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TN:Criminal penalty for prenatal drug use passes

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Topic: TN:Criminal penalty for prenatal drug use passes
Posted By: tatee
Subject: TN:Criminal penalty for prenatal drug use passes
Date Posted: Apr 16 2014 at 6:22am

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/04/15/3426963/tennessee-women-criminalize-pregnancy/" rel="nofollow - Tennessee Is About To Turn Pregnant Women Into Suspected Criminals

By http://thinkprogress.org/person/tculp-ressler/" rel="nofollow - Tara Culp-Ressler https://twitter.com/intent/user?screen_name=@Tara_CR" rel="nofollow"> on April 15, 2014 at 2:42 pm

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"Tennessee Is About To Turn Pregnant Women Into Suspected Criminals"



http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/04/15/3426963/tennessee-women-criminalize-pregnancy/#" rel="nofollow - - -
prison cell_tpftd

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Tennessee is poised to become the http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/04/15/tennessee-is-making-pregnancy-a-criminal-liability.html" rel="nofollow - first state in the country to subject women to criminal assault charges if they use drugs during their pregnancy. Last week, both chambers of the state legislature passed http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/108/Bill/SB1391.pdf" rel="nofollow - Senate Bill 1391 , which would ultimately allow the state to scrutinize miscarriages, stillbirths, and birth defects to try to determine if drugs played a role.

The legislation is a direct response to http://archive.tennessean.com/article/20130311/NEWS07/303110017/Drug-addicted-babies-bring-competing-approaches-proposed-TN-legislation" rel="nofollow - recent reports that the number of babies being born addicted to drugs is on the rise. The Tennessee Department of Health tracks incidents of “ http://health.state.tn.us/MCH/NAS/index.shtml" rel="nofollow - Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome ,” which is defined as withdrawal symptoms after a baby has been exposed to opiates in utero. “Over the past decade, we have seen a nearly ten-fold rise in the incidence of babies born with NAS in Tennessee. Infants with NAS stay in the hospital longer than other babies and they may have serious medical and social problems,” the agency’s website http://health.state.tn.us/MCH/NAS/index.shtml" rel="nofollow - states .

That certainly sounds alarming — but medical experts warn it’s also misleading. Last month, a group of more than 40 researchers and experts http://advocatesforpregnantwomen.org/blog/2013/03/experts_challenge_inaccurate_r.php" rel="nofollow - released an open letter to set some of the facts straight. They https://opqc.net/sites/bmidrupalpopqc.chmcres.cchmc.org/files/Neo/NAS/Resources/NAS%20resource%20letter_3.11.13.pdf" rel="nofollow - point out that it’s not scientifically accurate to describe newborns as “addicted,” NAS doesn’t actually have long-term adverse effects, and misrepresenting these realities end up unhelpfully vilifying pregnant women who likely face significant barriers to medical care.

Nonetheless, the Tennessee House and Senate http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2014/04/09/criminal-penalty-prenatal-drug-use-passes-house/7526877/" rel="nofollow - both passed the measure last week. “It would just seem to me that any society that puts value on life, that these defenseless children deserve some protection,” Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver (R), who sponsored the House’s version of the bill, said.

Weaver’s attitude echoes the national sentiment in the 1980s, when the media http://fair.org/extra-online-articles/the-myth-of-the-crack-baby/" rel="nofollow - stoked unfounded fears about “crack babies” and law enforcement began pursuing pregnant women for using cocaine because they were an https://www.aclu.org/reproductive-freedom/coercive-and-punitive-governmental-responses-womens-conduct-during-pregnancy" rel="nofollow - easy target in the War on Drugs. Even though there’s http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/oct94/vol52/num02/Myths-About-%E2%80%9CCrack-Babies%E2%80%9D.aspx" rel="nofollow - no conclusive scientific evidence that children who were exposed to drugs in utero suffer from long-term health consequences, it hasn’t really mattered. There have been http://advocatesforpregnantwomen.org/main/publications/articles_and_reports/executive_summary_paltrow_flavin_jhppl_article.php" rel="nofollow - hundreds of documented cases of states going after women for allegedly causing harm to their fetuses. Like many issues within our criminal justice system, these laws tend to http://norml.org/news/2007/04/12/african-american-mothers-more-likely-to-be-tested-for-drugs-study-says" rel="nofollow - disproportionately impact low-income people of color.

