Indiana attorney general Greg Zoeller has called upon his state's legislature to enact mandatory drug testing for pregnant women citing rising health care costs. Zoeller claims drug testing will allow for early treatment of babies exposed to drugs ingested by their mothers while they are in the womb. The exposure can lead to an existing addiction to drugs known as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), which can cause withdrawal symptoms shortly after birth. According to Zoeller (pictured below), the symptoms associated with NAS cost Indiana hospitals around $30 million in 2011.
Senator Pat Miller (R-Indianapolis) says the state legislature is exploring other options that do not include mandatory testing.
Zoeller's proposal has met strong opposition online.
|Attorney General Greg Zoeller|
However, whether Attorney General Zoeller is, or rather was, calling for mandatory testing is a much closer question. Zoeller's official spokesman adamantly denies Zoeller was pushing for mandatory testing. However, when presented with a question about his alleged support of "mandatory testing" during an earlier interview, Zoeller does not correct the interviewer and seems to suggest as long as the information obtained wasn't used to prosecute the woman the mandatory testing would be legal. The "progressive feminist blog" Shakesville does an excellent job of comparing the response from the Attorney General's Office to what Zoeller earlier during the interview to note the possible discrepancy in Zoeller's position on mandatory drug testing.
The left has jumped on the Zoeller's (assumed) support of mandatory drug testing of pregnant women as more "War on Women" tripe. Supposedly this is proof that the "far right" is out to criminalize being a woman, or at least being a pregnant woman. What utter nonsense.
It is true that in the last few days the left, utilizing the Internet, has led the opposition to mandatory drug testing of pregnant women. But the notion that people on the right would support mandatory drug testing of pregnant women is to miss the strongly libertarian values of tea party folks and others who occupy the right wing of the political spectrum. Those folks who proudly fly the "Don't Tread on Me" flags are not about to embrace government forcing women (many of whom are their wives, daughters and sisters) to pee into cups simply because they are pregnant. That is never going to happen.
If mandatory drug testing of pregnant women is proposed, those on the left better move over because they are going to have a ot of support from people on the right in opposing this wrong-headed idea.