New TN Bill Could Prosecute Pregnant Women
the MPR take:
OBGYN practitioners, drug addiction specialists, and women's rights groups are urging the governor of Tennessee, Bill Haslam, to veto a bill allowing pregnant women to be prosecuted if they illegally take drugs while pregnant and the fetus or newborn is harmed. The current bill states that if a woman was prosecuted, the charge would be a misdemeanor, only illegal use of a narcotic drug would apply, and women who seek treatment for drug abuse while they're pregnant and complete the program would not be charged. Critics argue that the bill will deter women addicted to illegal narcotics from seeking prenatal care as well as treatment for substance abuse issues . If the bill is signed, Tennessee would be the first state to allow assault charges to be filed against a pregnant woman if the fetus is found to be harmed by illegal narcotics.
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