Although other states have used http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/fetal-homicide-state-laws.aspx" rel="nofollow - fetal harm laws to charge women with endangering their children based on suspicions that they http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/03/21/3417399/mississippi-stillbirth-prison/" rel="nofollow - used drugs while pregnant , no state has explicitly criminalized drug use during pregnancy. Farah Diaz-Tello, a lawyer with the National Advocates for Pregnant Women — which has been http://www.advocatesforpregnantwomen.org/issues/criminal_cases_and_issues/" rel="nofollow - fighting against efforts to criminalize pregnant women for years — believes the proposed law could signal the beginning of a slippery slope.

“The law is so broad that it could lead to charges against a woman who drives recklessly, gets in an accident, and then loses pregnancy. It could also be used against women who try to self-induce abortions,” Diaz-Tello http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/04/15/tennessee-is-making-pregnancy-a-criminal-liability.html" rel="nofollow - told the Daily Beast . “She becomes a criminal due to unlawful pregnancy loss.”

Diaz-Tello’s organization is partnering with a coalition of other Tennessee groups to urge Gov. Bill Haslam (R) to http://action.rhrealitycheck.org/page/s/gov-haslam-veto-pregnancy-criminalization-sb-1391" rel="nofollow - veto SB 1391 , pointing out that it won’t do anything to improve access to medical care for impoverished families. Only 19 of the state’s 177 addiction treatment facilities currently provide care for pregnant women, an issue that SB 1391 doesn’t address whatsoever.

“This law was promoted by prosecutors against the recommendations of medical professionals and addiction specialists,” Cherisse A. Scott, the founder of http://sisterreach.org/" rel="nofollow - SisterReach and the communications chair for http://healthyandfreetn.org/" rel="nofollow - Healthy & Free Tennessee , said in a statement released by the coalition. “It permits the arrest and incarceration of any woman who can’t guarantee the birth of a healthy newborn, and is completely out of step with the most effective standards of care for maternity care, addiction treatment, and neonatal care.”

The country’s major medical associations — including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Public Health Association — http://advocatesforpregnantwomen.org/medical_group_opinions_2011/Medical%20Group%20Positions%202011.pdf" rel="nofollow - all oppose criminalizing pregnant women for using drugs. They point out that punitive laws end up dissuading women from seeking the medical treatment they need, since they’ll be too afraid of being prosecuted. And skipping out on prenatal care actually leads to a http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/05/07/1973341/us-infant-mortality-rate/" rel="nofollow - greater risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant death.

Last May, Tennessee opted to take a very different approach to pregnant women using drugs. The http://www.tnmed.org/2013/05/new-law-safe-harbor-for-pregnant-substance-abusers/" rel="nofollow - Safe Harbor Act of 2013 focuses on getting women into drug treatment, and ensures that they won’t lose custody of their children if they seek help. Advocates point out that there http://www.cosmopolitan.com/advice/health/drug-addicted-pregnant-women-tennessee-law" rel="nofollow - hasn’t been enough time to observe the effects of the Safe Harbor Act, and lawmakers are rushing to pass additional legislation too soon.

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/04/15/3426963/tennessee-women-criminalize-pregnancy/





Replies:
Posted By: Sang Froid
Date Posted: Apr 16 2014 at 6:27am
Well it's child endangerment. 


Posted By: mizzsandra00
Date Posted: Apr 16 2014 at 6:32am
Originally posted by Sang Froid Sang Froid wrote:

Well it's child endangerment. 


Posted By: GoodGirlGoneGr8
Date Posted: Apr 16 2014 at 6:35am
E) All of the above


Posted By: afrokock
Date Posted: Apr 16 2014 at 6:39am
Originally posted by Sang Froid Sang Froid wrote:

Well it's child endangerment. 
not a child at this point tbh


Posted By: liesnalibis
Date Posted: Apr 16 2014 at 6:41am
They tried this before and it was struck down for the same reasons abortion is still legal. It would really be weird to approve of one and not the other.


Posted By: Sang Froid
Date Posted: Apr 16 2014 at 6:42am
Originally posted by afrokock afrokock wrote:

Originally posted by Sang Froid Sang Froid wrote:

Well it's child endangerment. 
not a child at this point tbh

There are many points in a pregnancy.
Which one are we talking?


Posted By: Sang Froid
Date Posted: Apr 16 2014 at 6:44am
Originally posted by liesnalibis liesnalibis wrote:

They tried this before and it was struck down for the same reasons abortion is still legal. It would really be weird to approve of one and not the other.

But you can be charged with double homicide if you kill and pregnant bitch and the baby dies right?
I'm sure this varies state by state.
Not sure which ones are consistent or not.


