing poor women, and not testing rich women..period.

      • HerDoc

        the test is considered "standard of care" by American College of Ob/gyn…Don't tell me bullshit and don't tell me how to practice..I follow established standards regardless of race, religion, ethincity, etc…It has nothing to do with living or not living in a "nice suburban area"…Don't comment on what you are not knowledgalbe about…The mom has a right to refuse the test, but the physician also has the right to refuse to take care of her if she refuses the test!….We have to provide appropriate prenatal care, and the drug testing is part and parcel of that!

      • Rich

        Don't bother with them. Supposition, straw man fallacies, paranoia and jumping to conclusions is the order of the day here.

        –An ED PA

      • Aunt Crit

        the question that any good defense lawyer should be asking is this: can the state PROVE with medical records that marijuana use harms the unborn fetus? if they can't.. all charges dropped & child should be returned. now..if it is crack they test positive for..that is a different story…crack has been medically proven to harm an unborn child. but marijuana..nope not EVER.. not even ONCE has it been proven as harmful to ANYONE…ridiculous! they are going to charge you with neglect, and neglect is defined as: Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caregiver, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm…
        the state had better meet the burden of PROOF..that marijuana is grounds for neglect…which they cannot PROVE, because medical science cannot prove it either. case CLOSED!

      • CJnurse

        Best interest of the child. Oh, and as a nurse and mother I know that any reputable OB tests all his patients in the interest of good patient care.

    • Archimboldi

      The bottom line is this: It's not your place. Do your job – if you see signs of abuse or neglect report it as required by law, but leave it at that. That drugs are bad for the unborn child is not debatable. Alcohol is one of the worst drugs for an unborn child. Do you test for alcohol and report its presence to child services? No. So how can you claim that the "implications to the defensless unborn child" are your sole guide when judging a person worthy of this invasion? You are on a slippery slope: the minute you assumed the roll of Judge you became unfit to practice.

      • HerDoc

        Yes, we DO test for alcohol and every mom fills out an alcohol usage questionaire as mandated by the FEDERAL GOV''T…Don't tell me I'm on a slippery slope…You are obviously unfamiliar with the accepted guidlines…I am practicing appropriate care, and my ob/gyn colleagues would agree with me!

      • Aunt Crit

        & beyond that …how can the state presume that using marijuana is grounds for neglect, when medical science has not proven that marijuana is in fact harmful to a fetus? how IS that? ???????????? seems like a HUGE burden of proof for the state when decades of scientific research have turned up NOTHING to support this line of thinking.

    • Swell_swell

      I call BS on your excuse. If you have a reason to believe that the woman is on drugs currently or has been doing drugs – get her counselled, but don't illegally invade her privacy. If you do, you deserve to be sued under HIPPA. And yes, I'm familiar with the devastation that alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs can wreak on an unborn fetus. However, these women won't get prenatal care that can help get them into treatment if they can't trust doctors because they fear their doctors will act like YOU!

      • HerDoc

        Testing for drugs/alcohol is not an invasion of privacy…it's ESTABLISHED STANDARD OF CARE form the AMA and the American College of Ob/Gyn…Do your homework before making stupid comments…

    • getoveryourself

      What numbers are you talking about when you say "many"/ What statistical tool do you use for this number. Many doesn't mean much, even when you claim to be a doctor. Doctors are just as susceptible to prejudice as any other human on the planet. Are you also testing for over the counter medications? How about booze in those who are not low income? Alcohol is the most abused drug in the country. How do you decide who is a good candidate for testing? Can you tell by looking that someone abuses drugs or alcohol? If you can, you would be the only one in the world and need to open a new business! My how you could save the world! We do need to protect the kids, but not at the expense of those who are NOT doing anything wrong. Is your record 100% correct? If not, you are profiling people and you need to stop.

    • Aunt Crit

      Do you have any medical proof that marijuana causes any of the impairments that you listed above to the unborn child? the article states it is usually a marijuana test. If they are going to test one, they should test ALL…seeing as how it's the health of the baby we are concerned about. There is no proof that marijuana harms a fetus any more than alcohol or cigarettes, yet we don't take kids away from mothers that smoke cigarettes or drink a few beers while pregnant.

    • rumorasit

      Reasonable?? I've had 6 children. Not a single one was I required nor even hinted at to take a drug test. I lived in small towns. Maybe that's the difference? So I'd say that is discrimination. By the way, it's still the mother's body not anyone elses. And no I don't condone doing drugs at all let alone during a pregnancy.

