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Women’s Health

Arizona Blacklisted Mom for Smoking Legal Medical Marijuana While Pregnant



It’s called the Central Registry and Lindsay R’s name will be on it for up to 25 years along with countless Arizona parents accused of abusing or neglecting their children. Her listing cost her a social work job and could prevent her from getting dozens of others.

Your offense? She took prescription medical marijuana during her pregnancy, in a state where it is legal, to counter the effects of a dangerous condition that causes excessive vomiting.

“At the beginning [I was fighting] for personal reasons: I want to keep my job; I don’t want me to have neglected him, ”Lindsay told The Daily Beast as she struggled to clear her name. “Now it’s become a fight for everyone else, so no one has to go through this shit again. Because nobody has to. “

The criminalization of drug use during pregnancy is not a new topic: the nonprofit National Advocates for Pregnant Women documented more than 1,000 arrests of women for drug use during pregnancy between 2006 and 2020, a gray area where women like Lindsay can face consequences if they encounter one Consume drug that is completely legal in your state.

The NAPW is currently investigating several cases of pregnant women being charged with using marijuana in a state where it is legal, according to executive director Lynn Paltrow.

“We are definitely seeing cases, both criminal and civil, where pregnancy is the excuse for overriding permission to access marijuana,” Paltrow said. “We don’t know at the moment whether we can speak of an increase, but we are certainly seeing too much of it.”

Lindsay told The Daily Beast that she has been using medical marijuana to treat her chronic irritable bowel syndrome since 2010 when it was legalized in Arizona. When she became pregnant in 2018, she said her OBGYN advised her to wean off it. And Lindsay tried, she says, until she developed hyperemesis gravidarum – a rare condition that causes severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss and, in extreme cases, pregnancy loss. Most days, Lindsay says, she was so sick that she struggled to keep three square meals to herself; She was taken to the emergency room twice for emergency hydration. She was afraid of miscarriage because she couldn’t feed her developing fetus. So, she says, “went to the medication that I knew would help me”.

The science of marijuana use during pregnancy is mixed. Large health organizations like the American Council of Obstetricians and Gynecologists warn against it, saying it could cause brain development disorder and premature birth, among other things. However, a recent review of 40 studies on the subject concluded that the current evidence “does not support an association between prenatal cannabis exposure and clinically relevant cognitive deficits”. A large study of the health effects of cannabis published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in 2017 found an association between cannabis use and low birth weight, but “limited, insufficient, or no evidence” for other, more serious outcome .

However, Arizona law does not specifically prohibit pregnant women from using cannabis. When the legislature presented a corresponding law in 2016, it was shot down by local activist groups. Arizona child neglect laws also exempt newborns exposed to substances such as marijuana if the substance has been prescribed to the mother as part of medical treatment. And the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act of 2010 specifically states that the use of medical marijuana should not be viewed as evidence of child neglect unless its use poses an “unreasonable risk to the safety of the minor.”

At the time of her pregnancy, Lindsay was working in the childcare department, where she says she was trained to use medical marijuana like any other prescription drug. (DCS declined to comment on the specifics of this case.) She said she had several friends who used cannabis with no problem during their pregnancies, and that she successfully renewed her medical marijuana card even after her pregnancy was announced. (The paperwork her doctor signed during the visit confirmed that he had “addressed the potential dangers to fetuses from smoking or using marijuana while pregnant.”)

But Lindsay had a difficult delivery and her baby was admitted to the NICU for several days because of “shaking”, sore throat and bleeding in his brain. While he was there, someone ordered a substance test. It was positive for cannabis and triggered an emergency call to DCS.

The tests were also positive for Buspar – Lindsay’s prescribed anti-anxiety drug – Benadryl and caffeine. A DCS specialist tasked with reviewing the case admitted that she had not spoken to Lindsay’s doctors about whether the other substances might have caused his health problems, nor did she know the possible side effects of any of them on a fetus. The investigators found Lindsay “polite, calm and cooperative” and found that she was “expressly”[ed] Love and empathy for her child. ”Despite some disorder in her house and concerns about Lindsay’s mental health, the investigator found“ no current assessment of the impending danger ”. Both Lindsay and her husband agreed to regular drug tests, and Lindsay says she didn’t smoke three months after that.

“I found out that my case would be justified and then I immediately lost my job.”

– Lindsay

Still, shortly after she returned from the hospital, Lindsay learned that DCS would find her case neglected based on the fact that she had “exposed the child to marijuana prenatally.” For 25 years, the department told her, she would be on their central registry – a confidential list of Arizonans known to have abused children. Listing can show up on background checks and disqualify applicants for jobs with children and vulnerable adults – the very kind of job Lindsay, a social worker, wanted to get. Additionally, DCS said Lindsay had no choice but to fire her based on the results in her case.

