Wisconsin State Patrol policies regarding domestic violence extend protections all the way to the womb, where the unborn children of Wisconsin women may be at risk.
In the policies’ definitions of child and abuse and neglect, expectant mothers with substance abuse issues are included in the list of abusers:
While securing help for an expectant mother who’s using drugs or alcohol is a worthwhile endeavor, the only thing the law stipulates is that the pregnant woman is “taken into custody” - not arrested - and then released to an intake worker.
The policy doesn’t specify whether or not a woman has to be a certain number of weeks into a pregnancy, and an “expectant mother” might not be expecting - police aren’t required to ask whether or not the woman actually plans on bringing that baby to term. Abortion is still legal in Wisconsin, albeit with significant restrictions.
Wisconsin law encourages people to report women whose behavior may be placing their unborn child at risk:
“Any person reporting under this section may request an immediate investigation by the sheriff or police department if the person has reason to suspect that the health or safety of a child or of an unborn child is in immediate danger. Upon receiving such a request, the sheriff or police department shall immediately investigate to determine if there is reason to believe that the health or safety of the child or unborn child is in immediate danger and take any necessary action to protect the child or unborn child.”
The police also have a policy that pertains directly to children who are expecting children:
Read the full policy embedded below, or on the request page.
Image by Cliff via Wikimedia Commons and is liscended under CC BY 2.0