    • UaretheWordsUspeak

      assuming a pregnant woman takes drugs just because she lives in a "high risk geographical area" , or urban area, or lets call a spade a spade, a ghetto, is NOT reasonable. How many "low risk geographical area" pregnant women are addicted to prescription pills. Where are the unauthorized tests for them?? If during the routine care you as a physician see signs consistent w/ drug/alcohol abuse, then by all means, INFORM the patient of what you suspect, and tell them that you will administer the test. If they refuse, that is THEIR RIGHT. Conversely, it is YOUR RIGHT as a physician to report your speculation to child services, but doing it w/out consent is wrong.

    • imknattie

      When I was pregnant with all 5 of mine, no matter which hospital I had delivered at in my state, it was just standard procedure.

    • iamdees

      Her Doc-I understand. But I think the issue here is that they are testing in the low-income areas and NOT testing in hospitals on the "other" side of town. Can you address this,please?

    • bitchkitty

      surely the medical community recognizes that not all persons who smoke marijuana are reprobate addicts who abuse substances without regard for their own best interest(s) and/or that of their unborn child(ren). the fact is, tobacco use during pregnancy has never been legal grounds for involving the authorities in any case (indeed, the medical community once encouraged pregnant women to fire up a smoke in lieu of eating junk food during pregnancy, to avoid excessive weight gain!) and at least weed alleviates nausea (morning sickness included). unless there is reason to believe that a woman is endangering her fetus, drug testing of any sort is outrageous, and almost certainly unconstitutional

    • jason

      so do you report the mom that drinks a 24 case of pepsi a day as well as the mom that smokes everyday or lives with a smoker in the house
      Cigarette smoke is horrible for you as well as 2nd hand smoke but this seems to be another hit on drugs and not the correct "doctoring" that should be done.
      If you smoke a cigarette around your child… child pertective services should be called since your killing your child with every cigarette.

    • alicia9938

      I don't believe my doctor was opperating under what is best for my fetus since I was never tested until I went to the hospital. I smoke pot, and had to be induced at 40 weeks, so I think the government should actually spend money researching something before they try to put a child into the system. How often do we hear stories of children being taken away only to die in foster care?? I'm not saying all foster parents are bad people, but I could never trust someone getting a paycheck to love my child the way I do. Dr. Melanie Dreher has done extensive research into the long term effects of marijuana use during pregnancy by following the children of heavy smokers, occasional smokers and women who abstained entirely. She found no significant differences in social, physical or developmental progression throughout any of the groups. I understand that there could be other concerns from the actual inhalation of smoke, but then there are alternatives to that. CPS doesn't come and knock on a woman's door if they smoke cigarettes and harm their child, which happened to my step son, but pot is the devil?? I'm just not buying it, and let me tell you, it makes me NEVER EVER want to seek medical attention again unless I'm dying!

    • jmp

      so only low income? this doesnt apply to the rich or middle class whom have extra money after they spend their money on their kids…they are more suseptible on buying drugs as they have the money……so everyone should be using their money for their babies and if they have extra put money in an acct for college for their kids

    • kenburch

      EVERY parent should be using their money for baby stuff and not drugs-not just the low income.

      It's time to stop acting like everybody's entitled to judge the poor.

  • hello

    any women that tests positive for illegal drugs.. street or otherwise should be arrested and held confined until the child is born unless she wants an abortion. Then at birth she should be made permanently sterile,
    child should be then adopted out to non family or to people who do not know the parents / family.

  • brian korth

    So sick of ‘it’s racist” Go get healthcare somewhere else. My mom is a nurse that does homecare and for the longest time she cared for a child whose mom smoked crack and drank while pregnant. Megan (since passed away) spent 12 years of hell never growing bigger than 3 feet long, couldn’t walk,speak, use toilet,shower, or eat threw her mouth. Her sorry mother continued to have children, after dumping Megan and her two siblings off on the state of Florida. A nice family adopted all of them. I don’t know what race her mom was, but whatever color, it wouldnt have been racist to test this sorrry woman.

    stop with the racist thing, it makes you sound really dumb. And more than likely, you are.

    • Aunt Crit

      it says they are testing for marijuana..not crack cocaine. Marijuana hasnt been proven to harm a fetus more than a cigarette would, or a glass of wine would. Yet they are using this as an excuse to take children from their parents. What if a mother has terrible morning sickness…what if she can't keep ANYTHING down at all, and she is at risk of losing her child due to malnutrition & her Doctor recommends she use marijuana for its nausea control? is that ok then? You can't compare crack addicts to pot heads, that makes YOU look dumb. this article is talking about testing for marijuana.