Posted By: afrokock
Date Posted: Apr 16 2014 at 6:51am
The gestational period ese


Posted By: mizzsandra00
Date Posted: Apr 16 2014 at 6:52am
Originally posted by afrokock afrokock wrote:

Originally posted by Sang Froid Sang Froid wrote:

Well it's child endangerment. 
not a child at this point tbh


I believe if the fetus can survive without the host its a child.....I also don't believe in late term abortion.....tho


Posted By: Sang Froid
Date Posted: Apr 16 2014 at 6:56am
If that thang come out dead to the bed cause you been gettin' high as a kite yo dumb ass needs to be charged with something. Especially after that 24 week mark. If you think gettin' high is more important than being a good mother you need to march yo ass down to the abortion clinic.


Posted By: liesnalibis
Date Posted: Apr 16 2014 at 6:57am
Originally posted by Sang Froid Sang Froid wrote:

Originally posted by liesnalibis liesnalibis wrote:

They tried this before and it was struck down for the same reasons abortion is still legal. It would really be weird to approve of one and not the other.

But you can be charged with double homicide if you kill a pregnant woman and the baby dies right?
I'm sure this varies state by state.
Not sure which ones are consistent or not.

This just goes to show why all that philosophical moral thinking is bullshyt and lawmakers think they have the answers but they really don't. It shows that a lot of the things we do are because that's what we want to do and not because it's right or wrong. 

Anyway I agree with this law but then again I don't agree with abortion so.


Posted By: afrokock
Date Posted: Apr 16 2014 at 7:08am
Originally posted by Sang Froid Sang Froid wrote:

If that thang come out dead to the bed cause you been gettin' high as a kite yo dumb ass needs to be charged with something. Especially after that 24 week mark. If you think gettin' high is more important than being a good mother you need to march yo ass down to the abortion clinic.
recreational drug use occurs in a small fraction of pregnant women however lets look at this another way


If a woman becomes ill during pregnancy and needs life saving medication that will potentially kill the baby or cause significant deformities will she be considered culpable for opting to save her life?

If a woman becomes ill and requires emergency treatment eg thrombolysis and the knock on effect causes a placenta abruption does the administering nurse/midwife along with the prescribing clinician get hauled off to jail under the pretext of manslaughter/homicide?

Furthermore cocaine is used in medical settings too



Posted By: melikey
Date Posted: Apr 16 2014 at 7:18am
-How much funding did they put into treatment programs?
-Also, how will they decide who to give a dr test?
-are alcohol and cigarettes being treated as drugs?
- do they really think this will encourage an open and honest dialog between Dr. and patient if a charge is on the line? How are they going to get help if they can't talk to a professional about their problem?

Too much wrong with this law.


Posted By: JasmineE02
Date Posted: Apr 16 2014 at 7:51am
Oh look...a law that creates more problems than it solves in a state that regularly tries to pass legislation to make life more difficult for families.  If anyone has forgotten, this is the state that wanted to tie welfare benefits to how well children of the recipients did in school.  You know...because that would work out well.  

If the people in charge of actually caring for the women and children in these cases are telling politicians that these are bad changes, perhaps it'd be wise to listen. They might know what they're talking about. Just a thought. 


Posted By: Sang Froid
Date Posted: Apr 16 2014 at 7:57am
Originally posted by afrokock afrokock wrote:

Originally posted by Sang Froid Sang Froid wrote:

If that thang come out dead to the bed cause you been gettin' high as a kite yo dumb ass needs to be charged with something. Especially after that 24 week mark. If you think gettin' high is more important than being a good mother you need to march yo ass down to the abortion clinic.
recreational drug use occurs in a small fraction of pregnant women however lets look at this another way


If a woman becomes ill during pregnancy and needs life saving medication that will potentially kill the baby or cause significant deformities will she be considered culpable for opting to save her life?

If a woman becomes ill and requires emergency treatment eg thrombolysis and the knock on effect causes a placenta abruption does the administering nurse/midwife along with the prescribing clinician get hauled off to jail under the pretext of manslaughter/homicide?

Furthermore cocaine is used in medical settings too


Doing something for fun and doing something to save your life are two totally different things. 


Posted By: afrokock
Date Posted: Apr 16 2014 at 8:06am
Matter of perception sweetie pie


Posted By: Ladybird0724
Date Posted: Apr 16 2014 at 9:41am
Its not just about poasible drug use. I can see this being a problem for miscarriages. I can also see people using this to regulate women's bodies even more during pregnancy. Its a slippery slope.


Posted By: afrokock
Date Posted: Apr 16 2014 at 9:54am
Originally posted by Ladybird0724 Ladybird0724 wrote:

Its not just about poasible drug use. I can see this being a problem for miscarriages. I can also see people using this to regulate women's bodies even more during pregnancy. Its a slippery slope.
E.X.A.C.T.L.Y



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