Rep. Karen Bass: 1990s was the first time women abused drugs as much as men

Karen BassIronically, in the 1990s, when the crack cocaine epidemic hit, that was the first time that women started using drugs equal to men. It hadn’t happened before, and so families fell apart.

—Rep. Karen Bass (D–CA)

Reducing Unnecessary Barriers for Relative Foster Parents Act, House Floor, June 20, 2017

Historians: Rate or comment

Rep. Karen Bass: During the crack epidemic, “we punished the mothers”

Karen BassIn the 1990s, when the crack cocaine epidemic hit, we didn’t understand much about addiction, and so we were angry. We punished the mothers. We imprisoned the mothers. We took the children away, and we didn’t realize that actually not addressing the underlying substance abuse issue would really be more harmful to the children than removing them and putting them into foster care.

—Rep. Karen Bass (D–CA)

Partnership Grants to Strengthen Families Affected by Parental Substance Abuse Act, House Floor, June 20, 2017

Historians: Rate or comment