    • UaretheWordsUspeak

      If she smoked crack and drank while pregnant and received some sort of prenatal care, it would've been apparent during her check ups and children services should've been notified. In this case it would've certainly helped the children, but I'm Afro-Hispanic. OFF THE BAT, i should NOT be tested w/out my consent for drugs, because the city I'm from has a high crime rate. That is an asinine assumption, and blatantly racist, and I suspect you don't think it is because you know its a situation that would NEVER affect you.

  • NoonSun

    Good move. Also random drug and alcohol test is absolutely needed for Doctors and Nurses. They do abuse drugs and treat patients and make poor judgments thus complicating the health of the patients.

    • Mouse

      @NoonSun, being a nurse myself, my hospital had a requirement for a mandatory test prior to employment and we still have randoms throughout the facility. Randoms are just that, random. They will not catch everything, but they help weed out the habitual ones. yes, the drug tests allow medical personnel to prepare a care plan for those patients who need additional care due to the extra drugs in their system. Those professionals are REQUIRED to care for all persons involved, something they can't do well if said patient doesn't divulge that little piece of extra information.

      I do not think the drug tests for expectant mothers should be random, I think they should be mandatory. Each and every one. That way there is no discrimination and every mother knows what to expect.

      • NICUrn

        I agree Mouse about mandatory drug tests for all patients. I would not have been offended if asked to submit to one with my pregnancies. Those that have something to hide generally want to complain about it being unfair. No, it's unfair to subject your unborn child to your stupid decisions…..

      • melindacrouse

        @Mouse, I agree with you. Every expectant mom should be tested for drugs. I have four beautiful, healthy children and when I was pregnant, when the doctor recommended any test, I willingly agreed. And my only thought was how much I dislike needles, but it's for the health of my child. And any good mother would not hesitate to do what is in the best interest for her child. I also agree with the other poster that most of the time (99%) it's the ones with something to hide, or those that just like to cry LAWSUIT, that do the whining. If you have nothing to hide, then get the damn test and be done with it.

      • Aunt Crit

        I think the issue here isn't so much that they are testing..it is that they aren't testing EVERYONE. They are focusing their tests to one area of the city. Drugs are just as rampant in the suburbs as they are in the city.

    • NICUrn

      Nurses and Doctors are randomly drug screened, as well as after any kind of accident, fall at work. We are trained to scrutinize our coworkers for signs of abuse or problems. As a NICU nurse, please come spend a day in the nursery with a infant that is severly growth restricted and going withdrawls. This happens on just about ANY abused substance- cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, you name it. There is a reason for what we do. If we didn't, we would be sued for the 'undiagnosed' problems we supposedly missed. Generation handout and "what can i get"…..No wonder not many want to work the healthcare field anymore.

  • WHITETRASHMAGGOT

    WILL I LIVE IN DALLAS AND THE TRUTH IS THEY NEED TO DO IN THE WHITE AREAS BECAUSE THEY ARE ON DRUGS WAY HEAVY THEN MINORITIES, FUKING MAGGOTS LOST 19 KIDS IN 2WEEKS DOWN HERE FROM OVERDOSING ON A DRUG THEY MADE UP CALLED CHEESE (HEROINE AND TYLENOL CRUSHED UP AND SNORKED) FUKING DUMMIES AND YOU WONDER WHY THE STUPID WHITE TRASH SHOOTS UP A MOVIE OR SCHOOL CHECK THE PARENTS FOR DRUGS, THATS RIGHT THEY LIVE NEAR A LOW INCOME HOOD THERE OK. HAHA LMBAO BACK TO THE HOOD AND FROM AROUND YOU LICE INFEATED MAGGOTS.

    AND NEWTON IS JUST THE BEGINNING

    • Getreal

      Rent-A-Center is trying to contact you. You missed your weekly $15 payment again, and they want to repossess your computer. Sorry.

    • melindacrouse

      Please go back to school and learn to format a correct paragraph and how to spell. Your post shows your true IQ level. I'll help you out with your post. Please use this corrected posting for future reference so you don't look like you're from 'the hood'. Now mind you, I found it very hard to write derogatory and untruthful information about my own race, but hey, I'll take one for the team.

