The Water Cooler – Drug Testing During Prenatal Care

April 14, 2014 12:00 pm · 52 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it!

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon!

Today’s question:

Do you think women should be drug tested when seeking prenatal care to make sure they are not harming the baby they are carrying?

Talk about it….

Marianne April 14, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Definitely Yes! No Crack-Babies!

Anon April 14, 2014 at 12:20 PM

If you knew how many did drugs & smoked during this time– you would be amazed…& welfare pays you more when you have more kids you can’t afford or care to raise correctly.

Just look at the Mothers in Costco or Safeway that let their kids hang on the outside of the shopping card — straight up child endangerment.

Yes– drug check them all

Don't Censor Me Bro April 14, 2014 at 12:21 PM


CrayZ April 14, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Yes!! I know a few women..or should I say girls, that are pregnant and the health of their baby concerns me!

Incognito April 14, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Yes, by all means.

And, while we are at it, let’s make sure she isn’t eating at Burger King, drinking too many Diet Cokes every day, smoking, or drinking any alcoholic beverages.

Better yet, there should be a pregnancy screening/test performed before a woman is allowed to get pregnant to make sure, in general, both physically and mentally, and financially, she is capable of being a mother.

Roz April 14, 2014 at 12:41 PM

This is an interesting question/ topic,…it would be good for the child to be born health.
If it were mandatory and the mother was risking the welfare of the unborn child, what could be done?
It’s not like a 3 month old baby, which could be placed in protective care.

Dr. Doc, PHD April 14, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Why not just give them abortion vouchers? You know, baby-delete coupons. It’s the “Pro-Choice” thing to do.

Hypocrites please start posting…

@ April 14, 2014 at 12:43 PM


. April 14, 2014 at 12:43 PM

WOW and if they are, what will nanny state government do about it?
More babies equals more free government money and services.

Wow April 14, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Ok, so what happens after she tests positive? do you lock her up? make her get an abortion?

@5 April 14, 2014 at 12:49 PM

You’re absolutely right. In fact, let’s screen EVERYBODY to make sure they’re eating right, not smoking, etc. After all, it raises health care costs for all of us (those of us who pay, anyway).

Really, though, if you want to ensure that women don’t seek prenatal care, this is a great way to do it.

Anon777 April 14, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Not unless they either:

*are accepting public assistance (welfare = taxpayer money)
*have a history with CPS for child endangerment

ClayDen April 14, 2014 at 1:03 PM



And the topic should be part of the high school curriculum for all, both girls and boys.

Cowellian April 14, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Unless you’re willing to throw pregnant women in jail for not getting prenatal care, this idea is a non-starter.

mike mac April 14, 2014 at 1:09 PM

No, unless they expect me to pay for their baby, the pregnancy, future food and housing, etc.

BreakingJen April 14, 2014 at 1:10 PM

I’m 24 weeks along and with my health provider they required testing, there was a packet of agreements I had to go through on my first visit and they not only test for all drugs, they ask and frequently ask again about any alocohol intake. If you test positive, my health provider requires or ‘suggests’ meetings with different support groups or social workers. I though almost all health care providers did this as part of prenatal care. While it’s a little intrusive at first thought, its WELL worth it to save the impact to the baby or potential cost to tax payers for a new mom to stay home with a special needs child that results from their actions.

Me April 14, 2014 at 1:13 PM

Like most said, if they were doing drugs, is a positive test going to make them stop? Probably not.

Although, Anon777’s idea sounds decent. If the government is providing for you they should know if their (our) money is being spend on drugs or your other half dozen kids. Now the government has to pay for your special needs drug baby too. I’d just like my kid to have a good education but sadly that’s too much to ask today. Sorry, sore subject for me.

Voice of Reason April 14, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Yes, because there are so many health risk that come along with pregnacy an if the wonen is doing drugs or drinking alcohol, her risk increases. If women know that they have to be sober to receive prenatal care, that will help women have a healthy baby. Drug addicted morhers dont realize the harm they give their unborn baby. Even though this a great idea, it would probably not change much just because when someones addicted there is no stopping them.

Cuzzzzz............... April 14, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Agree with Anon777……….And while we are at the should also have to “pee in a cup” monthly to receive any and all assistance. CA need to do a better job of the ” for Life” as far as welfare and other assistance goes

J April 14, 2014 at 1:31 PM

On whose authority? The Government? Hands off the banks and the oil companies business they can ravage our economy and environment, but when it’s a woman’s womb, big government is a-ok, eh?

Instead, lets make sure all women have access to healthcare, including contraception, isn’t that what the ACA is about?

Enfield303 April 14, 2014 at 1:47 PM

I agree with #12 and #19. And while we’re at it lets test any and ALL government workers.

Chris Kap April 14, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Yes, only if they also test for alcohol. And not just if they are drunk, but used alcohol, are hung over or have a drinking problem. Then yes.

