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dc.contributor.advisorNelson, Timothy-
dc.contributor.authorQuevedo, Sofia-
dc.description.abstractThe United States has a long and varied history of intervening in the lives of pregnant, addicted women. In the 1980s, stories about pregnant women smoking crack exploded, raising concerns about the effects of drug use on newborns. More recently, the opioid epidemic has had a tragic toll on pregnant overdose and infant mortality rates. The State’s response to pregnant opioid addicts has been overwhelmingly sympathetic, with most policies focusing on treating and supporting addicted pregnant women. Contrastingly, the crack epidemic was characterized by largely punitive policies. Notably, opioid addicts are often white, and crack addicts were mostly Black. This thesis asks how the State’s policies and treatment of pregnant addicts differs based on race. An analysis of the State’s response during the crack epidemic reveals a significant number of punitive policies passed during the period 1980-2000. In contrast, more recent policies enacted during the opioid epidemic highlight an emphasis on providing support for addicted pregnant women. These findings suggest that whereas the State criminalizes and demonizes pregnant Black women for their drug use, it focuses on treatment and assistance for pregnant white women. An examination of the State’s unequal, discriminatory application of drug policy towards Black women throughout the opioid epidemic lends further credence to this finding. This thesis concludes with policy recommendations that may lessen the disparity in the State’s treatment of white and Black pregnant addicts.en_US
dc.titlePregnancy and Prejudice: Race & The State’s Response to Pregnant Drug Useen_US
dc.typePrinceton University Senior Theses
pu.departmentPrinceton School of Public and International Affairsen_US
Appears in Collections:Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, 1929-2021

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