Established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit advocacy organization in 2001, National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW) works to secure the human and civil rights, health and welfare of all people, focusing particularly on pregnant and parenting women, and those who are most likely to be targeted for state control and punishment — low income women, women of color, and drug-using women.
NAPW defends women who are pregnant and have abortions, experience pregnancy loss, use drugs or alcohol, and who continue their pregnancies and give birth. Our work, however, is not limited to criminal or parent defense work, nor is it limited to any single issue, strategy, or niche.
NAPW works to ensure that women do not lose their constitutional and human rights as a result of pregnancy; that addiction and other health and welfare problems women face during pregnancy are addressed through public health and social welfare systems, not the criminal law system; that families are not needlessly separated based on medical misinformation about pregnancy and drug use; and that all people, including those who can get pregnant, have access to all of the health care services they need, including abortion and maternity care.
NAPW wins cases that free women from prisons and jails, keeps families together, and protects pregnant women from wrongful child welfare interventions, forced medical interventions and treatments, and other forms of state control based on pregnancy.
NAPW uses each case we litigate and each issue we take on as an opportunity to empower local activists and women who are directly affected; support grassroots organizations; mobilize medical, public health, and social justice experts and organizations; and educate policymakers, practitioners, and the public.
Two principles guide all NAPW activities: