Opioids and Abortion: How Georgia's Legal Landscape Impacts Pregnant Women with Addiction

Jul 15, 2019

Marshae Jones, an Alabama woman charged with manslaughter for allegedly starting a fight that led to her getting shot and having a miscarriage, will not face prosecution after all. The prosecutor has decided not to pursue the charge, but the incident started a conversation about negligence and culpability for pregnant women in an era of increasingly restrictive abortion laws. 

With the potential increase to the liability pregnant women face, legal questions arise surrounding when a pregnant woman is addicted to drugs. On Second Thought looked at how current and pending laws converge with Georgia’s opioid crisis.


Ed Johnson joined On Second Thought to look at the intersection of HB 481 and the opioid crisis. He works for Morehouse School of Medicine as associate director in the Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Prevention Division at the National Center for Primary Care. Jenny Carrol, a law professor from the University of Alabama, also spoke about the issue.

“We know, and we have known for a long time, that addiction, substance use disorder, is a chronic medical condition,” Johnson said. “My question would be, ‘Do you treat pregnant women who have other chronic medical conditions in the same fashion?’”

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