Mothers Whose Babies Are Born Addicted To Drugs Can Be Charged Under New Law

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(Memphis) Doctors at CHOICES for Reproductive Health call a new law unconstitutional, but Memphis area lawmakers are the ones who pushed for it in the first place.

The law will let prosecutors charge women who give birth to drug-addicted babies with a crime for hurting their kids.

District Attorney Amy Weirich said, "These would have to be illegal drugs - cocaine, marijuana, heroine - a day or two days before giving birth."

Last year, more than 850 babies in Tennessee were born addicted to drugs, because of their mother's habit.

But advocates for women say this law moves in the wrong direction.

Allison Glass of Healty and Free Tennessee said, "It's going to hurt babies, it's going to hurt mothers, it's going to tear families apart."

Glass agrees the state needs to do something about the number of drug addicted babies, but she says this isn't it.

She's afraid it will keep women from getting necessary prenatal care, and possibly lie to their doctors to avoid charges.

Glass added, "There is a real fear that it is going to lead women to have unwanted abortions because they're trying to avoid jail."

District Attorney Amy Weirich disagrees.

She says this law has been on the books before, and it works to keep women in treatment by giving them limited options.

"If they give birth and the baby test positive they're given a citation to show up in drug court and they're given the opportunity to work the drug treatment program."

And if they don't they go to jail.

Doctors hope this law will start getting national attention and possibly be brought to the attention of the Supreme Court.


  • MikeBarret

    Abort that thing if you don’t want it or can’t support it. Don’t bring an unwanted baby around for tax payers to deal with. And before all y’all bible thumpers get up in my face, when your church starts paying taxes you can have an opinion.

    • Harold

      The CHURCH doesn’t pay taxes but the people do. I do. My opinion is against abortion. You think because someones place of worship is tax free then the members no longer have a right to an opinion? Tolerant much?

  • harleyrider1778

    First they have no proof of harm to begin with!

    Under symptons of a drug baby it simply states LOW BIRTH WEIGHT!

    They have nothing to prove harm to a baby from a druggy momma nada!

    The same is true of even HIV so called babies NO PROOF OF HARM!

    Its the same with smoking mothers again NO PROOF OF HARM!

  • harleyrider1778

    “The hospital are letting pregnant women smoke on there premisis? How shameful. Pregnant women who smoke during pregnancy should be charged with child abuse. I really hate seeing it.”

    In more rational times, before the anti-tobacco hysteria began in earnest, women who smoked continued to smoke and enjoy other normal pleasures of life without guilt during their pregnancies. Many even smoked during labour to help them relax and take the edge off their pain. If their doctors mentioned smoking at all, it would be to advise them to perhaps cut down if they were heavy smokers, something which most did intuitively because they didn’t “feel” like smoking as much.
    But pity the poor smoker today who becomes pregnant, because she will be told that if she continues to smoke at all (or have any alcohol or caffeine) during her pregnancy, she is putting her developing fetus at high risk of death or disability.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Though there is considerable evidence showing that on average the babies of women who smoke during pregnancy weigh on average a few ounces less than babies of women who do not smoke and that the rate of low birthweight babies is somewhat higher for smokers, there is no credible evidence for the hyperbolic claims that the babies of smokers have a higher mobidity and mortality rate. Quite the contrary, the babies of women who smoke during pregnancy have a better survival rate ounce for ounce, a somewhat lower rate of congenital defects, a lower rate of Down’s syndrome, a lower rate of infant respiratory distress syndrome and a somewhat lower rate of childhood cancer than do the babies of non-smokers.

    Dr. Richard L. Naeye, a leading obstetrical researcher who studied more than 58,000 pregnancies, states unequivocally:

    “We recently found no significant association between maternal smoking and either stillbirths or neonatal deaths when information about the underlying disorders, obtained from placental examinations, was incorporated into the analyses. Similar analyses found no correlation between maternal smoking and preterm birth. The most frequent initiating causes of preterm birth, stillbirth, and neonatal death are acute chorioamnionitis, disorders that produce chronic low blood flow from the uterus to the placenta, and major congenital malformations. There is no credible evidence that cigarette smoking has a role in the genesis of any of these disorders.””

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