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Shackled and pregnant: Wis. case challenges 'fetal protection' law

Posted by on Oct. 24, 2013 at 10:05 PM
  • 100 Replies

When Alicia Beltran was 12 weeks pregnant, she took herself to a health clinic about a mile from her home in Jackson, Wis., for a prenatal checkup. But what started as a routine visit ended with Beltran eventually handcuffed and shackled in government custody – and at the center of a first-of-its-kind federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a state’s fetal protection law.

On July 2, Beltran, 28, met with a physician’s assistant at West Bend Clinic at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in West Bend, Wis., for her prenatal visit. When asked to detail her medical history, Beltran admitted a past struggle with the painkiller Percocet. But that was all behind her, Beltran said: She had been taking Suboxone, a drug used to treat Percocet dependency. Lacking health insurance and unable to afford the medication, Beltran had used an acquaintance’s prescription and self-administered the drug in decreasing doses. She had taken her last dose a few days before her prenatal visit. 

According to Beltran, the physician’s assistant recommended she renew her use of Suboxone under a doctor’s supervision. After Beltran declined, she said she was asked to take a drug test, which was negative for all substances except Suboxone. 

Two weeks later, a social worker visited Beltran at home and told her that she needed to continue Suboxone treatment under the care of a physician, said Beltran, who again declined. Two days later, Beltran found police officers at her home, who arrested and handcuffed her.

According to the police report, the officers took Beltran to a hospital, where she underwent a doctor’s exam. Her pregnancy was found to be healthy and normal, her lawyers say. Police then took her to Washington County Jail to await a hearing – hours later, she was led into a courtroom, handcuffed and shackled at the ankles, where a county judge ordered her to spend 90 days in a drug treatment center.

“Alicia had no idea she was giving information to the physician’s assistant that would ultimately be used against her in a court of law,” said Linda Vanden Heuvel of Germantown, Wis., one of Beltran’s attorneys. “She should not have to fear losing her liberty because she was pregnant and she was honest with her doctor.”

At the hearing, her lawyers say, the judge told Beltran that an attorney would not be provided for her at that time but that she could seek counsel for her next hearing in the case. And yet, a lawyer had been appointed to represent her fetus. “It’s wrong that an unborn child gets an attorney but Alicia Beltran, the mother of that unborn child did not,” said Vanden Heuvel.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/10/24/21117142-shackled-and-pregnant-wis-case-challenges-fetal-protection-law?lite


by on Oct. 24, 2013 at 10:05 PM
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Replies (1-10):
survivorinohio
by René on Oct. 24, 2013 at 11:21 PM
1 mom liked this

Oh wow, no more confidentiality huh?  Thats an upsetting tale.

FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Oct. 24, 2013 at 11:22 PM
1 mom liked this

How the hell did this even happen???

Pink.Frosting
by on Oct. 24, 2013 at 11:25 PM
3 moms liked this

So she got sent to a drug treatment facility against her will because she *stopped* taking drugs??  Am I reading that right??

survivorinohio
by René on Oct. 24, 2013 at 11:26 PM

Thats how I read it.

Quoting Pink.Frosting:

So she got sent to a drug treatment facility against her will because she *stopped* taking drugs??  Am I reading that right??


How far you go in life depends on your being: tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of both the weak and strong.  Because someday in life you would have been one or all of these.  GeorgeWashingtonCarver


AdrianneHill
by Platinum Member on Oct. 24, 2013 at 11:28 PM
3 moms liked this
But this could never happen! And it won't happen because I say so
You people against personhood laws must just hate babies!
vbway
by Member on Oct. 24, 2013 at 11:28 PM

This is all kinds of F'd up. 

AdrianneHill
by Platinum Member on Oct. 24, 2013 at 11:30 PM
yes, I guess I should pop in before this gets too wacky.
It is very dangerous to stop taking opiates during a pregnancy if you have been taking them a long time. It will kill the baby.


Quoting Pink.Frosting:

So she got sent to a drug treatment facility against her will because she *stopped* taking drugs??  Am I reading that right??

stormcris
by Christy on Oct. 24, 2013 at 11:34 PM

That seems to be the case.

Quoting Pink.Frosting:

So she got sent to a drug treatment facility against her will because she *stopped* taking drugs??  Am I reading that right??


survivorinohio
by René on Oct. 24, 2013 at 11:34 PM

I still think this is way wrong but as I step back and think about it is it possible that this program will benefit this girl?  I know my dd want through a few treatment programs through the court and only one of them was a *good* treatment program and I thank God for it truthfully.  Something in them makes them addicts and many addicts can go dry or clean but the underlying reasons for the addiction will come back and haunt them.

Is it ok how this went down, no as stated its not IMO.  I wondr was she involved in drug court at some point?  I have some questions lol.

I do hope that this becomes an opportunity for her though.

LAHnTAH0812
by Bronze Member on Oct. 24, 2013 at 11:35 PM
ehhhh. hippa only counts if it doesn't harm someone, right?
she should have continued weaning under a physicians care. you can't just take illegal drugs while pregnant and get away with it.
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