“That was pretty emotional dealing with it,” Lindsay recalled. “I found out that my case would be justified and then I immediately lost my job.”

In court records, DCS said that Lindsay’s obtaining a medical marijuana card was insufficient to prove the substance was medical treatment administered to her by a doctor, as required by local child abuse law. Investigators also found that Lindsay had failed to tell several of her doctors or the hospital that she was smoking weed – something Lindsay readily admits and said she was concerned about the stigma her drug use brought with it.

That’s the problem with policies punishing mothers for drug use, says Samantha Lee, a NAPW attorney: They tend to backfire. Punitive drug use policies can deter pregnant women from seeking medical help – both for themselves and their children. A study published in February found that Tennessee’s “Hazards to the Fetus” had “statistically significant, negative effects on the health of fetuses and infants,” while a 2019 study found guidelines that prevent pregnant women from dying Should deter alcohol consumption, weights and premature births actually resulted in an increase in low births. Threatening employment to a new mother – for example, from being entered on a child neglect register – can lead to economic instability that is well known to have negative effects on children’s health.

Cases like Lindsay’s, Lee said, “are worsening the harm across the board – not just for this family, but also for families who see this case and are afraid to seek healthcare for fearful of it Kind of long-term impact on their family stability. “

That hasn’t stopped many states from punishing – and even prosecuting – mothers for using cannabis while pregnant. A 2015 investigation by ProPublica found that between 2006 and 2015, nearly 500 new and expectant mothers were prosecuted under Alabama’s Chemical Hazard Act; 20 percent of them had only used marijuana. The trend continues even with weed legalized: Lee said the NAWP is currently investigating several cases of mothers accused of child abuse in Oklahoma, where medical marijuana was legalized in 2018.

“The state has criminalized so much of pregnancy and reproduction … we will likely see women imprisoned in the near future if we don’t fight back on this matter.”

– Julie Gunnigle, Arizona NORML

For women’s rights activists, the laws are not just bad health policy, but an attack on the fundamental freedoms of pregnant women. By monitoring things like legal drug use, they argue, we are making pregnant women a separate class of citizens with less autonomy over their own bodies.

“This is about the ability to make your own decisions in one of the most intimate, private moments of your life,” said Julie Gunnigle, Arizona NORML attorney who represents Lindsay on her case. “The state has criminalized so much of pregnancy and reproduction … we will likely see women imprisoned in the near future if we don’t fight back on this matter.”

Lindsay fights back in her own way by challenging the DCS decision as much as possible. An administrative judge sided with them last February but was overridden by DCS. The Arizona Supreme Court sided with the Department when Lindsay appealed the decision last year. Now, with Gunnigle’s help, she’s taking her case to the Arizona Court of Appeals – the final stop before the state’s Supreme Court.

Despite the support of the NAWP and more than 40 other medical groups, experts, and lawyers, Lindsay’s case is likely to be long and grueling. A couple portrayed by a local Arizona newspaper spent three years and more than $ 21,000 deleting their names from the DCS registry after their baby rolled out of bed while their father fixed their bottle.

Gunnigle said she warned her client that the case would be long and tough, and that COVID-related delays would make it even longer. But Lindsay didn’t even blink.

“She just said, ‘I’m down,'” Gunnigle recalled. “‘I don’t want this to ever happen to another mom again.'”

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Women’s Health

This non-profit is closing the gap between women and fertility awareness



Feminae Vero educates women about the truths of their reproductive health and how it relates to faith.

Mary Kate Knorr did not expect that she would stand up for the unborn child to raise awareness of the fertility of women. But the longer she worked for the cause of life, the more meaningful it made.

“I’ve seen that the pro-life movement hasn’t done enough to address the huge problem we have in our country and around the world with artificial hormonal birth control,” Knorr said in an interview with Aleteia. “That was a big gap for me – and I felt personally called to address it.”

That call led her to found Feminae Vero, a nonprofit dedicated to fertility education and other means of supporting holistic women’s health, with a particular focus on the connection between faith and health. Knorr said “Feminae Vero exists to serve, educate and evangelize girls and women about the truths of their reproductive health and their connection to our Catholic faith.”

Feminae Vero is a new company for Knorr. Her background is in politics and pro-life, and she served for many years as the executive director of Illinois Right to Life. She launched Feminae Vero in January 2021.

Women will find a wide variety of services at Feminae Vero, including the following:

  • Education about fertility
  • Doula services
  • Healing retreats
  • Representation of interests with elected officials and medical professionals

So far, the backbone of their work has been fertility education and it seems that this is the area where the organization can make the greatest impact.

Two projects that are currently in progress are particularly exciting. One of these projects is the creation of a curriculum for middle and high school girls to learn more about their reproductive health and its importance in Catholic education. This curriculum has the potential to be wonderful empowerment and usefulness for girls at an important stage of development.

