Case to be heard this term by the United States Supreme Court.

Results from an appeal of a decision in the US Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, that upheld lower court rulings related to a case in Charleston, South Carolina.

Rough summary- from USA today and Washington Post.

The University hospital in Charleston South Carolina set up a policy whereby any pregnant woman seen for services there would be tested for cocaine use during standard medical procedures. If she tested positive, the local prosecuting attorney's office would be contacted and could proceed with whatever legal action they saw fit to take. Mothers were not informed of this practice in advance. Some 30 mothers were arrested during the period of time involved in this case.

A series of local, state and federal court cases led to the most recent appeal. Grounds for this appeal- violation of the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution, related to prohibitions against illegal search and seizure. The Federal Appeals Court denied that claim, on the basis of "special governmental needs."

Various Women's groups and the American Medical Association have sided with the women in this case and will speak on their behalf in front of the Supreme Court.

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