Two mothers are taking legal action after they say they were subjected to drug tests “without their knowledge or informed consent.” The tests, they say, resulted in positive results for opiates due to poppy seed bagels they consumed before going to the hospital to give birth.
Both women, identified in filings as Kaitlin K and Kate L, are being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Jersey in their complaints with the state’s Division on Civil Rights. Per those complaints, the women’s civil rights were violated with the drug tests. Additionally, the women say that Hackensack University Medical Center and Virtua Voorhees Hospital apparent policy of drug-testing pregnant patients marks a violation of state law.
“Discriminatory testing policies like these upend what should be a time of joy for families, and so often subject them to further trauma and unwarranted investigation by the state,” Molly Linhorst, a staff attorney with the ACLU of New Jersey, said in a recent press release.
The goal with the recently announced complaints is for a “full investigation” to be launched into the alleged discrimination against both women. As a result of the tests against the women, per the ACLU, local child protection officials were notified, thus spurring an unnecessary investigation that traumatized them and their families.
Not only is this not the first time this type of incident has made headlines, it’s also not the first time an ACLU chapter has stepped up to act on victims’ behalf. In February of last year, for example, the ACLU of Illinois announced similar action was being taken in connection with a new mother whose “non-consensual drug test” came back positive due to a cake made with poppy seeds.
Though no laughing matter, these cases have seen many pointing out that a version of this scenario was famously explored on an episode of Seinfeld.