      "Well, I live in Dallas and the truth is they need to drug test in the white areas because they are on drugs much heavier than minorities. F*cking maggots. We lost 19 kids in 2 weeks down here from overdosing on a drug they made up called cheese (Heroine and Tylenol crushed up and snorted). F*cking dummies. You wonder why the stupid white trash shoots up a movie or school. Check the parents for drugs, that’s right, they live near a low income hood. Ha Ha LMBAO back to the hood and away from you lice infested maggots."

    • local

      You are a total idiot trash talking arsehole. ALL mothers should be tested for drugs and if found to be under the influence of a illegal drug should be arrested and the process for putting the child up for adoption begun. Trash is color blind, has no regards for race, age sex or anything else. Trash is Trash.

    • brown piece o shit

      white people are better than everyone else, most white people that are on drugs get them from the brownies

    • DALLASSUCKSBALLS

      WOW I KNEW DALLAS WAS FULL OF ASSHOLES – MEXICO IS ONLY A FEW FEET AWAY – GO SAY HI TO THE CARTELS AND SAY YOUR A DEA AGENT HAHAHAHA

      AND WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH NEWTOWN YOU SCHMUCK??

      • kenburch

        Infested with feet(or feats, or something)…

        Almost impossible to clear that up…and it itches like a sumbitch.

    • thewarsteiner

      The drugs come from Mexico d bag and the article says they are drug test all people from lower income. It says nothing about testing everyone that is not white. And go take a night class stupid

    • guest

      why dont you get passed a fifth grade education and learn to spell you dumb fuck.you would not talk that shit around my redneck white boys you smelly ass maggot. stay in the hood where u belong because u are to fucking stupid to fit in anywhere else . lmwao

    • guest

      no response to guest comment boy i guess its to much work for you to respond. we all know how lazy you people are in the hood

    • Gun slick

      Don't worry maggot, I have a feeling when the end gets here, you will be in your natural position; face down, ass up. As it should be….

  • anonymous

    Okay! I understand why…. drinking, hard drugs, ect….

    But I know a few doctors in New York State that have told their patients to to smoke a “joint” for their morning sickness. Dont use it as a crutch or a solution but if need be, do it.

    My mother even took a few hits while she was pregnat with me….no negitive effects. I’m heathy as a horse, pretty smart (no learning disablities), about to graduate college and making a good life for myself.

    I dont see how taking a hit of pot to ease some morning sickness makes you an unfit mother….

    I GUESS IF YOUR GOING TO TEST THE MOTHER……TEST THE FATHER AS WELL!

    And how much pot is actually in their system… you can tell if they smoke a joint a week or a whole ounce.

    • trevg

      Yup, there have been no studies that show smoking weed while pregnant can harm the baby. There was a study done that showed it does no harm at all.

    • Aunt Crit

      absolutely my thoughts! We aren't talking about crack cocaine here..where obviously there is medical proof that the drug causes problems with fetuses. But marijuana is no more harmful to a fetus than a cigarette..even less than a cigarette, I would be willing to bet..you don't smoke weed as often as you would a cigarette. I will be really glad when this social stigma associated with weed goes "up in smoke" …

  • fed up

    im white and live in a low income area, i never took drugs, hell i even stopped all caffeine and msg, rich women can do drugs just as often, maybe more, they can do their cocaine, its sad that they think low income women do nothing but live off the government and take drugs, maybe the fathers should help since they had something to do with the pregnancy.

      • Aunt Crit

        she would have nothing to worry about because she is a white woman from the suburbs, they aren't testing white women from the suburbs, they are testing women of color from the city. Thus the reason for the cry of discrimintaion…

  • Karebear

    It's not just low income areas they use drug tests. I live in the DFW area, Plano to be specific,and they drug test here too, and this is a upper middle class neighborhood. Now, I'm a minority, and when I was pregnant,which was recently, I knew they were drug testing me at my OB appointments,even though they never said so. But,they were testing the Caucasian patients right along with me. Here, as far as I know,it's standard practice. I,for one, don't have a problem with it.

  • froggyalley

    Oh stop it. They order drug tests and HIV test and any other test that they can think of because they CAN and insurance companies and welfare pays for it. It's a moneymaker. Nothing more, nothing less. It is done all the time.

  • Pam

    She can not smoke a joint but she can drink alcohol then give birth She can have an abortion but she can not smoke a joint? Low income does not mean welfare recipient either It means that the mother may not be able to afford health insurance.

