Suit Tackles Rights of Fetus and Mom

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This sounds like a nightmare. At 14 weeks pregnant, Alicia Beltran informed her doctor that she once suffered from a pill addiction. Suddenly, Beltran found her house surrounded by sheriffs, shackled in family court, and begging for a lawyer. She had refused to take an anti-addiction drug, and thus under a Wisconsin law known as the "cocaine mom" act, the doctor and a social worker accused her of endangering the child. The law allows child-welfare authorities to "forcibly confine" a pregnant woman who abuses drugs or alcohol and refuses treatment. Now, the case is the first to challenge fetal protection laws in federal court.