Document Type


Publication Title

Michigan Journal of Race & Law

Publication Date



pregnant women, drug testing, medical discrimination, institutional racism, black motherhood, Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC


In 1989, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) adopted a policy that, according to subjective criteria, singled out for drug testing, certain women who sought prenatal care and childbirth services would be tested for prohibited substances. Women who tested positive were arrested, incarcerated and prosecuted for crimes ranging from misdemeanor substance possession to felony substance distribution to a minor. In this Article, the Author argues that by intentionally targeting indigent Black women for prosecution, the MUSC Policy continued the United States legacy of their systematic oppression and resulted in the criminalizing of Black Motherhood.