State Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, and state Rep. Terese Berceau, D-Madison, introduced the “Pregnancy Protection Package” legislation Thursday, which is aimed at protecting the rights of pregnant women.
Current legislation states that pregnant women accused of drug use are denied legal counsel and can be sentenced to jail time and drug rehabilitation, Taylor said.
Taylor said incarcerating pregnant women has the unintended effect of raising the miscarriage rate due to a lack of prenatal care and lack of drugs for withdrawal symptoms.
If detained, pregnant women are not entitled to the same rights as other involuntarily detained persons.
“The intent was definitely discrimination,” Taylor said. “I think that’s a horrible due process violation, we don’t see men being detained like that, without counsel.”
The new legislation also mandates doctors obey the advanced directives of all women.
While Taylor said she hopes to receive bipartisan support, she said she would “pursue” Republicans who believe women should be afforded legal counsel.