Wisconsin’s Attorney General has asked a federal appeals court to reinstate a law that allows the state to detain pregnant women suspected of drug abuse. Attorney General Brad Schimel said yesterday that he is appealing the Wednesday decision of US District Judge James Peterson not to stay his previous ruling that struck down the state’s so-called “Cocaine Mom” law.
Schimel said the law provides critical services to pregnant women, protects unborn children and helps combat the state’s heroin epidemic.
Opponents said it increases the stigma of drug addiction, undermines patients’ rights to make their own decisions and is overly punitive.
The case involves Tammy Loertscher, who was jailed for nearly 20 days in 2014 while pregnant after refusing drug treatment. She had told her doctor she stopped using drugs.