Tuesday, August 8, 2023

NCCPR news and commentary round-up, week ending August 8, 2023

● In the 1950s, white supremacists had a term for how they would fight to keep their states segregated: “massive resistance.”  We’re seeing the family policing establishment version of “massive resistance” when they retaliate against those who fight hardest for racial justice.  The Imprint has the latest example. 

● The Indian Child Welfare Act survived a challenge that went all the way to the United States Supreme Court.  But, The Imprint reports, there still are efforts to undermine it in state courts.

KTVT in Fort Worth has an in-depth report on those new laws in Texas that help protect children from the trauma of needless foster care and make all children safer by giving workers more time to find the few children in real danger. 

The focus is on false allegations by child abuse pediatricians, and a Texas mother, Holly Simonton, whose own experience led her to found a group called Parents Behind the Pinwheels: 

In April, children's hospitals across the country display pinwheels for National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Each pinwheel often represents a child abuse visit by the hospital staff – including visits where no abuse was found. 

"It's triggering and emotional to see because I know one of those pinwheels was for us," Simonton said. "Child abuse is just heartbreaking, devastating and unacceptable but what is also unacceptable is wrongfully removing children from loving parents." 

● Alabama has America’s most draconian approach to punishing pregnant women who use drugs.  As AL.com explains: 

Alabama boasts a decade-long wave of criminal cases against new mothers, arrests that have touched more than a thousand women accused of using drugs while pregnant. That includes meth and heroin addicts, but also hundreds of marijuana users and even some people who didn’t know they were pregnant. Some spent months behind bars or even gave birth in jail.

 The consequences go beyond the jailhouse. Hospital staff are required to report positive drug tests to the child welfare agency, and sometimes women lose custody of newborns and older children. In many cases, women faced criminal charges even after child welfare determined their children were safe. 

How’s it working out?  It’s made everything worse – because it drives women away from medical care:

 The number of babies diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome – which happens when they are born dependent on drugs – actually rose sharply after 2013 and peaked in 2018. The number of drug overdoses during pregnancy almost doubled between 2016 and 2019.