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Pregnant Addict Cleared of Child Abuse

A Virginia mother used OxyContin and heroin during pregnancy—but a judge says child abuse doesn't cover fetuses.

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By Luke Walker

12/14/11

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A young Virginia mother who used heroin and OxyContin during her pregnancy had the child abuse charge against her dismissed yesterday. Circuit court Judge J. Martin Bass threw out the case against 24-year-old Krystal Lynn Woodson after her defense attorney argued that child abuse laws do not apply to fetuses. Woodson was arrested earlier this year in connection to an armed robbery committed by the child’s father. Prosecutors later charged her with child abuse when she admitted to using drugs throughout her pregnancy. Despite the latest development, she remains in jail, awaiting sentencing next March for felony drug possession—she faces up to ten years in prison.The childWoodson’s ninthwas born in February and underwent treatment for addiction. He's presently in good health and in the care of his grandmother. Rapidly increasing numbers of babies nationwide are affected by opioid use in their pregnant mothers.

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