Olga Khazan, a health writer for The Atlantic, often tackles health subjects bisecting traditional health and the impact on people’s lives. That can range from the heavy weight of medical bills to struggling home visit programs for poorer mothers. Earlier this year she looked at the impact of taking drugs – from meth to painkillers, on pregnant women in various states.
The story, “Into the Body of Another,” examined the jail terms some mothers received for taking various substances while pregnant despite the varying – and in some cases unknown – impact on their unborn children.
Khazan, a runner-up for the Urban Journalism Prize earlier this year, likened her effort to cover the issue of drugs, pregnancy and prison to a reporting odyssey.
Check out this new tip sheet she has prepared for AHCJ members. Reporters looking to examine the issue in their states, or other related angles on the issue, should consider her advice on sources, court records, and good old-fashioned shoe leather reporting.
Khazan’s Atlantic piece is one of many she has done on the societal aspects to health care. Other media also have explored the intersection of drugs, women and their children. Here is some further reading:
- The Washington Post: When life begins in rehab: A baby heals after a mother’s heroin addiction
- The Associated Press: Court sides with mom who gave birth while on methadone
- Reuters: Facing epidemic, Cincinnati hospitals test mothers, newborns for drugs
- The New York Times: Abuse of Opiates Soars in Pregnant Women