The state supreme court of Kentucky ruled that Ida Cochrane could not be prosecuted for child abuse after she and her newborn tested positive for cocaine in 2005. “Pregnancy prosecutions” happen around the country, despite their unconstitutionality and the best medical evidence.
Several complex and interconnected social and cultural factors have kept women particularly vulnerable to violence directed against them, all of them manifestations of unequal power relations between men and women. The acceptance of violence as a means by which to solve conflict as well as fear of and control over female independence and female sexuality are just some of the contributing factors that allow violence against women to persist. How are the public health and medical communities implicated in all of this? What can they do to address violence against women not just as a legal issue, but as a fundamental human rights health issue that requires medical attention, clinical care, and sustainable public health interventions?
Across the country, politicians continue to use medical misinformation about drugs, pregnant women, and parents to justify new punitive laws and counterproductive state actions. On April 29, 2010, National Advocates for Pregnant Women, with New York University’s School of Law, and the NYU Silver School of Social Work will be hosting its second continuing education program to address the myths and misinformation that too often influence public policies concerning drug use, pregnant women and parents.
Know what? While alcohol can reduce a person’s inhibitions, another thing it often does reduce how aroused — how turned on — a person can get.
Research findings indicate negative parental and social attitudes contribute to higher rates of suicide and substance abuse among gay, lesbian and bisexual youth. Support and acceptance, and even neutrality by parents, can lead to reduced rates of suicide among vulnerable teens and young adults.