Chris Kap April 14, 2014 at 2:16 PM

OH, I misunderstood. Hell no. Then more women would not be honest with their doctor, or not even see a doctor while pregnant. This would lead to more unhealthy babies being born, dying, and more women’s deaths during child birth etc….

Connie Dobbs April 14, 2014 at 2:42 PM

Nobody drug tests the mothers while they’re raising children. Anyway, I thought it wasn’t a baby until after it was born.

Elwood April 14, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Try to keep up, mike mac

They already expect you to pay for all that.

Cowellian April 14, 2014 at 3:11 PM

A lot of people talk about testing all welfare recipients, but you already know that’s never going to happen in California, even if people vote for it.

Jess April 14, 2014 at 3:13 PM

What is the purpose? The Mayor’s question states it as “to make sure they are not harming the baby they are carrying”. But merely performing a drug test doesn’t do that. It only identifies which pregnant women are using drugs.

Are we talking about voluntary drug testing or government-required testing? Who gets the results? Is it just between the woman and her doctor or do the results go to the government? What is the doctor’s legal obligation if a woman tests positive for drugs? Does a doctor provide different care for a pregnant woman if she is a drug user? Will free drug treatment be provided for women who test positive? Will their babies be automatically taken away at birth?

For the sake of argument, let’s assume the proposal is that it’s required by the government, but that results are confidential, available only to the woman and her doctor. In that case, no, I do not think it should be required by the government. The question of whether or not a woman uses drugs should be left to the woman and her doctor to discuss, just as they would discuss drinking, smoking, diet, and all of the other things that affect the health of the baby. The doctor may consider drug testing a prudent thing to do for most patients, and that’s OK. But I don’t think the government should require it. It’s unnecessary most of the time, it drives up the cost of healthcare, and there is no clear requirement for what the doctor should do if the test is positive. Plus, it might lead the women who most need pre-natal care to avoid it because they are afraid of being revealed as drug users. That would lead to more unhealthy babies, not fewer.

Michelle April 14, 2014 at 3:15 PM

Yes, drug test all expectant mothers and the fathers of the children. To have a crack-baby is not a pleasantry in society. Those often are not wanted and get put up for adoption or left at some relative’s place for ungodly periods of time.

Jess April 14, 2014 at 3:37 PM

For those of you who think welfare recipients should be required to be drug tested because we’re paying for them, why draw the line there? What about people who got subsidies on the exchanges? What about people who get employer-provided insurance? Should their employers be able to require that anyone on the employee plan must get drug tested (even if it’s a spouse or dependent, not the employee) and the results should go to the employer? Don’t most parents get tax credits merely for having children? That’s a payment from the government, so should those people be required to get drug tested, too? I buy my groceries at Safeway, so it’s really my money that pays for the insurance of Safeway employees. Can I require all pregnant Safeway employees (or their pregnant spouses and dependents) get drug tested and the results mailed to me? After all, I’m the one paying for their salaries and health insurance, just like I’m paying for those people on welfare.

If you think people on welfare should be required to be drug tested for the health of the baby, then shouldn’t all people be required to be tested for the health of the baby? Aren’t all babies deserving of equal protection?

so sick of this April 14, 2014 at 3:39 PM

Really what’s next pregnancy police. Women of course should not do drugs when pregnant but testing all pregnant women is ridiculous. You would have better luck if all men had to get a permit to show financial ability to support kids before he can have sex.

Rose April 14, 2014 at 3:40 PM

Better to be tested than have a living child dying from drug abuse.

OfCourse April 14, 2014 at 3:57 PM

Yes, test them all.

instagramma April 14, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Yes, Jen@ #16. Also, Planned Parenthood does (or used to) if a person accepts pre-natal care from them. Also the county has a program called Born Free. Whats all the ruckus about? Sadly, it’s been necessary.

Alcohol is a drug people April 14, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Alcohol babies are as bad as drug babies. ( For lack of a better term. ) We talk about crack babies. What about alcohol babies? Because something is legal, does not necessarily mean it is any less bad.

Dr. Doc, PHD April 14, 2014 at 4:41 PM

@24… For once I agree with you … have just validated my point about the hypocrisy.

So to the left it is OK to abort in the third trimester but it is cruel/abusive if the mother at any time subjects the unborn child to alcohol and drug use.

Which is it?

typical concord resident April 14, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Wow, talk about a complete violation of human rights. Why don’t we just go full Soviet and randomly drug test EVERYONE?

Rose Garden April 14, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Testing all pregnant women seeking prenatal care is ridiculous.

Yes, pregnant women need to stop abusing alcohol and drugs while pregnant. (Or anytime).

But if they fear testing positive, they’ll continue their alcohol and drug abuse, and stop their prenatal care. Which will further harm the baby.

