misconceive

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misunderstand

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The two books reviewed here, Misconceiving Mothers: Legislators, Prosecutors, and the Politics of Prenatal Drug Exposure and Pregnant Women on Drugs: Combating Stereotypes and Stigma, present different, and critical, pieces of the picture on pregnant women and drug use.
Laura Gomez's study, Misconceiving Mothers, clearly and articulately describes three related processes in California: the development of "crack babies" as a topic in the media and the subsequent institutionalization of pregnant women's drug use as a social problem; the 1983-1996 political battle in the state legislature over lawmakers' response to prenatal drug exposure; and decision-making by local district attorneys on whether or not to attempt prosecutions of women for drug use during pregnancy.
10) Hopefully the thoughtful presentations in Misconceiving Mothers and Pregnant Women on Drugs will help move public discussion of the needs of women and children in a more productive direction.