Kylee Sunderlin and Laura Huss
Series Number: 86
Editors’ note: In spring 2000, PopDev published the second article in the DifferenTakes series, called “Cracking Open CRACK”. It challenged the “crack baby” myth and the organization CRACK (Children Re- quiring a Caring Kommunity, now Project Prevention), which pays women who use drugs to get sterilized or use long-term contraceptive methods. Oppressive responses like CRACK’s as well as legislation that punished mothers in the name of saving their “crack babies,” disproportionately—and negatively—impacted women of color in the U.S. Now, 14 years later, we see the rise of a related and similarly destructive myth: that of the “opioid baby.” Headlines warning of “Oxytots” and “drug addicted newborns” spread misinformation and encourage legislation that punishes and regulates pregnant people. In this DifferenTakes, the authors trace the opioid baby myth, its devastating impact, and suggest ways to resist it as a priority for reproductive justice.
— Anne Hendrixson and Betsy Hartmann