Cuzzzzzzz...... April 14, 2014 at 9:45 PM

Jess – everyone collecting Welfare should be drug tested, pregnant or not, male or female. They are on Welfare because they don’t work. People who work are not leaching off the system. There is ZERO excuse for 3,4 & 5 generations of the same family living on welfare.These are the ones leaching off the system. I love the fact they live in nice houses with pools and drive BMW’s and Mercedes (check out Antioch) while those of us that work live in modest housing and drive Toyota’s and Honda’s.
Personally I don’t think there should be any welfare for those that have never worked and refuse to ever work. Sick of the “we must provide for the children”………….here is a novel thought…………….if a person breeds then they need to be responsible for food, shelter etc. It is not my job to pay for their offspring as I paid for the raising my own children. Of they want free money then they need to pee in a cup once a month.

Subterfuge April 14, 2014 at 9:47 PM


Sweet Polly April 14, 2014 at 9:52 PM

All police, legislators, and judges should be periodically and randomly tested, and not by themselves, but an independent entity, one that is TRYING to catch them. One postitive and they’re fired. Kapoot. No recourse. Ridiculous? Maybe. Those are the conditions I work under. The conditions a lot of us work under.

AJ April 14, 2014 at 11:29 PM

This whole conversation sucks….as do people who use, pregnant or not. Sorry to all the rainbows, unicorns, and sunshines out there, but there is a little part of me that believes your positivity given to “users” is part of the problem with this state. Drug testing won’t change anything. Maybe my magic wand will…….

Princess April 14, 2014 at 11:51 PM

Where is the father in all of this, just standing by? Really?

white boy April 15, 2014 at 12:28 AM


Incoming April 15, 2014 at 5:16 AM

No. Every test, every procedure
the medical profession performs
involves some sort of risk to the
patient, from infection to false
positives. To mass test a sub-
set of the population in the hopes
of providing intervention for the
few who may be culpable is also
probably illegal as well as
expensive and impractical.

Rebecca April 15, 2014 at 6:34 AM


Rebecca April 15, 2014 at 6:35 AM

How is this even POSSIBLE!

Antler April 15, 2014 at 8:26 AM

Sound medical procedure would be to make a drug test a “given” as part of every blood draw taken from ANYONE. And every patient should be offered counseling and help through the process of withdrawing from drugs if he or she requests it; that includes insurance coverage for any Rx and psychiatric care they need to become clean!

Expensive? For each patient at first…..oh, YES! But in the long run, so much less expensive for society. How much crime is related to drug sales and usage?

@Antler April 15, 2014 at 9:00 AM

If, by “sound medical procedure”, you mean horrible invasion of privacy and violation of fourth amendment rights, you are absolutely correct.

I Wonder... April 15, 2014 at 9:49 AM

How many of those people who are for this are also those who identify as people against big government? Probably a lot.

The question is not just restricted to welfare recipients, it’s for all women. Yes, it’s ideal if a woman doesn’t take any drugs or alcohol when she’s pregnant. Why is it ok for anyone to tell me how and if I carry my child to term?

There are a lot of other ways to hurt a fetus besides taking drugs or alcohol. Is coffee allowed? How about the suburban mom who takes painkillers regularly? What about a pregnant mom who is addicted to running or other sports that might not be good to do late in her term?

If we could provide birth control as part of health coverage, maybe we could do away with unintended pregnancies and reduce the number of abortions and drug addicted children.

I asked my husband when I was pregnant to give up drinking so he could see how it felt. He lasted four days. He’s not a heavy drinker, but even an occasional glass of wine was too much for him to give up.

Provider April 15, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Some providers automatically screen at the first prenatal. Others do not. If the mother to be admits then a baseline will be done. Positive tests then prompts a referrals and further spot checks during the pregnancy. Mother does not have to go to referral. However,
At delivery the infant is tested. If positive for other than MJ a referral to CFS is done and a police hold is put on the infant. Mother can leave, infant does not.

Jess April 15, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Cuzzzzz… @38,

Florida passed a law that required all welfare recipients to take a drug test. The first time a recipient failed a test, they lost benefits for a year. The second time they lost benefits for three years. The courts eventually ruled the law was a violation of the fourth amendment because it required drug testing for an entire class of people with no warrent and no suspicion of drug use. During the four months the law was in effect, there was no decrease in the number of people applying for benefits. Only 2.6% tested positive for drug use. The drug most commonly detected was marijuana. Florida newspapers reported that the costs to administer the drug testing program were greater than than the amounts saved by denying benefits to those who tested positive.

CW April 17, 2014 at 1:40 PM

I was tested for all sorts of things while I was pregnant that I knew I didn’t have: HIV, Hepatitis B, other STD’s. It was a bit insulting, but my OB just wanted to make sure that my baby would be born healthy. So if drug testing were added to the list, I’d find it annoying but it wouldn’t really affect me.

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