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National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW)

By

Lynn Paltrow

Lynn Paltrow, executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW).

Photo courtesy of NAPW.

Mission:

To protect the rights of pregnant women. Issues include employment discrimination, access to health care (including alternative birthing practices), non-punitive drug treatment, discrimination against pregnant women in prison, and reproductive rights.

Founded:

In 2000 by former ACLU counsel Lynn Paltrow.

The Angela Carder Case:

One case that inspired the creation of NAPW was the 1987 death of Angela Carder. Carder, terminally ill with cancer, had asked that her pregnancy continue to term. Doctors ignored her wishes, as well as the wishes of her husband, parents, and cancer specialist, and obtained a court order to perform an early caesarian section against her will, killing both her and the fetus. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals later vacated the lower court's ruling.

Structure:

NAPW conducts litigation and public education through its New York office, and provides coalition support for state-level organizations working to protect the rights of pregnant women.

Supporters Say:

The NAPW is the leading national organization specifically committed to protecting the reproductive rights of women who choose to carry their pregnancies to term.

Critics Say:

NAPW is pro-choice and opposes laws criminalizing drug use by pregnant women, two controversial positions that may turn off some activists otherwise sympathetic to their cause.

I Say:

I know of an allegedly religious man who shouts epithets at women who enter abortion clinics, then uses the same epithets in casual conversation to refer to single mothers. In a culture that orders women to choose life and then uses that choice to degrade women and deprive them of their basic constitutional rights, we need an organization like NAPW.
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