Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Where the right-to-lifers want us all to live

On Wednesday, National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW) announced a lawsuit has been filed in federal court seeking the immediate release from state custody of a pregnant Wisconsin woman who was involuntarily detained at a drug treatment facility despite no evidence she was using drugs while pregnant. 
Alicia Beltran, a 28-year-old pregnant woman confided in health-care workers about her prior use of painkillers and her efforts to end that use on her own during an early prenatal care visit. On July 18, Wisconsin law enforcement officials arrested her under a 1997 Wisconsin law, which gives the state the power to forcibly detain any pregnant woman who “habitually lacks self-control” and poses a “substantial risk” to the health of an egg, embryo, or fetus. 
NAPW notes in its announcement of the lawsuit that Beltran “was forcibly taken into custody by law enforcement when she was 15 weeks pregnant, put into handcuffs and shackles, and brought to a court hearing. Although a lawyer had already been appointed to represent her fetus, Ms. Beltran had no right to counsel—and therefore had no attorney—at the initial court appearance. Then, without testimony from a single medical expert, the court ordered her to be detained at an inpatient drug treatment program two hours from her home.”

Attorney Linda Vanden Heuvel, who represents Beltran, explained in a statement that “[l]ocking up Ms. Beltran, under the Wisconsin law, does not serve the best interests of Ms. Beltran’s future child and most certainly tramples the rights of Ms. Beltran, a woman who was not in fact using any controlled substances at the time of her arrest and who is committed to having a healthy pregnancy.”


Steve Bates said...

"Ms. Beltran had no right to counsel"

Really? When did Wisconsin succeed in repealing the Sixth Amendment to the US Constitution?

ellroon said...

*sigh*... She's just a vessel and doesn't count. And the blessed fetus won't count either once it's born.