She was right: Richardson lost custody of all her children and was sent to jail on a previous theft charge.
She is now in recovery and has her children back at home, but she believes that if she had found and accepted a support system early on, it would have been easier.
The Institute’s work examines the incidence of abortion, access to care and barriers to obtaining services, factors underlying women’s decisions to terminate a pregnancy, characteristics of women who have abortions and the conditions under which women obtain them.
Guttmacher also tracks abortion-related legislation and policies at the federal and state level, promoting access to abortion services and making an evidence-based case against restrictions that limit access.
Richardson never went to a doctor for prenatal care and unsuccessfully tried to quit using heroin multiple times.
She worried that if she told a doctor the truth about her addiction, she’d lose her four other children.
The inpatient center near her Granite City, Ill., home had prescribed her Suboxone — a drug often used to control cravings and drug withdrawal symptoms — but said last September that it could harm her unborn child.
And would seeking treatment elsewhere lead her to trouble with law enforcement or a loss of custody of her baby?Such laws exist in Alabama and Wisconsin, and Missouri state Rep.Jered Taylor (R) has introduced a bill that would make nonprescription drug use while pregnant a misdemeanor offense, which he said could encourage women to quit using.“If they’re able to successfully complete a treatment program, the sentence is dropped,” Taylor said.“I’m open to changes, but this has been a huge problem, and I don’t think enough people realize it.” Doctors in many states are legally required to report cases involving newborn withdrawal symptoms directly to child-welfare agencies.In February 2016, Richardson went into labor on a snowy, residential road in Missouri while high on heroin.