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Schimel appeals ‘Cocaine Mom’ ruling

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s attorney general is asking a federal appeals court to reinstate a law that allows the state to detain pregnant women suspected of drug abuse.

Attorney General Brad Schimel said in a Thursday news release he is appealing U.S. District Judge James Peterson’s Wednesday decision not to stay his previous ruling striking down the state’s so-called “Cocaine Mom” law.

Schimel says the law provides critical services to pregnant women, protects unborn children and helps combat the state’s heroin epidemic.

Opponents say it increases the stigma of drug addiction, undermines patients’ rights to make their own decisions and is overly punitive.

The case involves Tammy Loertscher, who was jailed for nearly 20 days in 2014 while pregnant after refusing drug treatment. She had told her doctor she stopped using drugs.

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