News & Features

Prosecutor Plans Crack Down on Drug-addicted Pregnant Women

Big Horn County Attorney to seek orders restraining pregnant women from using drugs or alcohol

BILLINGS — A Montana prosecutor says he wants to prevent babies from being born addicted to drugs and alcohol by using the threat of jail time as a deterrent for pregnant women.

Big Horn County Attorney Jay Harris says he plans to seek civil orders restraining pregnant women from using drugs or alcohol. He said he will seek to have violators held in contempt of court and jailed so the woman does not have access to alcohol or drugs.

Caitlin Borgmann, the executive director of the Montana Human Rights Network, tells The Billings Gazette that women need access to treatment, not jail time.

Malcolm Horn, director of the Rimrock Foundation in Billings, says the possibility of losing custody of the baby prevents women from seeking the help they need.