As Catholics, we know that faith and honest science go hand in hand. ” said Knorr. “It is one facet of our philosophy to go ahead with science to teach girls and women about their bodies and then move on with the truths of faith to ultimately attain evangelization.”

It might seem strange to think that fertility education would lead to evangelization, but Knorr saw a real connection between the two. During her time in the pro-life movement, she made one key observation: “Most of my colleagues who have previously made an election have had a spiritual conversion in addition to their ideological one.” She said.

As they stood up for life, they also became Christians and, in many cases, Catholic. “Abortion is not entirely a logical problem,” said Knorr. “It’s a heart problem too.”

The second project is a curriculum for seminarians and clergy. “A future goal is to develop a program for seminarians and clergy that enables them to better support girls and women from a ministerial point of view”, said Knorr. This project sounds like a critical force for good: sometimes there is a discrepancy between what the church teaches about women’s health and what local clergy understand about that teaching, so this project will help bridge that gap to bridge.

There are many things in the life of modern women that are physically and spiritually toxic. Knorr hopes Feminae Vero will be a refreshingly holistic and positive resource.

“One of my main goals in founding Feminae Vero was to offer women a healing hand.” She said.

There are so many voices in society today who have deeply hurt women by lying to them about their origins and God’s plan for their bodies. Through our healing retreats and the service and education we want to offer women, our goal is to take women by the hand and initiate them into a healing process.

Ultimately, that healing comes from Christ. “It is the Lord who does the healing,” she explains.

That is why we place so much emphasis on evangelization as the primary goal. We believe that when shared with prayer and compassion, the truth leads women to Jesus Christ – and once they meet the Lord, their healing will be inevitable.

Knorr wants women to know that God created them with profound purpose and purpose. “The objectification and abuse of women in our culture is a result of human decline,” she explains, “but the theology of the body of John Paul II tells us that we are meant for more.”

Her goal for Feminae Vero is to help women discover that purpose and intention. She says, “Women can find such immense healing in the arms of Jesus Christ.”

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Women’s Health

Task force tackles problems that slow women’s success in workforce | Business News



Cora Faith Walker, Chief Policy Officer of St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page, speaking at a community meeting on Tuesday. September 14, 2021. She leads the advancement of the District Board’s political priorities by providing an integrated approach to policy development and external engagement.

Childcare. Wage gaps. Education. Health care.

These topics were included during a town hall in Florissant on Tuesday, September 14th, to gather input from local women on topics and factors preventing them from fully participating, moving forward, or being successful among the workforce.

The lunchtime event was organized by United Women’s Empowerment (United WE) and the Missouri Women’s Economic Development Task Force at the city’s Civic Center.

Wendy Doyle, United WE CEO, said the organization is hosting a number of these town halls across the state to provide policy recommendations to leaders and lawmakers that will be sent to them in late 2021.

She said her organization’s goal is to collect the qualitative data from women to link it to quantitative research on working women in Missouri. Some of this data includes statistics such as that 44% of all Missouri counties have no recognized childcare facilities and that of the total Missouri women population, 15.4% are below the poverty line, compared with 12.9% of men. The organization also found that 18% of Missourians living in poverty were under 18 years of age.

Wendy Doyle, United WE CEO, said

“Above all, we wanted to have informed conversations as we approach the pandemic recovery because we know women have been severely affected.” Wendy Doyle, CEO of United WE, called. “And we just want to hear their stories.”

Dawn Gipson, Diversity Director at Centene, spoke during the small group sessions about how the pandemic is doing for their truly enlarged women lifting heavy loads both outside and inside the home. She also noted that people may be scared of going back to work after working from home for over a year.

“So there is this fear of going back to the office, but the focus is on ‘We need to get back to normal,'” she said, noting that women and people of color may not want to interact on a daily basis with people who are not tolerant or respectful of people’s identity.

Cora Faith-Walker lives in Ferguson and is Chief Policy Officer of the St. Louis County Executive’s Office. She agreed with Gipson and said the shutdown was so much more than just a shutdown.

“People think we can just snap our fingers and go back to 2019,” she said, adding that she almost felt like she forgot how to small talk while working remotely Office involved.

Dawn Gipson

Dawn Gipson

Finally, the small groups ended their conversation for a full group discussion that addressed the main barriers encountered during the small discussions: access to affordable childcare; same salary; Access to adequate health care; Access to equity; Teach children at home or help with their virtual education; and try to keep the household together even when working outside the home.

“Above all, we wanted to have informed conversations as we approach the pandemic recovery because we know women have been severely affected,” said Wendy Doyle, CEO of United WE. “And we just want to hear their stories.”

United WE’s November report said that due to the decline in the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, Missouri could potentially lose 48% of its childcare offering, meaning there is only one place available in a licensed daycare for six children.

Faith-Walker later addressed the challenges faced by the county executive in obtaining pandemic aid to childcare providers.