  • jmp

    regardless if they test it should be for everything alcohol and cigarettes included that and hard drugs cause more damage than marijuana just because it a pot smoker doesn't make u a bad parent but ppl make it out to be but yet smoking ciggs and drinkin alcohol doesn't under developed lungs low birth weight death comes cm smoking ciggs alcohol fetal syndrome drinkin alcohol but they r not bad parents a lot of women use pot for morning sickness or back pain cuz u cannot take pain killers then to involve cps is bs unless u can truely prove them unfit but they don't call if they smoking ciggs or drinkin….I had a dirty ua for pot I have major bk problems and had morning sickness through out my pregnancy I didn't drink my kids have evry thing they need and want food on the table clean home play sports that I participate in I even participate in school activities but yet I'm a bad parent cuz a lil pot top it off it didn't bother my Dr or the pediatrician a dumb ads nursery nurse called cps my Dr told me was angry w her cuz he knew I was a good parent and she treated me ugly any time she went to my room to get my baby yes I do agree w drug testing but it should be for everything an everyone and not everyone should be turned over to cps btw my baby came out healthy as can be a whopping 7lbs 3 oz 21in no problems she's 1 now and is 21lbs 27in and is bright as can be and when I was on cps my counselor even said I shouldn't be there that in was a great parent wasn't unfit that my case as a bad judgement call on the nurse and cps part a waste of tax payers money

    • Aunt Crit

      couldnt agree more! they have never proven marijuana harms an unborn child, so how can they charge these mothers with neglect and take their children away..doesn't the state have to meet a burden of proof? medical science can't even prove that weed causes problems for babies. I had horrible morning sickness, well beyond my first trimester, lost 15# in two weeks, my doula recommended marijuana. And months later when I lay in my own bed preparing for my "home birth" my doula recommended marijuana again as a mild sedative for the pain. My baby was born a healthy 8lbs13oz & 21" long..has never had any emotional/developmental/growth issues..is actually ahead of her class in both size and intelligence.

    • Maybelline

      Oh my. Due to your lack of punctuation, spelling, and elementary grammar, I cannot be the only one that stopped reading your diatribe by the second line. If you want people to side with your argument, write it in a language that wouldn't confuse a second-grader. And as a nurse, I would have turned you in as well. It is the law. By the way, women can take pain killers for real chronic back pain- The same drugs you get during delivery. Another thing- it was more than "a lil pot", or else it wouldn't have met the threshold to show up on a drug test. Quit pollinating the earth, do taxpayers a favor and get an education. You know what they say…. ignorance breeds ignorance.

      • jmp

        omg oh wait Oh my god…Since you cant understand acronyms….just because i did not write out every word properly doesnt make me ignorant. And my doctor would not allow me to take painkillers she said i could not do so just because your a nurse doesnt mean anything a doctors opinion is greater than yours. I graduated high school and im in college and I do work. I do have chronic back pain and went to physical therapy while I was pregnant. The only drugs I got for delivery was an epidural when i was 7 cm I was in labor all day at home and drove myself to the hospital. When I got there I was already 6 cm. Its people like you that people that are self medicating do not get proper prenatal care. Would you call on some one that smokes cigarettes and there baby came out with under developed lungs. Or call on some one whom drank alcohol and their babies came out with fetal-alcohol syndrome probably not because they are legal. Although they are legal they are more potent(sp) then marijuana. A marijuana will come out on a drug test no matter how much you smoke it stays in your system for up to 30 days and stores in you fat cells……

      • Maybelline

        I use acronyms all day long. And punctuation. I'm sorry your doctor wouldn't prescribe medication to ease your back pain. I honestly can't imagine why. There are medications available that you could have taken safely during pregnancy. I know this for fact, because I had to take them 2-3 times during my twin pregnancy. I broke my back in a car accident when I was 20, and was in traction for almost a year. In my line of work, I physically must maneuver people around in some form or fashion almost daily. It doesn't help that the populace is getting fatter and more helpless by the day. Regardless, my doctor didn't suggest I smoke marijuana, and I doubt yours did either. And for the record, I am a proponent of drug decriminalization. I have spoken out at rallies and protests. Just because I do not choose to use doesn't mean I believe in prohibition. In my specialty, I have delivered exactly 4 babies in 20 years, and the L&D girls were there in seconds to whisk mom and baby away. So no, I have never made the call to CPS, but I'm sure the L&D girls did if it was warranted. Yes, they do call when kids are born with FAS. Women choose whether or not to get prenatal care- it has nothing to do with "people like me", whatever that means.

