Tennessee is doubling down on prosecution of pregnant drug users
March 21, 2016 - Uncategorized
Tennessee legislators aren’t giving up on the state’s controversial “fetal assault” law.
The state enacted the first-of-its-kind statute, which makes it a crime for women to use narcotic drugs while pregnant, in 2014.
The original version is set to expire this year, but state lawmakers plan to vote Tuesday on a bill that would extend the law, despite severe criticisms that it’s done more harm than good.
Originally, the law was meant to reduce the state’s rate of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), a condition in which newborn babies suffer from drug dependency caused by exposure to opiates during pregnancy. Tennessee’s NAS rate is one of the highest in the country. Read more…