“Another type of challenge we had with vendors was probably the amount of technical support that was sometimes required to take advantage of opportunities like the PSA programs,” she said.

The organization held two talks before Tuesday – one in Joplin and one in Sedalia. Several others are planned, including October 6 in Kansas City; October 14 in Kirksville; and October 28th, held virtually, and will highlight the needs of women of color.

For more information or to register, visit

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Women’s Health

Notts dad created emotion posters and wrote book after son suffered mental health problems during pandemic



A father of three from Nottingham has set a goal of raising £ 10,000 this year to buy Christmas gifts for cared children.

David Rogers, 50, first started his charity mission when his son suffered from mental symptoms during the pandemic and felt he wanted to do something to help other children who have no one to talk to.

The designer, who lives near Newark and owns a shop in Nottingham city center, first set out to create emotional posters to help young people open up.

David Rogers has his own children’s book “Have You Heard of Jelly Bean Juice? to raise money for children in care

“During the pandemic, our son Milo, who is 10 years old, had some mental health problems,” explains David.

“He was able to open up to me and we got support, but I thought of other children who may not be able to speak easily, or their parents who, through no fault of their own, are not.” sure how to communicate about these things.

“We set out to research and design posters that would help children point to the faces that are sad or angry, that most reflect their feelings, just to start a conversation.

“We sold them to raise some money for charity, but we also gave them away to schools, parents, teachers and children.

“They have had a storm and we have had really great feedback on how they have helped kids get into conversation, even if it’s the smallest kind, it’s a start and hopefully it will make a difference.

“We have now also made posters for teenagers.”

David and his company created posters to help children identify their emotions and speak

David and his company created posters to help children identify their emotions and speak

David’s charity efforts began a few years ago when he decided to raise money for children in social institutions on Christmas Day. He would get their Christmas lists and go to work raising the money to fulfill them.

Last year he was able to help three homes, but this year he has bigger ambitions and has published his own children’s book to pay for Christmas gifts in 10 different children’s homes.

“For the past 4 years I have tried to give children a wonderful Christmas Day in social institutions. They are asked to give me a list of how lucky most children are, and then I use the money to buy gifts. We also use whatever is left to help blackboards, women’s shelters and gifts, toiletries and groceries in the run up to Christmas.

“I helped a children’s home for the first three years, last year I managed to help three, but this year my dream is to help ten.”

To achieve his goal, David needed a plan – and then he remembered a children’s story he had written that languished on his laptop.

“I wrote the story for my son for fun, but I’m a designer, not a writer, so I’ve never done anything with it,” says David, who is also the father of Lewis, 16, and Charlie, 6.

“But when I was thinking about how to raise money, the book seemed like a good idea because I knew I could have it designed and printed through my business, keep everything local, and not pass these costs on.

“It has been produced to a really high standard, is beautifully illustrated and printed in Nottingham, and every single penny that is raised goes straight to the charity campaign.”

The book, Have You Heard of Jelly Bean Juice? was inspired by bath times with his son when they mixed up different hand washes, resulting in strange and wonderful colors and a mixture that smelled like jelly beans.

Ever heard of Jelly Bean Juice?  Is for sale to raise money for cared children this Christmas

Ever heard of Jelly Bean Juice? Is for sale to raise money for cared children this Christmas

“It’s a bit of fun with a group of animal lovers at the center of a party, including a Siberian moose named Bartholomew. At one point an accident happens and jelly bean juice is spilled all over the place. Then jelly bean juice is created and one of the guests decides Mindy, whose father’s name is Mr Big Shot, that they can market and sell it. “

David and his wife Annabelle have been selling the books through word of mouth and their Instagram accounts for two months and have already raised £ 6,500.

But David wants to hit his £ 10,000 goal by the end of November.

“I firmly believe that these children can have the same experiences at Christmas as other children and I want to help more,” he says, a crucial time for women fleeing their homes with children. We will also support boards and, if possible, charities for the homeless. “

David’s wife Annabelle, who is also a designer, has supported him with all aspects of publishing and selling the book through her popular Instagram account @designermumetc and David himself can be found at @shopperdave_.

The book costs 8 pounds including postage and packaging and is already on its way all over the world.

“We got two orders from Florida, that’s great, and we’ve now sold around 300 books in total.

“It was very important to me to create something good quality so that for a charity donation people would get a really nice product and so far the buyers seem to love the book which is a good feeling.

“But it will feel better when I reach my goal and can give these children a Merry Christmas in 10 social institutions. That is the most important thing.”

As part of their charity work, David and his company also produce luxury tea towels with maps of popular UK vacation destinations such as North Norfolk, and they also sell the Emotions posters for children and teenagers.

Have you heard of Jelly Bean Juice? Go to Instagram and send a message to @designermumetc or @shopperdave_

Or send an email to

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