      • jmp

        I hadnt smoked in about a week and it still came out in my system. You didnt have my back pain or my muscle spasms to which I couldnt control so You dont know how I felt. Like I said I had a healthy baby with no problems and Im a great parent. So dont judge me the only one who can is God himself. And thats nice calling my baby ignorant, because shes not shes very bright. Once again its douche bags like you that cause families to split apart. Taking a baby away from their mother in a crucial bonding time because you think their unfit is ridiculas. You dont know peoples living situation you dont know how they parent if they are involved with their kids or not. People that are quick to judge others are not made out to be nurses or caregivers. People like you should be in an office setting with a stack of papers because yal deserve a miserable life. Taking kids from their parents because you dont like what they do…..thats ignorance.

      • Maybelline

        A couple of hits on day 1 will NOT show up in your system on day 7, so your use must have been fairly habitual. You accuse me of being presumptuous, yet you go on to say I don't know how you feel. As I said above, my back was BROKEN in a car accident, so yes, I do know what back pain and spasms are. I never said you were an unfit parent, never brought up your living situation, marital status, economic status, or how many kids you have. You did. You just fail to understand that every single woman in the state of Texas gets drug tested, regardless of color, insurance status, or neighborhood. It is often done at the first prenatal visit, and if your provider suspects drug or alcohol use, it is done at subsequent visits. The point is not to get you in trouble or take away your kids, but to put together a care plan to help ensure a healthy birth and offer help. If a woman has not had prenatal care or has a doctor not affiliated with the hospital she's laboring in, it is a national standard to drug test the mother again. The reason for this is to be prepared for the adverse health of the baby during delivery, because by then it isn't really about you- it's about the baby. If a woman tests positive at that point, then staff has no choice but to report it. That's the law. When you sign consent forms at the hospital, you have consented to this testing. This is no different from testing for alcohol, gonorrhea, HIV, pregnancy, etc. If a provider thinks the test is needed in order to make an informed decision regarding your care, then that's what we do. I think the article was trying to sensationalize something in order to start a ruckus. You can bet your butt that drug testing is being done in the Plano hospitals just as much as it is at Parkland.

  • Trisha

    Used to perform the testing myself decades ago. The holidays kept the instrument humming 24/7. We used to wonder if all the clinic woman went to the same parties. Most would come up positive for the same 3-5 drugs! Now tell me that this is acceptable? The difference though is that this was done strictly for the benefit of the newborns. The mothers were not turned into anyone and were counseled to help get them off drugs. The sickest babies were usually abandoned after delivery and some even had HIV. They were always given special names by the staff. Baby hope, baby love etc… I still get goosepimples when I think about this. Often it was just a matter of time before they would die. Then everything we all worked hard for was in vain. A beautiful baby through no fault of their own was murdered. All so mom could have some fun times. But the mother walked free and would soon become pregnant again. Where else could someone commit murder or permanantly main a child and be set free to do it again? In a hospital of course.

    • Aunt Crit

      sad as your story is.. drug use is just as rampant at places that aren't considered "clinics". But they aren't testing at THOSE facilities..only at the clinic…why is that?? if they are worried for the baby..test all of the mothers..and only punish them for using drugs that have been medically PROVEN to harm the fetus..we don't punish moms for smoking cigarettes or drinking a beer or two while pregnant. we might not like it, but we don't punish them for it.

  • mike.lampart

    drug testing is a very good ideal how can it be racist if low income people are tested? think of the kids that are born they come first dont they and if your feelings are hurt because you are being tested to bad

    • Aunt Crit

      since, we aren't testing the rich moms, are you saying you support the idea that poor babies are more important than rich babies? Is that the case? Or should we test ALL moms, rich & poor? are the rich babies entitled to any less safety precautions than we provide for our poor babies? Is it ok to test poor women & take their children from them,when rich women are just as guilty of being drug users?

  • MMM

    I am a white woman from a suburban area and my dr performed a drug test because I was pretty far along before I found out I was pregnant. Since I was at the 5 month mark with no prenatal care it was necessary and I was fine with it. I hadn't done anything wrong and I understand it's to help babies.

    • kenburch

      Well, it's different when the test is given to ALL mothers…the issue was singling out mothers who are poor or who are people of color. I assume you can see the problem there.

