This year as many as 375,000 babies may begin their lives harmed by their mothers' substance abuse. As they grow, many of these children will suffer from a myriad of health problems and will impose tremendous financial and social costs on American society. Frustrated by the proliferation of drug babies, the apparent unwillingness of these babies' mothers to abstain from using drugs, and the inability of the social welfare and public health systems to cope with this problem, a handful of prosecutors across the country have invoked criminal sanctions against approximately fifty pregnant substance abusers.

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