Pregnant women who are substance using are at a dangerous intersection of difficult to navigate medical and criminal (in)justice systems. At Young Women United we understand addiction to be a disease, with causes rooted in historical trauma and exaggerated by realities including racism, gender based violence, and poverty.
Women who are substance using and pregnant too often face shame and stigma that pushes them and their families into the shadows and away from resources they may need. Mothers struggling with addiction are often judged and told they must love their drugs more than their kids or that if they really loved their kids they would simply stop using.
At Young Women United we believe those most impacted should be at the center of building the change we collectively want to see. In 2013, Young Women United organized alongside 30 women who had previously been pregnant and substance using at the same time. Together we built “Everyday Struggles, Everyday Strengths”, a report to inform how our public officials make decisions about prenatal care and treatment for our communities.
We understand that these women carry expertise and insight critical to building a future that our communities desperately need.