  • local

    If you are recieving benefits from the goverment such as food stamps, welfare, financial aid then you should be tested for illegal drugs. If found to be under the influence of a illegal drug you should be removed from any freebies. YOU ARE JUST A LEACH ON SOCIETY.

  • Bruce

    Wow. Florida has been drug testing welfare recipients for a few months now and guess what? Less than 2% have tested positive. Not exactly living up to most of the stereotypes written about on this page. And I'll bet you are the first people to scream about smaller government. A whole new agency had to be created, yes that's more government workers who you get to pay for whether they show results or not.
    While I don't disagree with drug testing pregnant women for the sake of the unborn, I do believe that it should be taken on a case by case basis and as a last possible resort reported to any government agency or law enforcement. We already have 2 million in prisons while our states go broke and hundreds of thousand of parentless children, we really need to start thinking differently about drug use. It won't ever end, no matter how tough anyone makes it.

  • TAB

    The article never mentions white, black etc…. there is an assumption on many of the racist (both ways) that this is aimed at black or hispanic, I guess poor white people don’t live in low rent area’s…. Are all white people born rich? No! This article simply states that mothers (primarily from the low income levels…not-White, Black or Hispanic) who cause concern from the hospital staff are tested for the sake of the baby. All the racists on this post should just STFU. Quit pulling the race card when there isn’t a need.

    • Aunt Crit

      so..you support the idea that it is ok to drug test women of any color if they are poor? What about the rich women of any color? can we test them too? Or do you just care more for the poor children & less for the rich children? I mean..if it's about the children & their safety.. how about we test every woman that is pregnant & only punish them for testing positive for drugs that have been medically proven to harm a fetus?

  • billrow

    They test every mother in Texas no matter race or income. If there are illegal drugs in the blood the baby is put in foster care and the mother brought up on charges.

    How is it racist to test pregnant mothers?

    • jmp

      they dont test everyone they tested me but they didnt test my sister we both had babies in texas….so really here its who they want to test…..and yes i agree with testing but with the permission of the mother I was not told I was being drug tested and when my baby was tested I asked what it was(the put a plastic bag in their diaper i was told it was for something else nothing to do with drug testing so the nurse lied to me and didnt have my permission

      • Maybelline

        Unless you paid the bills (and not Medicaid, aka taxpayers) and got an itemized statement, you don't know WHAT you were being tested for or why. If you got regular prenatal care, you got HIV, RPR, and other tests done on more than one occasion. You got tested for Strep B, to make sure your nasty cooch doesn't cause your baby to become deathly ill. Your urine was tested on several occasions to make sure you weren't spilling glucose or high levels of protein, and yes, you were drug tested. Is all this for your benefit? Hell, no! It is for the benefit of having a healthy child.

      • jmp

        Like I said I pay taxes and regardless of who the hell pays for the damn bill everyone should know what exactly they are being tested for and asking our permission should be a priority its our right to privacy thats why we have laws. And nurses who lie shouldnt have jobs either because if we cant trust them with the answers to our questions how can we trust them to watch our babies. And another thing most doctors and nurses abuse drugs legal and illegal alike if they were drug tested like us most would come out dirty…..So patients are not the only ones that should be tested our doctors should to just like you say its for our babies sake well testing the doctors that deliver and the nurses who take care of them should be tested to for our babies sake….

      • jmp

        Ok so how do you know I have an nasty cooch you judgemental dumbass….Answer that and since you like to run your mouth whats your name? and where do you work because talking like that you would not have a job…your straight ridiculas and rude you do not know me you do not know my sex life your the type of person that should never have a job to do with people obviously you have a sad crummy life to judge mine look at yours first and I already have my military uncle whom is a lawyer looking you up right now because when i find you you will not have a job and if i see you i will kick your nasty ass

