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Blaming Mothers: American Law and the Risks to Children’s Health (Families, Law, and Society) Hardcover – March 14, 2017
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"Blaming Mothers is gripping and powerful. It is also chilling as Linda Fentiman unmasks society’s penchant for shaming and punishing mostly young, poor women. She reveals subtle but profound gender and racial biases that pervade public discourse and drive prosecutors and judges to unfairly punish pregnant women and mothers. I strongly recommend this captivating book. It is beautifully written, weaving together vivid stories of women’s lives and impeccable scholarship. Anyone concerned about gender, children, and poverty will have to read Blaming Mothers." -Lawrence O. Gostin,Founding O’Neill Chair in Global Health Law, Georgetown University
"Professor Linda Fentiman offers a probing analysis of a society and its government that blames mothers for various social ills and conditions that plague American society and that intervene during pregnancy and motherhood.. Professor Fentiman carefully studies this phenomenon and exposes the undercurrents of classism and racism that correspond to it. She explains how the pernicious nature of poverty creates impacts that result in significant health harms, including higher rates of lead poisoning and asthma among low income children of color. Sadly, in those instances too, mothers are blamed--sometimes civilly and criminally, making it risky to be a poor mother in America." -Michele Bratcher Goodwin ,Chancellor's Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine
"In Blaming Mothers, Linda Fentiman considers why mothers in the U.S. are so often regarded as hazardous to their children’s health. In such areas as breastfeeding, lead poisoning, and childhood diseases like measles, Fentiman explains the psycho-social origins of much mother blaming, contrasting it with the scientific bases of actual health risk. Blaming Mothers connects the dots across policy areas to provide a comprehensive answer to what can be done to improve children’s health when Mom is properly relocated to the sidelines. This is a wonderful book not only for those in medicine, public health, child welfare, education, and law but also for mothers and their families, that is, for everyone."-Carol Sanger,Barbara Aronstein Black Professor of Law, Columbia Law School
About the Author
Linda C. Fentiman is Professor at Pace University Law School. She is a distinguished legal scholar, whose teaching and research reflect her broad experience in criminal law, health law and environmental law. Fentiman was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Warsaw in Poland and has taught at several American law schools. She lives in New York and is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine.