Woman plans to challenge fetal protection law

Woman jailed following drug use discovery
Woman plans to challenge fetal protection law

A Wisconsin woman says she plans to file a lawsuit challenging the state’s fetal protection law.

The law allows officials to force pregnant women who are abusing drugs into treatment. Tamara Lertscher of Medford claims she was pregnant when she went to the Eau Claire Mayo Clinic to seek treatment for hypothyroidism and depression this summer. Tests there revealed she had used methamphetamine and marijuana.

When she refused to submit to treatment she was jailed and Taylor County officials sent her a letter notifying her of child maltreatment.

The National Advocates for Pregnant Women is helping Lertscher. The organization’s legal director says the lawsuit will be filed soon against the state Department of Children and Families but didn’t elaborate.

Messages left the agency Thursday weren’t immediately returned.