      • Maybelline

        Ridiculous. Unlike when applying for government aid, hospital employees are drug tested before we are hired. We are subjected to random drug testing during our employment. We are drug tested if the drug counts come out wrong. We are drug tested if someone makes a claim of suspicion. We are drug tested for any and every injury. I was drug tested when the xray tech ran over me with the portable machine and cut my achilles as I was walking down the hall, even though I didn't do anything wrong. Your statement that most doctors and nurses abuse drugs is false, at least among the employed. Doctors are not employees of the hospital, so their requirements may be different. You would be correct to state that there are nurses and doctors that abuse drugs, because there are some out there, but they don't stay employed long. Let me apologize- I didn't mean to say "your nasty cooch" as in yours personally, but your as in generalized to the public. When you sign hospital consents for treatment, you are consenting to testing. We don't test to be nosy, we test when there is a legitimate need to know. Your test must've been positive for them to test the baby. I am just bewildered as to why the nurse wasn't honest with you about it. Maybe to avoid confrontation? I would have told you if you had asked. People just don't ask, believe it or not. I draw blood and take urine all day long from people, and maybe once might a person ask what I'm testing for. I make it a habit to give people a general idea of what I'm testing for before I do it, but I don't tell them every test nor do I explain every test in detail. Most people wouldn't understand it anyways, and it might scare them more than it would help them. You have called me many names, and that is your choice if it makes you feel better. I'm not your enemy. I would have advocated for you for better prenatal care. If you were honest with me about your pain and drug use, I would've helped you find better alternatives, not turn you in. I'm all for drug decriminalization, but not at the expense of a fetus, sorry. You don't have to be subjected to what I see everyday and am expected to fix, all because of poor choices people make with their health. My father is a retired Sergeant Major- he would love to meet your uncle.

      • jmp

        Judgemental freak so i guess you sleep in my bed and seen my coochie for you to say its nasty….wtf for being a nurse you sure do think you know everything….you dont know me to say my coochie is nasty you dont know if i have a family or anything about my sex life. its people like you that people girls dont get get adaquet prenatal care in fear of a judgemental nurse

      • jmp

        PS I pay taxes too…..people on government aid do not get a pass on not paying taxes if you work you pay taxes I work so I pay taxes so I do in some way pay and I like how you assume that people on government aid get freebies because you dont…..just because you receive medicaid doesnt make you a bad person its to be able to receive health care because they cannot afford it. Foodstamps is to help you make sure you and your kids are able to get food….and thats based on your income some get 700+ some get as low as 60….some of these people have a family mom dad and kids some are single mothers just because there are people out there that abuse the system doesnt make every one of us bad people. The ones who try and do work have a bad rep because of them and people that judge like you….Its stupid to see someone with so much hate be able to take care of others if you have no heart hear u have no heart with your job because your judging them the whole time.

      • Maybelline

        You have called me judgmental at every turn, yet you are the one doing all the judging. Where did I say that people on aid get freebies? All I said was that they didn't get an itemized bill unless they asked. I never said you were a bad person, or that people on aid were bad people. I never brought up food stamps. I never brought up welfare abusers. All that comes from you, not me. And for the record, working and non-working people on aid NEVER pay into the tax system what they get from it, no matter how one tries to spin it. I'm glad you work and go to school. I'm all for helping people that are making something of themselves. On that note….Here's something you should know about this judgmental, nasty, dumbass freak (did I miss any names?)- My friend and I have been putting a business plan together with a physician's group/hospital system in hopes of opening a clinic next year that caters to the working poor and those without insurance (and their families) so that they can have a medical home. And if I were to take care of a pregnant woman that tested positive for drugs, I would offer her help. But if she refused the alternatives and continued to test positive, regardless of the substance, I would report her. If that makes me judgmental, then so be it.

    • kenburch

      It's racist(or at least classist)because the tests aren't given to ALL expectant mothers who show up to deliver. It's just as bad to be the child of a rich white alcoholic or cokehead as it is to be the child of a poor(possibly black or brown)pothead. In fact, it's likely worse, because there's little evidence that pot actually harms the unborn in the way that booze or coke does.

  • Nate Higgers

    Of course it is racist, only because it is done to black women.

    Give me a fuggin break….blacks are the most weak-minded, thin-skinned creatures on this entire planet.

  • Guesssss

    …if it's in "lower income" areas, it's CLASSIST if they are only testing the black ladies from these lower incomre areas…that's when it becomes RACIST

    • Jill

      You think black women are the only ones living in low income areas? Wow you're either black and on welfare or just brain damaged. And fyi genius, we drug test EVERYONE here, regardless of income or color.

  • free thinker

    sure lets have drug tests all the way around, then let the govt. iq test everyone, lets have them babysit us and protect us and feed us and clothe us and employ us and tell us what do all the time. lets rename the usa to the soviet union while were at it. more accurate then. maybe they can decide what we read what we watch who we spend time with, after all they do know best. lets all just line up in the pasture.
    people should be able to do what they want. period. if some numbnuts wants a retard for a kid, get wasted while their pregnant, hopefully they will gateway to heroin and OD. darwinism.

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